We are in the second month of this effort to build a community committed to democracy and justice. My personal goal? Try to make sense of things as clearly as possible. Support democracy and American ideals. Pursue the truth. Hold the powerful accountable. Improve society. If you value the writing and this mission, I hope you’ll become a paid subscriber.
Just a short note for this Monday on what we learned last week from the U.S. Treasury Department—that Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and deputy Rick Gates fed Russian intelligence operative Konstantin Kilimnik internal polling data and strategy, and that there was direct collusion to assist the Russians’ efforts to sabotage our elections to insert Trump. (Please, I never want to hear it reduced to “meddling” again).
As Andrew Weissmann, lead prosecutor for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, told Just Security: “This is new public information that connects the provision of internal Trump campaign data to Russian intelligence.” And it’s more evidence to underscore that Donald J. Trump, who’s never had a single bad word to say about Vladimir Putin, betrayed our country and laid waste to the charade of America First.
There’s a ton more to say about this attack on our democratic system that men and women have sacrificed their lives for, spilled their blood for—and which this self-serving sociopath was willing to toss aside if it enriched him and fed his ego. And he did it with the aid of many craven, felonious others, not only Manafort and Gates. Like Michael Flynn and Roger Stone, for example, both of whom were handed pardons before Trump’s exit from our White House.
But I’m lingering on the fact that this revelation goes beyond what Mueller and his team found, and it raises fresh questions about how much else was known and hidden from public view, then aggressively lied about day after day. (I never want to hear the words “Russia” and “hoax” side-by-side again.) After Bowen Yang’s breathtaking SNL bit as the Titanic iceberg and the 109th anniversary days ago of that fateful sinking on April 15, 1912, I’m reminded that we surely have seen only a tip of what this corrupt operation kept from us.
The Biden Administration has plenty on its plate, including overcoming the pandemic, passing its infrastructure plan, confronting the climate crisis, beating back GOP efforts to deny Black and brown citizens the right to vote, dealing with white supremacist domestic terrorists, and prosecuting insurrectionists inside and outside the government.
But if we are going to have a fighting chance to repair our democracy, then the Biden folks must keep releasing as much as they can that reveals the facts and exposes the lies that were spread over the last four years. Transparency and honesty are not simply ideals; they are a necessity to rebuild trust and save the republic.
On a completely different note, it’s been seven weeks since I launched America, America. I want to pause and ask you what you like, what you don’t like, what you want more of, what you’d be happy to see less of. I have a head full of possible new directions and additions to what we’re doing now. But I really will benefit from your input. So go ahead: Tell me what you think.