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Russia Investigation: the Green Puzzle Piece Being Missed

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The decision of Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former National Security Advisor, to plead guilty to lying to the FBI in the Russia probe shocked the nation. However, one piece of evidence, the same image used against Flynn, sparks questions about another conspirator in an elaborate scheme.

Along with numerous other sources, a picture of Michael Flynn sitting near Vladimir Putin at a Moscow gala for Kremlin-supported news outlet RT heavily pointed to his involvement with Russia. What seems to be ignored in the image is the presence of Jill Stein, U.S. Green Party Candidate for president. Although Stein affiliates with a staunchly leftist party, she nonetheless sat at the same table as two prominent right-winged figures, prompting the question— why was she there?

To say that Stein, or the Green Party for that matter, bears no relevance to mainstream American politics would be an understatement. Greens hold no seats in either the House or the Senate and have never received an electoral vote in a presidential election. In the 2016 election, Stein received a mere 1.06 percent of the national vote. According to the Party website, as of Sept. 20, 2017, Greens only hold around 141 elected offices in 18 states.

Throughout the general election, many believed that Stein’s main intention was to steal votes from progressive Democrats who could not get over the loss of Bernie Sanders in the primary. She attempted to recruit Sanders as her running mate and after he denied, she reached out to Nina Turner, an aid of Sanders. Because she could never gain full support from moderates, her candidacy had no chance of succeeding. Instead, her voters more likely contributed to the election of Donald Trump, fueling speculation that her overarching intent was to steer voters away from Clinton to boost Trump.

When coupled with the photograph, the theory that Stein was also working with Russia does not seem far-fetched. When asked about her attendance at the gala in an interview with The Intercept, Stein downplayed any interactions with Flynn or Putin.

“Nobody met anybody. I didn’t hear any words exchanged between English speakers and Russians,” Stein said.

While there is technically no evidence to disprove her, her presence still proves to be perplexing. Why was somebody so irrelevant placed at a table with the head of a prominent country? Why was this image so valuable when used against Flynn, but seen as insufficient when used against Stein? Perhaps all these questions could be answered if Stein testifies in front of the House Intelligence Committee.

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