Garrett Gaff, writer of the biography of Robert Mueller (The Threat Matrix: Inside Robert Mueller’s FBI and the War on Global Terror) joins the UnPresidential Podcast to discuss the Russia probe.
When asked, how did we get here? Gaff responds that “the whole thing began as an effort to protect the Trump campaign.” The probe began as an FBI counterintelligence investigation, which is meant to counter the attempt of a foreign adversary to influence Americans.
The FBI began to notice that several Russia-linked figures were circulating around the Trump campaign, so a counterintelligence investigation was launched to ensure that the Trump campaign wouldn’t be co-opted by Russian figures. There was then a realization that the Trump campaign was actually coordinating with the Russian figures, not discouraging them.
Gaff says that if they had known the details of the Trump involvement with Russian operatives in the summer of 2016, it would have been “obviously disqualifying to Donald Trump as a candidate.”
Gaff continues to say that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell stopped the rallying cry throughout Capitol Hill to launch impeachment proceedings after Russian involvement became common knowledge. Gaff said that this should be “on a list of Mitch McConnell’s shames in life.”
“The top item should be that Mitch McConnell aided and abetted the Russian attack on the 2016 election,” Gaff noted.
The fact that McConnell refused to make keeping foreign influence out of American elections a nonpartisan issue should be one of McConnell’s greatest shames, according to Gaff.
It is better to think that Trump was actively coordinating with the Russians rather than think that our President was played as a fool by Russian operatives, says Gaff. If Trump was simply duped by the Russian operatives, it would be a much worse scenario.
Gaff predicts that “over some period of time” justice will be served. Yet, not everyone who is guilty will go to jail. He says that the important question is not “will justice be done?” it is, “will American be able to move forward at the end of this?”