Over the past few days, a number of intelligence leaks have emerged to illustrate a picture of President Trump as a compromised asset for an aggressive rival foreign power. Should these reports be accurate — and the allegations proven to be true — then Americans are living in perhaps the most pivotal moment in their national history.
Over the weekend, Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein revealed to CNN, via Twitter, that he has been told that the final report of special counsel Robert Mueller will show how President Trump aided Russia in their bid to “destabilize the United States.” The Palmer Report notes that there is dual significance in this statement. The Mueller investigation has been intensely protective of information related to the probe, choosing to release information to the public in the form of detailed, unredacted sections of court filings related to the investigation. Yet much of the information in those court filings remains redacted and under seal, and there has been almost no leaks from the special counsel, despite intense media scrutiny. Concurrently, Bernstein is a veteran journalist who has not only experienced a similar situation — as a primary figure in the uncovering of the Watergate scandal — but has also developed a reputation over his long career for reporting with honesty and integrity.
That Mueller’s team would choose Bernstein to report the leak of the draft report makes sense, in that there would be little doubt in the veracity of Bernstein’s reporting. The fact that Mueller’s report is focused on President Trump’s willingness to do the bidding of Vladimir Putin is damning.
Bernstein’s bombshell came just one day after the FBI leaked information to the New York Times about their counterintelligence investigation into President Trump — particularly after he fired FBI Director James Comey and announced on national television that the firing was due to “the Russia thing.” According to the New York Times story, the FBI had significant information regarding President Trump’s potential collusion with Russia, but Comey’s firing triggered an investigation into the possibility that President Trump was operating as a Russian asset. It is the first time in American history that the [resident has been the subject of a counterintelligence investigation.
Concurrently, the Washington Post reported that President Trump went to “extraordinary lengths” to conceal the details of his conversations with Vladimir Putin at the 2017 Group of 20 Summit in Germany — as well as his meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland. President Trump allegedly confiscated the notes of his interpreter, and told the interpreter not to discuss the meeting with anyone.
This perfect storm of incriminating evidence “all points in the same direction,” according to Tom Nichols, a professor of national security at the Naval War College and the Harvard Extension School. Nichols wrote about the mounting evidence against President Trump in the pages of USA Today. “(E)ven had Mueller never been appointed, we are already in the midst of the most astonishing scandal in American history.”