Donald Trump’s Russia scandal has deepened with a report that the president’s team hand-delivered a plan to now-resigned General Michael Flynn to outline a plan to lift sanctions on Russia, one that comes amid growing fears inside the Kremlin that Trump could ultimately be impeached if the full scandal is made public.
Just one week after the resignation of General Michael Flynn for discussing Russian sanctions, a new report from the New York Times found that Donald Trump’s team has already been discussing plans to lift the sanctions. This plan was reportedly hand-delivered to Michael Flynn just a week before he resigned.
“Mr. Flynn is gone, having been caught lying about his own discussion of sanctions with the Russian ambassador. But the proposal, a peace plan for Ukraine and Russia, remains, along with those pushing it: Michael D. Cohen, the president’s personal lawyer, who delivered the document; Felix H. Sater, a business associate who helped Mr. Trump scout deals in Russia; and a Ukrainian lawmaker trying to rise in a political opposition movement shaped in part by Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager Paul D. Manafort.”
The report noted that Trump’s team is “eager to wade into Russia-related efforts” despite a number of investigations into possible collusion between Donald Trump and Russian intelligence on the election, including reports that Russia worked with the campaign to release damaging information hacked from Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
As the New York Times noted, the new revelation about a plan to end Russian sanctions appears to corroborate information from a dossier compiled last year alleging cooperation between Trump’s campaign and Russian government and intelligence officials.
“The F.B.I. is reviewing an unverified dossier, compiled by a former British intelligence agent and funded by Mr. Trump’s political opponents, that claims Mr. Cohen met with a Russian representative in Prague during the presidential campaign to discuss Russia’s hacking of Democratic targets. But the Russian official named in the report told The New York Times that he had never met Mr. Cohen. Mr. Cohen insists that he has never visited Prague and that the dossier’s assertions are fabrications,” the report noted.
It’s not clear if there is any connection to the new report of a plan to end Russian sanctions and any kind of quid pro quo — the New York Times offers no such information — but if the allegations in the dossier were proved true, many believe it would lead to Donald Trump’s impeachment.
That appears to be a growing fear among many Russian officials. As Foreign Policy reported, the Kremlin fears that the allegations could blow up against Donald Trump, leading to his impeachment and ultimately creating a strong backlash against Russia.
“What the Kremlin fears most today is that Trump may be ousted or even killed. His ouster, Kremlin insiders argue, is bound to unleash a virulent and bipartisan anti-Russian campaign in Washington. Oddly, therefore, Putin has become a hostage to Trump’s survival and success. This has seriously restricted Russia’s geopolitical options. The Kremlin is perfectly aware that Democrats want to use Russia to discredit and possibly impeach Trump while Republican elites want to use Russia to deflate and discipline Trump. The Russian government fears not only Trump’s downfall, of course, but also the possibility that he could opportunistically switch to a tough anti-Moscow line in order to make peace with hawkish Republican leaders in Congress.”
While the details of Donald Trump’s Russian scandal are still hazy, there are signs that investigations into the accusations are moving forward. On Friday, a bipartisan group of Senators met with FBI Director James Comey, leading to what Fox News referred to as an “uncanny silence” among these lawmakers.
[Featured Image by Aude Guerrucci – Pool/Getty Images]