If current American political events are confusing you a bit you are not alone. So much is happening so rapidly that it is difficult to keep up with. Compounding that situation is the fact that President Trump, his mouthpieces and enablers are telling so many lies and are constantly shifting their “explanations”. Over the next few paragraphs I’ll try and put a few things in perspective for you. Let’s explore.
Trump loves to say there is no collusion and in one respect he will be proven to be correct. Collusion is not the legal word for the crime in question; it is conspiracy. Plenty of conspiring occurred and many people (possibly including Donald Trump himself) are going to end up being found guilty of it. Conspiracy is simply two or more people plotting to do something illegal.
An important point is that you don’t have to be successful in the plot. Think in terms of a sting operation. A crooked politicians meets with what he thinks are bad guys who are about to hand over money in exchange for an action. At the last minute, with the money on the table, the supposed bad guys identify themselves as undercover law enforcement and arrest the crooked politician.
Exclude the final sting and we might look at senior presidential campaign officials who met with foreigners in anticipation of receiving dirt (an in kind campaign contribution) on their opponent. Federal campaign laws prohibit soliciting or accepting campaign donations from foreigners. It doesn’t matter that the meeting was a bust because the desired information never materialized (assuming you believe that part of the excuse). You can have conspiracy absent success.
Obstruction of justice is somewhat similar in that the attempt constitutes the crime regardless of success. I contend that several Republican members of the House have left themselves opened to obstruction of justice charges. How California’s Devin Nunes can escape prosecution and conviction is beyond me. He has been caught red handed cooperating with a party to the investigation (the Trump White House) in an attempt to deceive the public and thwart justice. Ohio’s Jim Jordan and North Carolina’s Mark Meadows are the driving forces behind a treat to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if he doesn’t turn over unredacted documents about the Mueller investigation so that they can leak them to the subject of the investigation.
If you are paying much attention to the House investigation you need a hobby or a part-time job. The investigation has been a sham that refused to follow any leads that might incriminate any Republican. At least on the surface the Senate investigation has been more legitimate while not really producing any real publically released results to date. The only investigation worth following is Mueller’s.
Despite great efforts by the press (with special recognition of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and NBC) we know very little about the Mueller investigation. Mueller and his team don’t leak. It is certainly reasonable to surmise that they are several steps ahead of what is publically known. The right wing rumors that the investigation will soon wrap up are difficult to believe. Based on what we know Mueller’s team has yet to interview Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Mike Pence and both Donald Trump Senior and Junior. Remember Mueller is handling this like an investigation of an organized criminal enterprise and is working his way to the top. I think he is far from finished.
My guess is that the investigation will not be wrapped up when we go to the polls in November. I will predict that Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort’s legal troubles in New York and Virginia will not be the only “side investigations” the Mueller probe will spawn. (I haven’t even addressed things like money laundering, income tax evasion and campaign finance violations.) With great certainty I predict that people will go to prison as a result of these investigations.
As Russiagate continues do not allow yourself to miss the signals because you were distracted by the noise. Trump and company are (by legal definition) innocent of the non-existent crime of collusion but they are guilty of much more.
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