Trump dossier: A brief synopsis

I read the entire Trump dossier, downloaded from Buzzfeed. News coverage has been unfocused and overly pussyfooted, eliding the unverified, second-, third-, and fourthhand claims within. Even though some or all of the information is likely distorted or just plain wrong, the possibility that some or all of the claims are correct makes them vital to know. So here they are:

New and important

  • For the past eight years, Trump allegedly has been secretly passing information to the Russian government about the activities of rich Russians in the U.S. To my mind, this would make him an informer of a foreign government.
  • The Russian government supposedly collected evidence of Trump partying with sex workers while in Russia and later informed his representative(s) of this. Trump’s cooperative behavior allegedly kept them from making it public or making a more direct threat.
  • Trump’s agents allegedly knew about the Russian government’s hacking of the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign, and, supposedly, the Trump camp and the Russian government jointly paid the hackers. I suspect that, if true, this would constitute a crime (or two).
  • Trump’s business allegedly paid bribes in St. Petersburg through intermediaries.

Attention-getting but not new

  • Trump allegedly partied with sex workers. This sort of behavior was reported before the election.
  • The Russian government supposedly hacked the DNC and John Podesta, and it released the emails via WikiLeaks. Supposedly it did so to defeat Clinton and bolster Trump but also to undermine faith in the election. In fact, this was widely reported before the election as the intelligence agencies’ conclusion, and Hillary Clinton mentioned it prominently during the debates.

Not as important

  • The Russian government’s agents allegedly discussed policy changes with Trump’s representatives before the election. Trump’s reps were noncommittal regarding energy policy and were favorable toward ending sanctions against Russia for its annexation of part of Ukraine. I suspect that this sort of communication happens commonly during presidential elections. Did Clinton not have similar discussion with Israelis? The report does not allege that Trump adopted any position because of Russia’s hacking or blackmail. If that had occurred, then this would be a bigger issue.

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