Traitors in the House | Opinion

Photo by, via Wikimedia Commons.

Less than a week after Donald Trump invited Russia to do “whatever the hell they want” to American allies, Putin had Aleksei Navalny, his strongest political adversary, murdered in a Siberian prison.

Navalny’s death was but one among a series of tragic consequences flowing from Trump’s fealty to Putin, mirrored in turn by the GOP’s fealty to Trump. Entering the 2024 campaign season, Trump enablers have elevated Trump’s political interests over U.S. national security, leaving Ukraine and the U.S. border vulnerable to an unhinged candidate’s lust for retribution.

Trump’s embrace of Putin and antipathy toward Volodymyr Zelenskyy is dangerous. After the Senate passed a defense package for Ukraine, House Speaker Johnson who spearheaded Trump’s 2020 election fraud sent members home for a two-week recess rather than allow the House to debate it.

A few days after Johnson called recess, leaving Ukraine twisting in the wind, Zelenskyy surrendered Ukraine’s city of Avdiivka to Russian forces, citing lack of ammunition and supplies, tragically abandoning hundreds of Ukrainian fighters in the process.

Camouflaging their refusal to help Ukraine as “fiscal prudence” despite accruing an unprecedented $8.4 trillion in debt under Trump House Republicans delivered Putin his biggest military prize in over nine months of high-casualty fighting.

It’s time for mainstream media to lose the performative neutrality, and call Trump’s pro-Putin supporters what they are: traitors.

It doesn’t get more treasonous than amplifying the KGB’s cooked intelligence

While developing the nuclear capacity to wipe out U.S. satellites in space, Putin’s intelligence simultaneously infiltrated the GOP. Either he really is a genius, as Trump insists, or Trump and his supporters are complete morons.

Putin evidently played MAGA Congressmen who have spent the past two years trying to impeach President Joe Biden for a bribery scheme manufactured and fed to them by Putin’s own intelligence.

In 2020, informer Alexander Smirnov told investigators that the owner of Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company, had agreed to pay $5 million in bribes to both Biden and his son Hunter. Even though Trump Republicans were warned that Smirnov’s intelligence was neither credible nor corroborated and could not be trusted, the GOP amplified it across right wing media anyway. James Comer appeared on Fox News over 200 times with different iterations of the same theme: Biden was crooked (according to Smirnov) and must be impeached.

Last week, Smirnov was indicted on charges that he lied to the FBI about the Bidens, and the FBI is still unraveling whether he was Putin’s plant. According to prosecutors, Smirnov was also actively spreading election misinformation to help Trump, after meeting with Russian intelligence officials in November.

It's difficult to believe that the Chairmen of the House Oversight Committee and Judiciary Committee were so easily duped. Anyone involved with security and intelligence knows or should know to suspect some level of mendacity from spies and informants, given that misinformation and espionage are the main currency of foreign intelligence.

As Tristan Snell, former New York AG observed, “Jim Jordan, Chuck Grassley, and James Comer were either duped by Smirnov and the Kremlin — or they were in on it.” House Republicans have wittingly or not served as Russian intelligence assets for Vladimir Putin.

Containing Russia’s expansion isn’t charity

Trump enablers pretend that withdrawing from NATO, Ukraine and the world will make America safer. Nothing could be more dangerous.

Even Putin fanboy Tucker Carlson conceded that Putin’s motives for invading Ukraine were not defensive in nature, but were driven by an innate desire to restore Russia to its previous glory. Putin sees the fall of the Soviet Union as a catastrophe, the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century. His yearning to reunite the Soviet Union means NATO members Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, for starters, will be in his sights after Ukraine, with Poland likely to follow.

As the director of the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center recently told The Financial Times: “If the Kremlin believes that no major Western power has the resources and will to fight for minor allies like the Baltic States, it may be tempted to test NATO’s Article 5 commitment to collective defense … Especially when Trump’s rhetoric creates a dangerous illusion that America would not intervene if Putin uses military force to divide NATO.”

Abandoning Ukraine now, after forcing it into a position of weakness by cutting off funding, could be the most expensive military blunder America ever makes.

Putin has been brandishing his nuclear weapons at the U.S. and NATO since he invaded Ukraine. Tucker Carlson, Trump and the MAGA clowns in the House are playing a dangerous game they can’t comprehend, and they are playing on Putin’s terms. It falls to the Fourth Estate to find the kompromat Putin has on Trump, before the entire free world ends up paying for it.

Sabrina Haake is a 25-year litigator specializing in 1st and 14th Amendment defense. Her columns appear in OutSFL, Chicago Tribune, Salon, State Affairs, Howey Politics, and RawStory. She and her wife split their time between South Florida and Chicago. Follow her on substack.


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