Michael Vadon / Flickr Donald Trump Sr at FITN in...
Michael Vadon / Flickr

Roger Stone was just one of several Trump members of the Trump campaign who testified before Congress that he had no contact with Russian operatives, only to be reminded of pesky facts following his appearance on Capitol Hill. Stone’s admission last week that he met with a Russian offering to sell “dirt” about Hillary Clinton represents the third documented incidence of Trump’s campaign seeking to obtain information about Clinton from Russia. And those are just the ones we know about. They follow on news that the director of Trump’s IT firm, Cambridge Analytica, met with Julian Assange and admitted that she “channeled cryptocurrency payments and donations to WikiLeaks.” Which makes an article in Spectator claiming that Cambridge Analytica had access to Hilary Clinton’s emails “more than a month before they were published by WikiLeaks” seem all too possible.

Far from Donald Trump’s daily cries of “no collusion,” it’s now obvious that his campaign was working with Russia eagerly, frequently, and through more than one connection. And, as Yahoo reports, that hasn’t slipped the notice of Democrats such as House Intelligence Committee member Eric Swalwell, who was clear about the testimony provided to that committee by both Roger Stone and Michael Caputo, who sent Stone on his mission to buy Russian intelligence.

Swalwell: I think they just lied through their teeth to protect the fact that they were willing and eager to take a meeting with Russians who were offering dirt.

Despite Republican chest-thumping about “transparency” and threats to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—a process that seems to have been temporarily delayed by Republicans screwing up the paperwork—there is some information that Republicans definitely do not want to share. Despite requests from both Swalwell and ranking Democrat Adam Schiff, Republicans have refused to either make testimony by Roger Stone public, or to turn a transcript of that testimony over to Robert Mueller.

If Republicans are so convinced that they found “no collusion,” as Devin Nunes has proclaimed and Trump has repeated ad infinitum, then why are they covering Roger Stone’s testimony, even though that testimony was incomplete?

The Washington Post report on why Stone turned down the Russian offer to sell additional information on Clinton contains some amusing information.

Stone says he rejected the offer on the spot. “You don’t understand Donald Trump,” Stone said he told Greenberg, according to the Post account. “He doesn’t pay for anything.”

Which makes it fortunate that in the Trump Tower meeting Russians offered to provide information to Trump for nothing more than a few policy changes—changes that Donald Trump Jr. readily agreed to meet. And Russians meeting with George Papadopoulos seemed anxious to provide information to Trump gratis, since promoting Trump was an acknowledged goal of Putin’s government.

To prevent hearing any further accidental accumulation of facts, and after admitting that neither collusion nor obstruction were the focus of their then-what-were-they-investigating-anyway investigation, House Republicans officially closed the books and issued a statement that Donald Trump has frequently waved as “proof” of his innocence. But Democrats on the committee are a bit less done looking into the issue, and much less interested in diverting their attention to any of the three (count ‘em) new investigations into Hilary Clinton’s email announced by House Republicans.

Instead, Swalwell insisted that the Intelligence Committee is still expecting documents from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie, and testimony from a not-yet-identified witness.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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