With only hours to go before Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President of the United States, American intelligence agencies appeared to be accelerating investigations between his campaign staff and Russia. The New York Times reported Tuesday night that counterintelligence agencies are reviewing ” intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links,” between Russia and Trump’s campaign.
Paul Manafort, former campaign chairman, Carter Page, former foreign policy adviser to the campaign, and Republican operative Roger Stone, are among those being investigated. Very few details of the wide-reaching investigation have been divulged, but as the Times reports, the reason for urgency is clear.
Of the half-dozen current and former officials who confirmed the existence of the investigations, some said they were providing information because they feared the new administration would obstruct their efforts. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the cases.
Donald Trump takes the oath of office under unprecedented conditions; with his associates under investigation, and the intelligence community already having concluded that the Russian government interfered to aid in his election.
At this time, “no conclusive evidence” has been offered as to specific campaign aides involvement. However, the lead investigating office, the F.B I. is working with the C.I.A. the National Security Agency and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes division. The Senate intelligence committee has also started an investigation into Russia’s role in the election.
With the breadth and scope of these investigations, all coming from fundamentally conservative bodies, is it unreasonable to wonder if Donald Trump’s presidency going to last a full term? Are we going to witness Mike Pence’s inauguration in 2017, as well? He would certainly be preferable to the RNC rank-and-file. And it’s always been questionable whether or not Trump really wanted Pence as his V.P. pick; certainly he was announced without Trump’s consent. Did Republicans place Pence in the slot, knowing they could remove Trump after riding his populist surge into the Oval Office?
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