If you recall back in January, the infamous Steele dossier was published by Buzzfeed.com. In it were all sorts of allegations against those within the Trump campaign, including the President himself. The dossier mentioned the word ‘kompromat’, which is the Russian term meaning blackmail material, and it went on to say that Russia had such material on President Trump. This kompromat was allegedly being held over Trump’s head as a way for Russia to have sway over the future President’s decision making.
Following the release of the dossier, many of the allegations within have been somewhat verified, while others have been proven to be inaccurate. We do know that the FBI had been using the 35-page dossier in their own investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, but we do not know how much of it has been verified to date.
While we currently don’t know whether Russia actually has kompromat on the sitting President of the United States, we may be about to find out. The dossier stated that one of the main goals of Russia’s collusion with the Trump campaign was to have sanctions, which the Obama administration placed on the country, eased or possibly removed so that Russia’s energy industry could flourish once more.
Last night, however, the Senate put a dagger into the heart of any plan to ease sanctions on the Russians, and also decided to limit President Trump’s power to act on the sanctions alone. The new bill in the Senate, which passed by a staggering 97-to-2 vote, places additional sanctions on Russia related to malicious cyber activity and the supply of weapons to the Assad regime in Syria. Additionally, it would set up a congressional review process if the executive branch decided to ease or eliminate current sanctions.
The bill, which also includes additional sanctions against Iran, something which Trump clearly favors, will likely pass the House and next would be placed squarely on President Trump’s desk for a signature. This will be a very telling moment, as if there is kompromat on President Trump, this would certainly be a measure which could spark Russia to use such kompromat in a damaging manner. If, on the other hand, there is not any kompromat on the President or any of his staff, there is no rational explanation not to allow such a bill to be signed into law.
Over the next several weeks, it is entirely possible that we may find out if Russia does in fact have the kompromat that the Steele dossier has alleged all along. Early signs have shown, however, that the White House is already beginning to push back. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said today that he wants flexibility as he tries to improve ties with Russia.