A business associate of President Trump promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, that he said would help Mr. Trump win the presidency.The business associate, Felix Sater, wrote a series of emails to Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, in which he boasted about his ties to Mr. Putin and predicted that building a Trump Tower in Moscow would be a political boon to Mr. Trump’s candidacy.“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Mr. Sater wrote in an email. “I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”
A top executive from Donald Trump’s real estate company emailed Vladimir Putin’s personal spokesman during the U.S. presidential campaign last year to ask for help advancing a stalled Trump Tower development project in Moscow, according to documents submitted to Congress Monday.Michael Cohen, a Trump attorney and executive vice president for the Trump Organization, sent the email in January 2016 to Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s top press aide.
- Trump’s family, associates and campaign staff had numerous contacts with Russia during the campaign and post-election transition. Evidence exists that Trump’s personal attorney was seeking help from Putin as Trump was running a peculiar campaign that omitted any harsh talk about Russia.
- Trump lied in saying no such contacts occurred. Other members of his administration omitted mention of their Russian contacts on required security applications.
- Trump’s son and son-in-law met with Russian officials for the purpose of obtaining damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
- Trump openly encouraged Russian hacking of his opponent and in the closing days of the campaign made dozens and dozens of references to WikiLeaks.
- Once in office, he tried to pressure then-FBI Director James B. Comey, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers to curtail the investigation into fired national security adviser Michael Flynn.
- After Comey refused, Trump fired him, concocted a fake reason for the firing, attempted to intimidate him before his testimony (e.g. hinting at tapes, threatening to investigate for leaking information) and publicly continued to hint at his power to remove both the attorney general and special prosecutor.
Trump has embarrassed the presidential office in innumerable ways, and members of the House and Senate are obliged to organize these incidents in their heads and get a handle on their constitutional significance. There is a wrong way and a right way to go about this task. The wrong way is to treat the launch of an impeachment inquiry as a matter of political popularity or opportunism. … The right approach is to commit to a clear-eyed and ongoing assessment of Trump’s words and actions against the obligations of the office and to trace out the effects of his misconduct on the security and welfare of the United States.