In a nutshell, there are 3 basic agendas driving Russia-gate :
1. As noted by many, using alleged Russian "interference" as a scapegoat for Clinton & the dems defeat in 2016.
2. As a cover for censorship, suppressing dissent and intimidation of those who challenge the official story--the new McCarthyism.
3. Most fundamentally, and too often missed or downplayed among those of us who challenge the Russia-gate official story, the long game strategy to go after Russia--the only country which has the power and political interest to "veto" (to use the word in the recent U.S. defense strategy document), to check U.S. designs for maintaining world hegemony. The U.S. aims to destabilize and balkanize Russia, as well as decapitate Putin or any other Russian leader who isn't pliant.
Ultimately, it's all about preserving U.S. hegemony in the face of the rising power of both China and Russia in what for a brief 20 year stretch after the collapse of the USSR was a uni-polar world where the U.S. had unchecked sway to do what it wanted, ending around 2012 or so when Russia out of defensive necessity re-entered the fray.
Trump's call for rapproachement with Russia was more a question of where the main obstacle to U.S. designs resides. in the short run, the neo-con neo-liberal deep state consensus targets Russia, not China, which is where Bannon et al wanted to direct the blow. Trump's position, no doubt motivated in large part by whatever financial gains he anticipated made him an outlier--until as Assange noted, he was "digested" by the deep state.
Ultimately it's not about Trump. It's about Russia.
And it's a huge mistake to hinge opposition to neo-fascist Trump on the evidence-free claims of Russia-gate.i
Here's a thought experiment : would there have been an anti -Russia crusade if Clinton would have won the presidency ? sure, it would have taken on a different character, but there's little doubt it was part of her agenda--the neo-con neo-liberal bipartisan consensus to eliminate Russia as a player.
And here's another thought experiment : given Sanders recent pronouncements indicating he's fully on board with that deep state consensus, would he have broken with that agenda which is increasingly driving the U.S. to direct military confrontation with Russia ???
(Article changed on March 26, 2018 at 19:26)