“You live by Twitter, you die by Twitter,” remarked Abraham Lincoln in the recently published Alternative Historical Facts.
Donald J. Trump rose to the presidency of the United States on the back of his social media account. He used it to bully political opponents into submission, to rally the most psychologically unhinged elements of his base, and, of course, to define the free press as an enemy of the state.
Essentially, Twitter was the platform on which the Orange Gremlin launched his political career, when, in 2011, he accused the first black president of the United States of being a foreign born Muslim.
But in a twist of irony that would make the author of an ancient Greek tragedy blush with embarrassment, it’ll be Twitter that brings down Trump presidency, and possibly putting the Orange Toned Sex Abuser in a prison cell alongside his now befallen National Security Advisor — General Michael Flynn.
Every political scandal has its defining moment, its smoking gun, its one moment that first enters your mind when you think of a major act of political malfeasance.
Watergate’s was the recording between President Nixon and his Chief of Staff, H.R. Halderman, in the Oval Office on June 23, 1972. The recording proved Nixon had, indeed, ordered the cover up of the DNC burglary.
Clinton’s was, of course, his now infamous denial: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
The downfall of Trump will be remembered by a tweet made by the then president-elect on December 30, 2016: “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) — I always knew he was very smart.”
On its own, and in real time, Trump’s tweet caused mild outrage on the left. Here was a president-elect praising a foreign adversary for countering the foreign policy of a sitting US president. But until Monday’s resignation of Flynn, we had no idea how sinister Trump’s treasonous undertones really were. Now we know.
When the Obama administration imposed a fresh round of sanctions on Russia for directly meddling in the 2016 election, which included Russian intelligence officers hacking US government officials, for the purpose of swinging the election result in Trump’s favor, Flynn put a phone call through to the Russian ambassador. We now know the pair spoke specifically about the sanctions, and based on the fact Putin did not respond to renewed sanctions in the normative or customary manner — insofar as US diplomats were not ejected from Russia — we can be certain the conversation followed a predictable trajectory i.e. “Don’t respond to Obama’s sanctions, we will be in office in 3 weeks, and we will make this right.”
In light of these new revelations, Trump’s December 30 tweet becomes all the more damning.
Trump’s presidency will not and cannot survive what is becoming a cascade of damning evidence.
The intelligence community has revealed the Trump campaign had “frequent” and “constant” contact with Russian intelligence agents throughout the nearly 2-year presidential campaign. “There are no good reasons for the Trump campaign to have been in contact with Russian intelligence agents. Russian intelligence agents are adversaries of the United States,” remarked one security analyst.
It was Russian intelligence agents who carried out the hacking attacks on DNC staff and US government emails. This really is the smoking gun for Trump’s sedition against the United States. It’d be one thing if the Trump campaign were speaking with Russian state officials; it’s another they were secretly communicating with the very people who were carrying out an attack on US democracy.
It’s now no secret the US intelligence community is now in “open revolt” against the Trump White House, choosing to withhold Russian specific intelligence out of the belief “the Kremlin has ears in the Oval Office.”
If these facts were seen in isolation, a broader case might still need to be made. But the circumstantial evidence is laid bare before our very own eyes. When you combine what we know above with what we also know below, you can see it’s impossible for Trump to survive charges of colluding with a foreign adversary to undermine the democratic process:
-Russia meddled (hacks and fake news propaganda campaign) in election to swing election in Trump’s favor.
-Trump praised Russian hacking.
-Three senior Trump aides have been fired after revelations of their close ties to Russia: Flynn, Manafort, and Page.
-US intercepts catch senior Russian officials celebrating Trump win.
-Trump parroted pro-Russia propaganda throughout the election.
-Trump criticized every country, every world leader but one — Putin.
And what is probably the most damning evidence of all — Trump had anti-Russian stance on Ukraine suddenly removed from GOP’s 2016 party platform.
Moreover, it’s impossible Flynn acted alone when he violated the anti-espionage Logan Act by speaking to the Russian ambassador about US sanctions. Nearly every former White House operative has dismissed the “NSC Director gone rogue” narrative out of hand.
The White House is down. Olympus has fallen. Congressional Republicans now remain the last line of defense between Trump, impeachment, and possibly even a US federal jail cell.
Follow CJ Werleman:
Twitter: CJ Werleman
Middle East Eye: http://www.middleeasteye.net/users/cj-werleman