The Maneater

Column: As Trump campaign investigation heats up, Trump refuses to acknowledge it

As Trump campaign investigation heats up, Trump refuses to acknowledge it

Maddie Niblett is a freshman journalism major at MU. She is an opinions columnist who writes about politics for The Maneater.

Indictments and house arrests and secret meetings, oh my! This past week has been critical in the special counsel investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. As more and more compelling evidence is revealed, Trump and his associates are trying to distance themselves as much as possible from the people who are involved.

To start off the eventful week, on Monday, Oct. 30, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates were indicted on 12 separate charges, most of them having to do with undisclosed ties to pro-Russia Ukrainian groups and use of foreign bank accounts to launder millions of dollars into the U.S. While these charges are not necessarily tied to the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with the Russian government, it still shows the amount of corruption that was present in the most senior members of those who ran the campaign. Both Manafort and Gates were deemed to be flight risks, put under house arrest and given multi-million dollar bails until further notice.

In an obvious attempt to shift focus from what is shaping up to be a dangerous time for those Trump campaign officials, Trump tweeted that these allegations took place “years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren’t Crooked Hillary and the Dems the focus?????” According to the indictment, some of the illegal dealings continued into 2016 and possibly even into February of 2017.

On the same day, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to perjury for misleading the FBI about his connections to Russia. Papadopoulos apparently offered to set Trump up with a meeting with representatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom he had connections.

Trump attempted to dramatically downplay Papadopoulos’ role in his campaign, tweeting that “Few people knew the young, low-level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar.” On the contrary, Papadopoulos was a fairly high-ranking member of the Trump campaign, even representing Trump on more than one occasion on the campaign trail.

Trump is attempting to distance himself as much as possible from every person that seems to be somewhat of a liability to the overarching Russia investigation. He is trying, unsuccessfully, to take the focus off of his scandal and put it onto the Democrats, even though it is becoming clearer with each passing day that a foreign country — one that the U.S. has been extremely hostile with in the past — influenced and ultimately decided the outcome of one of the most important events in our nation. Given the sheer amount of scandal surrounding members of the Trump campaign that continues to be revealed, Trump will have to accept the fact that the corruption of his campaign will eventually be exposed.

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