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NWA Letters to the Editor

Why didn't Americans let investigators know?

Our illustrious president insists that he had no part in the Russian interference in our 2016 elections. But what is clear is that he knew about it ... and did nothing! Any responsible citizen, upon learning of such a thing, would promptly tell U.S. authorities about it. But "the Donald" kept it to himself, leaving our government none the wiser about a foreign power messing into U.S. affairs.

Well, not "kept to himself," exactly. Others on the Trump presidency team were aware of the Russian hacking. Those known to having possessed such information include: Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos and Rob Goldstone. It seems inevitable that there were others who knew.

All of these are American citizens. They were leaders in a presidential campaign to elect the chief executive of our country. And they possessed information that exposes a foreign nation to be deeply involved in such election. What did they do? Nothing! Not one person among them revealed this to the authorities in our government.

Indeed, it is only because of two foreigners that our government learned of the Russian interference. It was Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat, upon learning of this from George Papadopoulos at a London bar, who told Australian authorities, and they promptly informed their U.S. counterparts.

Well, not "promptly" exactly. It was two months later, when former Hillary Clinton emails began to appear on the Internet, that our down-under friends told what they knew. Nevertheless, it was a foreigner, not a one of the above American citizens, who first acquainted our government with news of the Russian interference.

Then there is the British reporter, Christopher Steele, long a friend and trusted informant to U.S. intelligence, who compiled a "dossier" on the world-wide business activities of Donald Trump for a period of many years. Among other things, it suggested that Russia had information on Trump by which they could blackmail him. This dossier was given to U.S. officials.

Why? Why did it take a British citizen, not an American citizen, both having information of foreign interference in America's election, to expose such information to our government?

I have to say that I am personally grateful to these two non-Americans and other Dutch and British officials who advised our government to begin searching for answers about the Russian hacking and to initiate practices to prevent its repetition.

I don't know why none of the Trump people, including Trump himself, all American citizens, failed to inform American officials about Russian interference in our elections when they all clearly knew about it, and had for a long time.

Well, not "don't know why," exactly. I know why: Because they were all in the thick of it!

J.R. "Doc" Irwin

Bella Vista

Commentary on 02/13/2018

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