– Authored by Luke Harding

Reviewed by Rev. Karyn Packard

Have you found yourself drawn into the Russia/Trump investigation? Does it help you to gather information? If both of these are true, this is the book for you. The author, Luke Harding, is well known for his work documenting Edward Snowden’s exposé of American intelligence gathering. He was the former Moscow Bureau Chief of The Guardian and has logged considerable time as a reporter inside Russia. It was his firsthand information that led him to British intelligence analyst Christopher Steele (the dossier compiler), who in turn has extensively documented contacts with members of the team working with Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, many of them subsequently placed inside the administration. According to Harding, a form used by Russian intelligence operatives for evaluating targets asks, “Are pride, arrogance, egoism, ambition, or vanity among subject’s natural characteristics?” How do you think they would have evaluated our president and his operatives?

Harding is clear in his characterization that Trump team contacts with Russian operatives was collusion, even if at this date certain aspects have not yet been proven. He is great at connecting the dots, much like the way I view Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. The compilation is spellbinding. Harding presents a powerful case for Russian interference and campaign collusion by collecting years of reporting on Trump’s connections to Russia, many of them dating back 20 years or more. Spy novelist John le Carré calls this book, “A superb piece of work, wonderfully done and essential reading for anyone who cares for his country. Amazing research and brilliantly collated.” Michelle Goldberg, writer for The New York Times, reports, “Collusion is invaluable in collating the overwhelming evidence of a web of relationships between the Kremlin, Trump and members of Trump’s circle.”

Harding probes the histories of key Russian and American players with stirring clarity and insight. It is a thrilling, fast-paced narrative, a saga so huge that it involves international espionage, offshore banks, sketchy real estate deals, mobsters, money laundering, disappeared dissidents, computer hacking, and the most shocking election in American history. The final chapters offer crystal clear insight into the Special Prosecutor’s inquiries into Deutsche Bank.

With or without a provable crime at the hand of the president, can anyone objectively deny the presence of collusion? Is any of this even remotely acceptable? This book will send chills once you realize just how far Putin will go to undermine American progress. This is not about partisan politics. This is about organized crime. It is the best read on the Russian connection to date. I wish everyone who is skeptical that Russia has leverage over Trump would read it.

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