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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/6/18

Russiagate Cover for Real Scandal

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Finian Cunningham
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So the US news media are in uproar over President Trump's latest admission that a meeting between his son and a Russian lawyer more than two years ago was about "getting dirt" on Hillary Clinton.

With self-righteous probity, Trump's political and media enemies are declaring him a felon for accepting foreign interference in the US presidential election.

Admittedly, President Trump appears to have been telling lies about the past meeting, which took place at Trump Tower in New York City in the summer of 2016. Or maybe it's just this American president shooting himself in the foot -- again -- with his inimical gibberish-style.

However, the burning issue of "foreign interference" is being stoked out of all proportion by Trump's enemies who want him ousted from the White House.

US constitutional law forbids candidates from receiving help from foreign governments or foreign nationals.

Thus, by appearing to accept a meeting with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 -- during the presidential campaign -- the Trump election team are accused of breaking US law.

The alleged transgression fits in with the wider narrative of "Russiagate" which posits that Republican candidate Donald Trump colluded with the Kremlin to win the race to the White House against Democrat rival Hillary Clinton.

Russia has always denied any involvement in the US elections, saying the allegations are preposterous. Moscow also points out that in spite of indictments leveled by American prosecutors, there is no evidence to support claims that Russian hackers meddled in the presidential campaign, or that the Kremlin somehow assisted Trump.

The Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with the Trump campaign team in early June 2016 is described in US media as "Kremlin-linked." But that seems to be just more innuendo in place of facts. She denies any such connection. The Kremlin also says it had no relation with the attorney on her business of approaching Team Trump.

In any case, what is being totally missed in the latest brouhaha is the staggering hypocrisy in the US media circus over Trump. Let's take Trump at his word -- not a reliable source admittedly -- that his campaign team were trying to "get dirt" on Clinton. That would appear to be a violation of US law.

If Trump is going to be nailed for improper conduct with regard to alleged foreign assistance, then where does that leave Hillary Clinton and US intelligence agencies?

During the presidential campaign, Clinton's team contracted a British spy, Christopher Steele, to dig up dirt on Trump in the form of the so-called "Russian dossier." That was the pile of absurd claims alleging that the Kremlin had blackmailing leverage over Donald Trump. It was Steele's fantasies that largely turned into the whole Russiagate affair, which has dominated US media and politics for the past two years.

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Author and journalist. Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal (more...)

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