By Hannah Hawkins
With all of the crazy accusations that occurred during the 2016 Presidential Election, one stood out farther than the rest: possible Russian ties to Trump’s campaign. There have been many other wild accusations, or distractions, from Russia’s involvement. This article explains the accusations and events leading up to the investigation. All information has been gathered from The New York Times’ website.
On Monday, March 20th, FBI director James B. Comey confirmed that the FBI is investigating whether members of Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia to help Trump win the election. Our 45th president has made wild accusations, claiming that The New York Times is “fake news,” which he also said about Russia. Comey has stated that this investigation will go on “no matter how long it takes.” Trump has used distraction tactics from the Russia subject, claiming that former president, Barack Obama, wiretapped him during his campaign. After Trump tweeted about the alleged wiretapping, Comey was asked what he would do with this information. He replied, “I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the F.B.I.” He also added that the Justice Department has no evidence supporting the wiretapping tweets. Comey, along with Adm. Michael S. Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, proved this information to be false. The FBI is “investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts,” Comey stated.
A Trump campaign organizer by the name of Michael T. Flynn was paid more than $65,000 by companies linked to Russia back in 2015. He was forced to resign after misrepresenting his conversations he had had with the Russian Ambassador to the United States. Officials have said that they have found no information of interaction between the Trump campaign and Russia, however current and former officials claimed that our president’s associates were in repeated contact with Russian officials. Including people linked to Russian intelligence. White House press secretary, Sean Spicer stated that the more concerning issue as to the Russian involvement with Trump’s campaign is where this information is coming from. Spicer and other members of Trump’s team have claimed it came from former members of the Obama administration. During the election, Democrats repeatedly brought up the Trump campaign’s involvement with Russia, depicting Trump as a presidential candidate who supported pro-Russian views. Representative Adam B. Schiff, a top Democrat of the intelligence committee, is quoted as saying, “Is it possible that all of these events and reports are completely unrelated and nothing more than an entirely unhappy coincidence? Yes, it is possible. But it is also possible, maybe more than possible, that they are not coincidental, not disconnected, and not unrelated.”
There has been no new information concerning the investigation of Russian ties to Trump’s campaign. Comey has not said when he expects the investigation to end, or if he wants to make the results public.
Hannah Hawkins, from Illiopolis, Illinois is a Junior here at Illinois College and is majoring in Communication and Rhetorical Studies and minoring in Theatre. She is a Contributing Writer and the Web Designer for the Illinois College Newspaper, The Rambler. Hannah is a very active member in the theatre department and loves her dog more than most people.