It is time that Donald Trump and his die-hard supporters stop pretending that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election that elected Trump into office. It is not a hoax. It is something that every American should be concerned about because the government should govern as a representative of the people and not of Russia. Here are the inconvenient facts glossed over or ignored by the Trump propaganda machine.

Guilty Pleas

The most important thing to remember about the Russia Probe is the guilty pleas that have been made by various offenders related to Russia. The guilty pleas are the most telling because the Mueller Investigation is still in its infancy. Mueller has yet to release a full report on his investigation but there are already numerous guilty pleas.

Michael Flynn pled guilty to lying to federal officials. Flynn lied about meetings he had with Russians.

George Papadopoulos also pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Papadopoulos lied about his communications with a foreign person who had communicated that Russia had incriminating information on Hillary Clinton.

Both Flynn and Papadopoulos worked in the Trump campaign.

Rick Gates, a long-time Paul Manafort associate pleaded guilty to conspiring against the United States and lying to federal officials. Gates acknowledged helping Paul Manafort launder tens of millions of dollars and failing to pay income taxes on the income derived from the hidden money.

Paul Manafort is expected in court for the first of his pending two trials.

Russian Indictments

Twelve Russian intelligence officials were indicted earlier this month for allegedly hacking into Hillary Clinton’s emails and those of John Podesta. They also allegedly hacked the computers of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee in addition to Clinton’s servers. The Russians who were indicted are military intelligence agents working for Russia’s GRU service.

In addition to the 12 Russian intelligence agents, thirteen other Russians were previously indicted for running a social media project aimed at meddling in the election. It appears though that the Mueller Investigation isn’t done with the Russians just yet. Last week another Russian, Mariia Butina aka Maria Butina was arrested as a Russian spy. The arrest affidavit and the recently released FISA warrant for Carter W. Page, another Trump confidant, read like a Russian spy novel.

Cold War Novel on Court Records

Anyone who has ever read a Cold War novel on spies spying on each other is likely chuckling at the court filings that are better than most novels. Those who haven’t ever read a spy novel would do well to read some of the court filings as they are primers on Cold War spies and tradecraft.

On Saturday, the United Stated government released a redacted copy of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) warrant used to spy on Carter Page’s activities. Page has not been indicted.

The FISA warrant included spy-novel language like Evgeny “Buryakov worked in the United States as an agent of the SVR (Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service)…Specifically, Buryakov operated under non-official, posing as an employee in the Manhattan office of a Russian bank.” [Carter Page Redacted FISA Warrant, page 13]

But why was Carter Page targeted with a FISA warrant?

According to the redacted warrant, Carter Page “knowingly engage in clandestine intelligence activities”. The warrant goes on to state that the “FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian Government.”

Yet, the Carter Page warrant is not the only court document that reads like a John le Carré novel.

The affidavit attached to the Maria Butina criminal complaint is replete with juicy Russian spying narratives. The attached emails are the most damming.

“Your challenge in your ‘special project’” starts out a March 2015 email. According to the affidavit, Maria Butina was provided a list of influential Americans with which to cultivate a relationship with. In one email exchange from March 14, 2016, the affidavit shows an email between a U.S. citizen confirming for the citizen that a high-level Russian official “confirmed to her [Butina] ‘his desire in our Russian-American project,’ and that a representative of the Russian Presidential administration had expressed approval ‘for building this communication channel.’”

The 17-page Butina Affidavit is full of spy lingo establishing why the U.S government felt that Maria Butina was a Russian spy working within the borders of the country.

Both documents and many more are available to download at this link.

And Donald Trump?

Donald Trump continues to deny that he colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 presidential elections. To date, no conclusive evidence of Trump’s collusion has been made public by the Mueller Investigation. However, the Carter Page FISA warrant is clear to draw a clear line between Carter Page, George Papadopoulos and the Trump Campaign.

Regardless, whether Donald Trump was elected due to Russian election meddling is irrelevant because what we now know is that the Russians actively meddling in the 2016 elections, and that right there should worry any American patriot that cares about America’s democracy and freedom.

To pretend that the Russians did not interfere with the 2016 elections shows a callous disregard for the facts and would be a treasonous act under most measures of the word.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...