Welcome to probably the biggest development to come out of Russiagate. According to the Washington Post, Donald Trump's son-in-law - you know, the one tasked with essentially doing Trump's job for him - allegedly tried to, well, see for yourself.
Jared Kushner and Russia’s ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.
Ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, son-in-law and confidant to then-President-elect Trump, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications.
For the sake of brevity, that is bad. Real fucking bad.
But don't take my word for it. According to two CIA veterans who spoke to Business Insider, Kushner is essentially a traitor if the allegations are true.
"This raises a bunch of problematic issues. First, of course, is the Logan Act, which prohibits private individuals conducting negotiations on behalf of the US government with foreign governments," [CIA and NSA veteran Bob] Deitz said. "Second, it tends to reinforce the notion that Trump's various actions about Comey do constitute obstruction."
"In other words, there is now motive added to conduct," Deitz noted. "This is a big problem for the President."
"If you are in a position of public trust, and you talk to, meet, or collude with a foreign power" while trying to subvert normal state channels, "you are, in the eyes of the FBI and CIA, a traitor," said Glenn Carle, a former top counterterrorism official at the CIA. "That is what I spent my life getting foreigners to do with me, for the US government."
MSNBC's Malcolm Nance, a former cryptographer for the Navy, had some insights as well. From Mediaite:
He went on to say “if this is true that he wanted covert communications with the Russian using Russian cryptographic systems in the hopes that we didn’t have those things broken, then this is now espionage.”
And if there was any uncertainty on his stance, he finished by saying, “This one incident requires Jared Kushner and all of his immediate staff to have their clearances pulled right now and to have the FBI descend on there and to determine whether this is hostile intelligence in the White House one step from the president.”
Former FBI counter-terrorism expert Clint Watts also chimed in with the biggest question to come out of this report. What the hell did Trump's team need to communicate with Russia so urgently?
Jon Favreau also recalled an interesting tidbit from the announcement that Robert Mueller had appointed special counsel to investigate Trump's alleged ties with Russia. Specifically a report that claimed Kushner told Trump to immediately go on the offensive. (Which WikiLeaks took care of, by the way. Just throwing that out there.)
So tell me again how this is all a conspiracy theory?