The Trump Administration leveled long awaited sanctions on Russia thus dealing a near lethal blow to the Russia/Trump collusion conspiracy theory Democrats have been peddling for over a year now.
The sanctions target a number of Russian organizations and individuals related to interference in the 2016 presidential election as well as other costly cyberattacks. These are truly biting sanctions that many critics of the Trump Administration proclaimed would never be applied however, President Trump has once again defied the conspiratorial accusations leveled by various Democrats.
The Russian organizations and individuals targeted in the sanctions were all named in the special counsel’s indictment regarding the Russian effort to spread disinformation in order to disrupt the American election. However the special counsel’s indictment also claims the Russian efforts did not have an impact on the election, did not alter the election outcome, nor did any American “wittingly” participate in any of the Russian meddling efforts.
There are five organizations and 19 individuals that are named in the sanctions. Two of the five Russian organizations named in the sanctions are Russian intelligence outfits, Federal Security Service (FSB) and Russian military intelligence (GRU). The sanctions restrict travel to the United States, freezes any assets in the United States, and bars any American individual and/or American company from doing business with any of the entities or individuals named therein.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin issued a statement in which he stated, “The administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyberactivity, including their attempted interference in U.S. elections, destructive cyberattacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure.” Mnuchin continued, “These targeted sanctions are part of a broader effort to address the ongoing nefarious attacks emanating from Russia.”
The sanctions also named an extremely damaging cyberattack known as “NotPetya” which wreaked havoc in the United States, Europe, and Asia. The Treasury Department claims NotPetya was one of “the most destructive and costly cyberattack in history.”
President Trump’s decision to apply sanctions to Russia is a direct contradiction to the Russian collusion narrative Democrats have been proclaiming for over a year. The sanctions come just days after the House Intelligence Committee completed their investigation into Russian meddling efforts and cleared the President of any Russian collusion in his 2016 pursuit for the White House. The Senate Intelligence Committee is in the midst of wrapping up their investigation into Russian meddling and the possibility of Trump/Russia collusion however, they are expected to announce a similar conclusion as the House Intelligence Committee did.
The February 16, 2018 indictment filed by Robert Mueller charging 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian entities with meddling in the 2016 Presidential election made clear that no Americans were ever involved in the Russian meddling efforts. We must assume that the term “no Americans” also pertains to the Trump team since they too are Americans. The second nail in the special counsel’s coffin appears to be the House Intelligence Committee’s assessment of Russian meddling which stated that no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was ever uncovered. Thus clearing the President and his campaign of any wrongdoing through the United States House of Representatives.
The final nail in the special counsel’s coffin will be when the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence releases their assessment of Russian meddling efforts and the possibility of Trump/Russia collusion. This assessment, much like the House Intelligence Committee, is reported to have found no evidence of collusion with Russia on behalf of the Trump Campaign.
Once the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence releases their assessment, President Trump will have every reason needed to fire the special counsel. The special counsel’s indictment has already cleared all Americans of colluding with Russian Meddling efforts and it appears the both intelligence committees out of Congress will concur. So what is left for the special counsel to investigate? Obstruction of Justice can no longer be considered a viable charge since collusion never took place. What would the President be obstructing if he knew that he never colluded with Russia in order to secure the Presidency?
It’s worth noting that Director of the FBI serves at the pleasure of the President. When the president no longer has pleasure in the service of a political appointee, the president has unlimited authority and discretion to remove that individual. In this instance it was James Comey and every reason President Trump gave for Comey’s dismissal falls in-line with the President’s authority as it pertains to appointees that serve at his/her pleasure. Even if President Trump didn’t like the color of Comey’s tie on Inauguration Day, he had the right to fire him.
President Trump is also making big changes to the staff in the White House which could also be an indicator as to what he has in store for the special counsel.