Trump’s True Betrayal: A Pattern Of Soliciting Foreign Election Interference

Screengrab / @FBI / Twitter

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Did President Donald Trump solicit foreign interference in the upcoming presidential election?

According to a 2019 report from Just Security, President Trump has a “pattern of soliciting foreign interference in US Elections,” and this has been clear “since the White House released the call record of Trump’s July 25 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.”

  • During this call, “Trump asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.”
  • This solicitation “alarmed the whistleblower and pushed him to file an official complaint at great risk to his personal safety and his career,” the report stated.

He wrote: “In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”

  • Later in August 2019, “the Acting Director of National Intelligence and Inspector General for the Intelligence Community referred the allegations to the Justice Department as a possible criminal matter. This meant that upon learning of Trump’s ask alone (forget everything else we’ve learned), multiple senior government lawyers, all appointed by Trump, were worried the president had committed a crime.”
  • Federal law “prohibits a person from soliciting, accepting or receiving a ‘contribution or donation of money or other thing of value’ from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election,” Just Security wrote.

“Trump has a pattern of asking foreign governments to interfere in U.S. elections to help him win. But, so far, there have been zero consequences for Trump’s actions, despite the Mueller Report and the chair of the Federal Election Commission making it clear that accepting or soliciting foreign interference in the election is a serious crime,” Just Security reported.

  • The pattern starts in July 2016, when Trump “famously asked Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s ‘missing’ emails,” the report said. The Trump Campaign “also tried to obtain Clinton’s emails via Russian hackers through the work of Peter Smith, an investment adviser active in Republican politics.”
  • After “his call with Zelenskyy was made public, Trump once again suggested a foreign government should interfere in the election; this time, asking China to investigate the Bidens,” Just Security continued.
  • Although many Republicans and White House officials tried to say “Trump’s comments were just a joke,” China “didn’t view Trump’s request as a joke.”

“We have no intention of intervening in the domestic affairs of the United States,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement in October.

“The pattern is more than clear: Trump has repeatedly asked foreign governments to interfere in U.S. elections to help him maintain political power,” Just Security concluded. “And there is no reason to expect him to stop.”

Read the full report here.

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