A digital illustration depicting Vladimir Putin carrying Donald Trump on his back.
Digital illustration courtesy of DonkeyHotey / Flickr

Years before the United States 2016 presidential election, Russian President Vladimir Putin began putting things in place to install faux businessman Donald Trump into the White House. When the Republican Party became aware of Putin’s plan they welcomed it. It would be a small price to pay for a.) getting tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy jammed through Congress, and b.) packing the courts with ultra-conservative judges who could be relied upon to give them favorable rulings for generations to come. This is not me nor anyone else’s personal opinion, it is a simple statement of facts. Actually, as hard as it may be to believe, when Congressional leadership was informed by U.S. intelligence officials of Russia’s actions, Moscow Mitch McConnell not only refused to sign on to a bipartisan statement warning American voters about what was going on, he threatened President Obama that if he were to make any statement to the public then McConnell would accuse Obama, not the Russians, of interfering with the election. ​

Furthermore, Russian interests poured money into the coffers of the National Rifle Association which in turn passed that money (in violation of the law) on to Donald Trump’s campaign and numerous down-ballot races. Again, this is not conjecture, it is a fact about which the mainstream media has done precious little reporting, although it is likely that this subject is among those which special counsel Robert Mueller handed off to others for further investigation. So it’s little surprise that GOP Congress folks are covering their asses. Their lying and covering for Trump’s lying isn’t as much about saving Trump as it is about saving themselves. And if Democrats refuse to deal more effectively with attorney general Willian Barr then it’s possible if not likely the whole lot of them will get off scot-free with their treasonous actions. Much more on A.G. Barr in a moment.​

While the whole Russia-gate story has many legs to it and at times can seem so overwhelmingly absurd as to be a work of fiction, when one breaks it down it’s really pretty simple. Putin wanted sanctions lifted that were put in place during the Obama administration through the Magnitsky Act. Trump wanted to build Trump Tower Moscow, the tallest building in Europe. Moscow Mitch McConnell has his own direct ties to Russians and their money. And Republicans in Congress just wanted to hold onto power at all cost. But since all these shenanigans were pretty much carried out in plain sight, the GOP needed a real fixer to make sure no one was held accountable; enter attorney general William Barr. Barr, as a former A.G., helped to cover up crimes during the Iran-Contra scandal and had expressed during his second confirmation hearings the notion that a sitting president is, in so many words, above the law (so long as he’s a Republican). And that leaves us in a very precarious position as a nation. Our top law enforcement official is committed to covering up the crimes and misdeeds of a lawless administration. ​

So here we are and that’s how we got here and things currently look pretty damn bleak for team truth and democracy. What can be done about it? More than I have space to get into for now. Check me out next month for if and how we get out of this mess with our nation intact. Hint: As ugly as it’s gotten already, it’s going to get much, much uglier. ​

Jeff Taylor is an artist and vendor with Street Sense Media.