The following article by Joe Conason was posted on the National Memo website March 23, 2017:
On Wednesday, CNN reported what many of us who closely follow the Russian hacking scandal have expected for months: The FBI has evidence of contacts between unnamed “associates of Donald Trump” and “suspected Russian operatives” during last year’s presidential election — and possibly coordinated with Russians to attack the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party.
Coming two days after FBI director James Comey confirmed that his agency has been investigating the Trump campaign’s connections with Russian interference in the election since July 2016, the CNN report is stunning but not surprising. It also follows an Associated Press report on Tuesday that Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chair, had secretly devised a plan as early as 2005 to “greatly aid” the Putin regime by influencing the U .S. government and media. (Evidence that he pursued precisely such a campaign can be found in this 2008 Nationarticle by Mark Ames and Ari Berman, detailing efforts by Manafort and his partner Rick Davis to promote pro-Russian positions and policies with Arizona Senator and 2008 presidential candidate John McCain.) (more…)