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February 26, 2018 | by  | in Politics |
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Trump’s America

Over a year has passed since a steely-faced Donald Trump took to the stage as the newly appointed President-Elect. In contrast to the display of high energy he boasted on the campaign trail, Trump seemed to only face the reality of the role as he accepted it, inexperienced and unprepared. There has been many a scandal since that day. Controversial confirmations, golf trips, twitter spats and paid-off porn stars have all contributed to the media storm that has surrounded his presidency; a media storm that has served to distract from an ongoing investigation into the Trump administration.

An FBI investigation into attacks on American democracy by Russian agents began by looking into a 2016 meeting held at Trump Tower. Top Trump campaign advisors and nepotism beneficiaries agreed to meet with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer, and advocate against the 2012 Magnitsky Act. Signed into law by Obama, the Act enforces sanctions preventing a number of Russian officials from entering the U.S. and utilizing its banking systems. In exchange for opening up dialogue on the Magnitsky Act, Veselnitskaya secures her audience with a quid pro quo arrangement: meet with me, and we will provide dirt on Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. responds – “I love it!”

Russian meddling in the election sought to increase Trump’s chances of seizing the presidency by sabotaging those of the Democratic candidates. Subsequent Russian interference has worked towards maintaining the divisive political instability exacerbated by Trump’s win: elaborate networks of Russian social media accounts posing as US citizens have been traced back to the violent ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville; mounting anti-media and anti-FBI rhetoric; and the fueling of political and anti-legislature conspiracies in response to acts of domestic terror. As he vies for his fourth term as Russian President, it is a powerful thing for Vladimir Putin to demonstrate how susceptible to outside influence western democracy can be. US intelligence agencies have assessed that he was not only aware of such campaigns, but that he ordered the attacks himself.

As it stands, there has been no retaliation to this interference. Not yet critical of Russia, Trump has routinely taken Putin’s side over that of US intelligence. By ignoring a bill with full partisan support to punish the systematic meddling, Trump has created a constitutional crisis – one that lingered in headlines no longer than any other scandal. As the upcoming midterm election lies open to further attacks, the FBI investigation slowly closes in, gradually embroiling past and present associates with charges of conspiracy. Trump’s attempts to obstruct the probe as the trail follows a path of dirty money may answer the question: what’s in this for Donald? Over the course of the year I’ll be diving deep into this investigation as it unfolds, one allegation at a time.

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