Since President Trump repeatedly denies the truth of Russian hacking and interference in the 2016 election, people are convinced of his collusion with Russia, but Senate Majority Leader Republican Moscow Mitch McConnell’s consistency in providing aid to Russia has to elevate him to equal Russia collusion status.
Americans now know a well-established fact, that America, the world’s freest and most powerful democracy, had its election security sabotaged by Russia the world’s least free and most powerful kleptocracy. Because President Trump appeared to be the only American leader blind to this fact he has been accused of colluding with Russia, but the more we learn about the actions of Senate Majority Leader Moscow Mitch McConnell we must add Moscow Mitch to the possible colluder list.
Back in 2016 before the 2016 Clinton v Trump election, former Homeland Security Adviser to former President Barack Obama, Lisa Monaco, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and former FBI Director James B. Comey went to a secure room in the Capitol used for briefings involving classified information to brief the gang of 12. The gang of 12 included former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Moscow Mitch, other House and Senate leaders, as well as the chairmen and ranking members of both House and Senate committees on intelligence and homeland security.
The briefing laid out the evidence that all U.S. intelligence agencies had collected, showing Russia’s role in cyber-intrusions in at least two states and in hacking the emails of Democratic organizations and individuals. The purpose of the classified briefing was to get Senate and House leaders to sign off on a bipartisan statement. The statement would urge state and local officials to take federal help in protecting their voting-registration and balloting machines from Russian cyber-intrusions.
After officials finished the classified briefing to the gang of 12 Democrats in the room unanimously agreed on the need to take the threat seriously. Moscow Mitch raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made it clear to the briefers that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics. When then CIA Director John Brennan, who had had two intelligence sources “deep inside the Kremlin” reported the same intelligence in a separate classified briefing to Moscow Mitch his response was, “You’re trying to screw the Republican nominee.”
Even after all the indictments of Russian individuals and Russian companies that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation produced, and all the evidence of Russians hacking state election networks that Mueller’s Report documented, Moscow Mitch still continues to block all attempts stop Russia from doing it again in 2020. The same day that Mueller testified before the House Intelligence Committee about the certainty of Russian hacking and interference, Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, went to the Senate floor to request unanimous consent to pass legislation requiring presidential campaigns to report to the FBI any offers of assistance from agents of foreign governments.
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) representing Moscow Mitch objected killing any chance for passage of the bill. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) then attempted to move a bill that would require campaigns to report to the FBI contributions by foreign nationals, once again Sen. Smith objected. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) came to the Senate floor and said “The majority leader, our colleague from Kentucky, must stop blocking this common-sense legislation and allow this body to better defend itself against foreign hackers,” he then tried to force action on bipartisan legislation, written with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and supported by Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), protecting lawmakers from foreign cyber-attacks. Even with strong Republican co-sponsorship, Sen. Smith continued to object.
The following day Democrat Minority Leader Chuck Schumer asked for the Senate to pass the Securing America’s Federal Elections Act, already passed by the House, which would direct $600 million in election assistance to states and require backup paper ballots. This time Moscow Mitch came to the Senate floor himself to say “It’s just a highly partisan bill from the same folks who spent two years hyping up a conspiracy theory about President Trump and Russia, therefore, I object.” How Moscow Mitch could honestly believe this when the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee, whose Chairman Richard Burr serves at the pleasure of Moscow Mitch, released a bipartisan report that concluded election systems in all 50 states were targeted by Russia in 2016. Moscow Mitch might be pretending to believe Russia’s innocence because he has been bought off by Russia.
Last December a bipartisan group of Senators sought to block a deal to lift sanctions on 3 companies associated with Russia’s malicious cyber activities and attempts to subvert Western democracies. Moscow Mitch led the vote to allow the sanctions to be lifted. The 3 companies are linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, months later, one of these companies announced a $200 million investment into an aluminum mill in Moscow Mitch’s state of Kentucky.
This was not the first time Russians rewarded Moscow Mitch. Back in 2016 while the Obama administration was trying in vain to get Moscow Mitch to join them in warning the 50 states about Russian hacking, Len Blavatnik, co-owner of 1 of the 3 previously sanctioned companies, donated $3.5 million to Moscow Mitch’s GOP Leadership Fund, gave another $1 million in 2017, and also contributed another $3.5 million to other McConnell supported PACs.
Most are convinced President Trump colluded with the Russians because they interfered with the 2016 elections to benefit him, but the Mueller Report said it could not find evidence that President Trump and Russia colluded to make that interference happen, and the Trump Tower Moscow project has yet to materialize meaning at this point there is no visible pay-off between President Trump and Russia. Moscow Mitch, however, is a different story, there is evidence of many pay-offs to Majority Senate Leader Moscow Mitch McConnell, who when it’s all said and done might turn out to be the BIGGEST COLLUDER OF THEM ALL!!!
Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center. Growing up in one of the most socially and politically active families has given him a unique perspective on current events. Drop by his website for straight talk free of one-sided political spin.
Originally published at https://isaacnewtonfarris.com on August 6, 2019.