Claim 1: There is no evidence of the Trump-Russia Collusion/Scandal
Claim 2: There is tons of evidence/proof of the Trump-Russia Collusion/Scandal
Fact: There is certainly evidence of the Trump Collusion/Scandal. However, reasonable people can disagree on the strength of the evidence.
What Evidence is there of Trump-Russia Scandal/Collusion?
According to Dictionary.com, Evidence is defined as:
- that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.
2. something that makes plain or clear; an indication or sign:
3. Law. data presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in issue and which may include the testimony of witnesses, records, documents, or objects.
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The available facts certainly qualify for the first two definitions. These include:
- Russian political and media elites already siding with Trump as far back as 2015
- Trump’s first foreign policy speech was partially written by someone on the payroll of Russian oil company
- Donald Trump openly urged Russian hacking
- Former Russia adviser to Trump was on Russian payroll
- Flynn who was adviser to security affairs and then national security adviser as on the payroll of a Russian propaganda outlet
- Trump aide, Paul Manafort offered to “influence politics in the U.S. that would favor Russian government interests“
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions (nominated by Trump) essentially lied about contact with Russia during confirmation hearings.
- Jared Kushner (Trump’s son-in-law and part of his administration) omitted contacts with Russia and sought to establish a secret back channel with the Kremlin.
- President Trump’s sudden firing of FBI Director James Comey.
- Donald Trump’s policies have been favorable in regards to Russia
Trump appears to be trying to cancel or at least hinder the investigation
- When asked about the Comey firing, Trump mentions the Russia investigation even though it wasn’t part of the question
- While Trump’s communication team provided ample cover by noting that the firing had been recommended by Jeff Sessions, Trump claimed he was going to fire Comey regardless
- According to James Comey, Trump asked him to 1-Publicly announce he was not being investigated 2-Pledge his allegiance 3- Have the Flynn investigation dropped.
- Donald Trump bragged to Russian officials that he fired Comey which eased pressure from the investigation.
- Trump’s lawyer has ties to Russia and won Russia’s ‘law firm of the year’ award
- The White House is no longer answering questions related to the investigation
It would seem obvious that these independent facts would lead to suspicion of collusion, barring some sort of confirmation bias against such suspicion. To be clear, this could all be coincidence and many of these anomalies could simple be due to President Trump’s apparent impulsiveness and unorthodox manner of doing things.