High crimes and misdemeanors! Treason! Hire a special counsel! That AG has to recuse himself!!! The Republic is in danger! Call another Congressional inquiry! Impeachment!
And for what? To date, we know a few things:
- Donald Trump spoke glowingly of Vladimir Putin during the campaign
- Some people in the Trump campaign or transition talked to Russians
- The Russians tried to influence the 2016 election
- Mike Flynn apparently lied to Mike Pence and got fired
- James Comey at the FBI got fired by Trump
As to charge #1, yes- Trump talked nicely of Putin during the campaign. There are even Trump-Putin bromance memes out there…some that occasionally show up here at Redstate. But what Trump did is not so different from Obama being caught on an open mic telling a Russian president not named Putin that he would have more flexibility after his reelection in 2012. Apparently, Obama was of the opinion that this flexibility would improve relations between the two countries despite that hokey reset button pushed by Hillary Clinton. The difference between Trump in 2016 and Obama in 2012? Obama was the sitting President, albeit on the campaign trail.
And this alleged bromance pales in comparison to Bill Clinton whose campaign received donations from the Chinese. Of course, a stain on a dress and a weird cigar story got Clinton into trouble, not this egregious Chinese “moneyance” with the Bill Clinton campaign.
As for the second count, Jeff Sessions- then a sitting Senator and Trump supporter- apparently spoke twice or thrice to a Russian ambassador: once in his Senate office and once at the RNC convention. God forbid a forgotten phone conversation is uncovered by one of the many inquiries. It is funny how the Democrats laughed at Trump about a lack of foreign affairs experience. After all, they had the former Secretary of State as their candidate. So apparently, in order to gain some insight into foreign affairs anyone associated with Trump should have (1) waited until January 20, 2017 or (2) educated themselves by holing themselves in a library.
Perhaps the only thing this writer finds troublesome so far is Kushner’s meeting with a Russian banker especially since that bank was being sanctioned at the time.
Let’s skip over charge 3 and proceed to Flynn. He was to be Trump’s national security adviser when he made an ill-advised call to the Russians. But imagine that- a US national security adviser talking to a foreign government. The shame! He then apparently lied to Pence about it. Since then, the focus has been on Flynn mainly. Then we learned that Flynn was or was recently in the employ of the Turkish government and failed to mention it under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Left out of the discussion is that he did register under the Lobbying Disclosure Act and reported his income from the Turkish government. Perhaps, this is the only technical legal violation in this whole morass.
As for Comey, wasn’t it the Democrats who wanted his head for re-opening the investigation into Clinton’s e-mail server a week before the election? Wasn’t it Clinton herself who said that if the election was held on October 27th, she’d be president insinuating it was Comey’s actions that cost her the election? Isn’t this the excuse being bandied about by the losers in her campaign who won’t accept the fact she was a flawed candidate? It hurts to lose to an even more flawed candidate, so the excuse machine is in overdrive.
Actually, if the Democrats had stuck to the original script- that Comey’s re-opening the investigation cost Clinton a victory- they would have a better case than the Russian collusion angle. Trump won because of three states- Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin- by a total of 77,000 votes. It is conceivable that Comey’s actions had a greater effect on 77,000 people than any Russian action unless Russia specifically targeted these three states.
In fact, they are negating their own argument regarding the popular vote which Clinton won by 2.9 million. In this case, the Russians apparently know more about American electoral politics and dynamics of the Electoral College than did the Clinton campaign! If anything, the success of the Russian info machine proves there are some damn gullible people out there. Are the Democrats asserting that 77,000 convened in three states?
Which leaves us with the third fact- that Russia interfered in the US election. News flash: they have interfered in elections since the fall of the Soviet Union and before in places like Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Germany, France. Holland and Great Britain. They did so by the spread of “fake news” primarily through social media. It is a low cost/ high reward action as the current political climate proves. An off-balance United States distracted by chasing the ghosts of collusion plays to the advantage of Putin and Russia.
Finally, we are losing track of the bigger picture. As Marco Rubio has pointed out, what is to stop Russia from influencing policy debates in the US to their advantage? For example, they have already gained control over 25% of domestic uranium reserves through a series of deals involving Canadian companies and donors to the Clinton Foundation. Among others, Secretary of State Clinton had to sign off on those deals.
They have infiltrated and fund environmentalist movements in Europe and the US in an effort to thwart fracking which has (1) made heating one’s home more affordable and (2) cut back dramatically on greenhouse gases by the US despite some bogus agreement signed in Paris.
That is the more important issue in this entire episode and one the Democrats and liberals continue to dig their heads in the sand over. I fully understand the distrust and dislike some here and elsewhere have towards Trump. He is not one of my favorite people and I did not vote for him in the primaries or general election (Ted Cruz and write-in vote, respectively). But by continuing the mantra of him and his associates being the stooges of the Russians, it is playing into the hands of the Russians and makes one an accomplice in Putin’s designs.