As President Barack Obama weathered through his final days in the Oval Office, a scramble to preserve evidence of the Trump-Russia scandal occurred around him.
The Obama administration understood the severity and depth of the allegations into the Donald Trump – Putin connection, and allegedly felt that the Russian hack into the Democratic National Convention and email servers had not been taken nearly seriously enough.
As a consequence, The New York Times reported that Obama’s administration worked tirelessly to essentially leave a trail of breadcrumbs, so that the incoming administration could not hide any evidence.
Investigators would inevitably work to unearth the information they had, and so they spread the information as far as possible, while being respectful of security clearances and other safeguards. One such method outlined by The Times was sharing the information among European allies and raising specific questions during Senate Intelligence meetings, knowing the discussion would be documented.
The New York Times specifically articulated this by writing:
‘As Inauguration Day approached, Obama White House officials grew convinced that the intelligence was damning and that they needed to ensure that as many people as possible inside government could see it, even if people without security clearances could not. Some officials began asking specific questions at intelligence briefings, knowing the answers would be archived and could be easily unearthed by investigators — including the Senate Intelligence Committee, which in early January announced an inquiry into Russian efforts to influence the election.’
One such example that the Russian hacks were not being taken as seriously as they needed to be was the duration of time it took to determine that the origin of the attack was inside Russia. The hack was known about as early as April, and it took until July until the source country was identified.
Furthermore, there is the added evidence that at least six officials confirmed contact between campaign aides of now-President Donald Trump and senior Russian intelligence officials. It was well known that Putin saw America as much more favorable under Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton, having blamed her for many of the issues he was facing in his own country.
These communications between Trump campaign staff and Russia were regular, but it could not be determined what the nature of these conversations were. The duration and frequency of these conversations was however, thoroughly documented by American intelligence agencies and those of our allies.
In September, it was determined that cyberattacks initiated by Russia as was the extent of the collaboration between the Trump team and Putin’s officials.
Unfortunately, even with all of this information, it wasn’t until after the election when Donald Trump snagged the presidency due to the setup of the election system that anyone truly realized that the direct purpose of Russia was to aide Donald Trump to victory.
The New York Times wrote that:
‘The administration began to grasp the scope of the suspected tampering and concluded that one goal of the [cyberattack] campaign was to help tip the election in Mr. Trump’s favor.’
Despite this, who now sits at the chair in the prestigious Oval Office? The man who Russia colluded to have sit there — a Mr. Donald Trump.
It was indicated by The Times that they made the decision to run this story as they wanted to point members of Congress in the right direction, in terms of where to look for evidence to substantiate these claims.
As investigations continue, and advocates of legitimate democracy rise up, they must have some semblance of an idea where to look in order to proceed and be successful in their endeavor.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the House and the Senate Intelligence Committees are presently investigating. Given the issues that the American intelligence community has had in fostering a strong working relationship with the Trump administration, we suspect they will not be deterred from uncovering the truth.
It is said that more than six former and current officials described to The Times these efforts to preserve and distribute the report such that Trump could not possibly track down and eliminate all knowledge of it. While Donald Trump may try to retaliate by disparaging the quality of the information The Times obtained, it is reasonable to assume that the American people, the House, and the FBI will comprehend that more than six sources, even if they remain anonymous, is nothing to scoff at.
America has Obama and his administration to thank once again for working to safeguard the country, its freedoms from foreign control and fundamentally working to uphold democracy, literally until its final days.
The number of Republicans close to Donald Trump that will be implicated when the final information is discovered and released, remains to be seen, but hopefully it will be enough to be done with a heck of a lot of them. Many people, it seems, believe that is not a far-fetched possibility.
Perhaps this is why Barack Obama was able to remain so diplomatic when interacting with Donald Trump during the transition, and really kick back and put his feet up, following the end of his time in Washington.
Feature Image via Getty Images/Win McNamee.