Was the election of Donald Trump honest? This is the huge question that the House Intelligence Committee will grapple with beginning this coming Monday. Did people from the Trump campaign collude or conspire with Russian operators to somehow influence the contest? Was there any interference in the actual voting process? If the election was rigged in some way, was it the doing not of the Clinton forces, as Trump implied many times, but of Trump's own team?

Smokescreen politics?

Is the smoke of the last weeks an effort to divert attention from this huge question?

This is the best intelligence now available on the eve of Monday's hearing. It comes from a former Conservative member of the British Parliament, Louise Mensch, who now lives in New York City and is a digital-media executive at Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

Many witnesses but few are called

According to Mensch, there are many witnesses who should be called but the Committee's actual witness list is not encouraging. Earlier Mensch reported that the FBI was granted a FISA warrant in October permitting investigation of Trump organization connections to Russia. Mensch now urges Adam Schiff, the ranking House Intelligence Committee Democrat, to call 26 members of Trump's circle along with representatives of Cambridge Analytica, Alfa Bank, Spectrum Health and Silicon Valley Bank.

Schiff's moment

If Schiff succeeds in calling the witnesses, they will include Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Corey Lewandowski, Boris Epshteyn, Rudolph Giuliani, Michael Flynn, Michael Flynn Jr., Dmitry Rybolovlev, Peter Thiel, Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller. The push and pull over witnesses will tell a good deal about whether there is anything at the bottom of whatever investigations have now taken place.

Riveting or forgettable?

The questions Mensch suggests are probing and suggestive. She urges checking with White House social media director Dan Scavino regarding an anti-Semitic meme he tweeted that came from a Russian-controlled source and a network of fake Twitter profiles that supported the Trump campaign.

She says Carter Page should reveal details of his trip to Moscow and what was said when he met with the Russian Ambassador. Also, did Russians provide a comparison between Clinton and Tillerson prior to Tillerson ever being named?

The upshot of Mensch's preamble to Monday's hearing is that the public has an opportunity to press for far more detail and clarity on the matter of Trump ties to Russia than have yet seen the light of day.