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And here’s why Republicans really spent the day in a high state of panic.
The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, US officials told CNN.
On Monday, many Republicans were behaving as if they expected FBI Director Comey to vindicate Donald Trump, if not on the wiretapping tweets, then at least on the idea that there was an active investigation of connections between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence. Instead Comey confirmed that there was such an investigation. Since then, we’ve learned that there may be multiple investigations that link into the Trump campaign, as well as criminal investigations of activity going on in Trump Tower.
And just two days later, we’re near the point of something absolutely massive.
The FBI is now reviewing that information, which includes human intelligence, travel, business and phone records and accounts of in-person meetings, according to those U.S. officials. The information is raising the suspicions of FBI counterintelligence investigators that the coordination may have taken place, though officials cautioned that the information was not conclusive and that the investigation is ongoing.
What’s in question here isn’t Trump’s ties to Russian oligarchs—we already know those are true. It’s not Paul Manafort’s schemes in Ukraine, or Michael Flynn chatting with the Russian ambassador over sanctions. This is the possibility of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian agencies working to subvert the US election. Treason is not too big a word.
One law enforcement official said the information in hand suggests “people connected to the campaign were in contact and it appeared they were giving the thumbs up to release information when it was ready.”