White House staff have been told to preserve materials connected to possible Russian interference in the 2016 election the Associated Press reports:
The White House counsel’s office has instructed the president’s aides to preserve materials that could be connected to Russian interference in the 2016 election and related issues, three administration officials said Wednesday.
The memo, sent to White House staff on Tuesday, follows a request from Senate Democrats last week asking the White House — as well as law enforcement agencies — to keep all materials involving contacts that Trump’s administration, campaign and transition team — or anyone acting on their behalf — have had with Russian government officials or their associates. The Senate Intelligence Committee also made a similar request to the White House and agencies.
Last week Sen. Dick Durbin told Bloomberg news, “The downfall does not come from the crime, it comes from the cover-up, and that’s what we’re dealing with now.” He continued, “We need to know if anyone in the Trump campaign had any direct conversations with someone from Russia.” Durbin didn’t claim to have any evidence of a connection to Russia but said, “It’s hard to imagine how some of these leaks could have been so conveniently timed if there wasn’t coordination.”
The same day Durbin was speaking to Bloomberg, Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, held a press briefing in which he told reporters, “We still haven’t seen any evidence of anyone from the Trump campaign, or any other campaign for that matter, that’s communicated with the Russian government.” Nunes also said, “The way it sounds like to me is it’s been looked into and there is no evidence of anything there.”
All of this ties back to the sense on the left that they were cheated in the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton was supposed to win and if she didn’t the reason can only be some mix of nefarious plots involving the FBI Director, fake news and Russian hacking. Democrats are clinging to this the same way some on the right clung to the idea that Obama was born in Kenya. The hope now, as then, is that some evidence can be produced which will forever undermine the president’s legitimacy and prove that Democrats were in fact cheated.
Granted there really was an effort by Russia to impact the election but evidence that Trump’s campaign was involved remains elusive.