A top foreign policy expert has declared Donald Trump "guilty" in a major article published by the respected Foreign Policy magazine on Tuesday, but Max Boot adds that "the only remaining question is what exactly he's guilty of." According to Boot, Trump made a "corrupt bargain" with Russia, promising to lift damaging economic sanctions in exchange for Russian help in the 2016 presidential election.
Boot, who was born in Russia but emigrated to the United States when he was just 6-years-old, wrote that "any sentient being who is capable of rational thought about the U.S. president" must now admit that Trump struck a "quid pro quo" bargain with the Kremlin.
"Russian President Vladimir Putin would help Donald Trump win the U.S. presidential election, and in return Trump would lift sanctions on Russia," Boot wrote, describing the "quid pro quo" deal.
Boot is currently the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow for national security studies at the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations. He is also the author of several books, including his latest, The Road Not Taken, a history of the Vietnam war that has received praise from, among others, Retired General and former CIA Director David Petraeus.
Read Boot's article, titled "Donald Trump is Guilty," in its entirety by visiting this link.
Boot's article declaring Trump guilty of trading sanctions relief for Russian help winning the 2016 election appeared one day before a high-ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced he has information that Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, told a business partner on the day of Trump's inauguration that Trump planned to "rip up" sanctions against Russia.
Eliminating the sanctions would clear the way for Flynn and his business associates to profit from a scheme to build nuclear reactors throughout the Middle East, according to a letter released Wednesday by Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings.
Flynn was forced to resign just 23 days into Trump's term, supposedly because he lied about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn discussed sanctions with Kislyak in those conversations held after the election but before Trump's inauguration. Last Friday, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Kislyak, and agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's collusion with Russia during the 2016 election campaign.
But Boot says that the mere fact that Trump has not yet succeeded in lifting Russia sanctions does not contradict his alleged quid pro quo deal with Russia over the country's covert help in the election.
"A long line of business partners and wives have discovered how worthless his commitments are," Boot wrote in the article. "In fairness, however, Trump's failure to follow through in this instance wasn't necessarily because he didn't want to; it was because the Russian meddling became public and therefore made it politically impossible for Trump to help out his Russian pal even if he had been inclined do so."
"The question is no longer whether there was collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. Clearly there was," Boot wrote in the Foreign Policy article.
"The question is whether Trump's collusion was limited to the public realm or was there a secret dimension to it?" he continued. "Was he aware of, and did he approve, the Kremlin contacts pursued by his underlings? In other words: What did the president know, and when did he know it?"