The United States faces an “extraordinary moment”, writes David Rothkopf for the Daily Beast, as the president and controlling members of Congress all but turn a blind eye to the most egregious infringement upon U.S. sovereignty in American history.
The indictments of the 12 Russian military officers accused of engaging in a coordinated attack on the United States to try to make their preferred candidate our president are a vital reminder that the Mueller investigation cannot and must not be seen as a political issue.
The fact that on Friday we also heard from our Director of National Intelligence, a conservative GOP former senator from Indiana, that the cyber offensive (of which the GRU, Russian military intelligence, attacks were part of) is ongoing and that "we are at a critical point" in which "the warning signs are there" is also salient.
The timing of these indictments and warnings is surely no accident: President Donald Trump is set to meet one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who as Rothkopf notes “certainly approved, oversaw and continues to oversee these attacks.”
The message this sends to Putin is one that ideally would come first and foremost from the president — but these are extraordinary times.
[T]his president has proven to be the staunchest defender of Putin and the most active advocate of covering up or denying these attacks. He did it again this week even while aware of the indictments.
Further, the White House response to the indictments — which again does not deal with the ongoing threat to our democracy posed by the Russians but instead (wrongly) seeks to exonerate the president from his involvement in this affair — confirms the wisdom of their actions.
Rothkopf asserts that Trump's ongoing hostility toward the Russia probe, assisted by congressional Republicans, in itself is tantamount to collusion: American elected officials, in working to discredit and thwart the investigation, are aiding and abetting Russia.
That the president is abetted in his aid for the Russians — again, in the midst of this ongoing attack — by the leadership of the Republican Party makes the situation all the more extraordinary and dangerous. As Republicans seek to undermine the investigation, they serve Russia as directly as if they were officers of the GRU. Some now reportedly seek to impeach Rosenstein on trumped up charges. To attack one of our national defense leaders as we are being attacked, and to do so to benefit our foreign adversary, is textbook treason.
[G]iven the success the Russians have had to date and the power of their defenders within our system, we simply do not know whether this ambitious campaign of theirs will continue to succeed. Their collaborators could kill the investigation that is revealing the scope and nature of their plans. Their colluders could win victory after victory. And so can the Russians.