When a lie works better, President Donald Trump never tells the truth. So his protestations of no collusion with the Russians carry little weight with anyone. How can he have missed the chance when every significant adviser — from Manafort to Flynn to Ivanka, Don Jr. and Jared Kushner, has lied about their participation in dealing with Russian oligarchs, spies, or Russian government officials?
The common and logical assumption behind the raft of perjurious statements made by the members of Trump’s cadre is that they are lying to shield their leader, relying on a presidential pardon to rescue them from an extended vacation in the hoosegow.
Nonetheless, there remains the off-chance that we are all suffering from presidential collusion illusion. Why do we assume that Trump’s duplicitous deputies bothered to inform him of their double-dealing?
Venality aside, Trump has proven himself in one Cabinet appointment after another to be a terrible judge of talent and honesty. Since he demands loyalty above all else, and sees no reason to adhere to the law himself, he cannot, in fact, abide an honest adviser.
But such is their own greed that each and every one of candidate Trump’s lackeys has proven that there IS an ‘I’ in Team, at least in Team Donnie. Former National Security czar Michael Flynn was enjoying lucrative Russian speaking fees. Former campaign chief Paul Manafort was falling deeper in debt to oligarchs and seeking more deals in Ukraine. Sallow son-in-law Jared Kushner was sitting on the biggest white elephant in New York (and at that point without Saudi protectors), Ivanka, the daughter Trump wishes he had (in the Trumpian sense) has her own floundering international hotel management deals to further. Meanwhile, Trump’s half-witted pomade-soaked, bungling Bungalow Bill sons were eager to distinguish themselves without the slightest insight or instinct for knowing right from wrong.
So each of these weasels had his or her own reason for weaseling and lying about it in their illegal pre-election dealings with the Russians. So too might Trump have only had in mind his obsessive quest for a Moscow Trump Tower. He may not have known about the Manafortian trade of polling data for Russian electoral interference, facilitated by Roger Stone’s chumming it up with Julian Assange.
Of course, odds go heavily on the favorite theory, that Trump ordered collusion and his minions obeyed.
It’s remarkable, given the circumstances, that Trump is not assumed by everyone to have been behind Russian electoral meddling: Russian data on Hillary Clinton’s team is obtained the SAME day that candidate Trump idiotically invites Russian hackers to do so? A man who has proven himself unwilling to trust anyone or to follow the advice and direction of others, should somehow be in the dark about efforts by his entire electoral campaign management? Only Manafort’s replacement as campaign chief — future Vice President Mike Pence — has yet to be tarred in this mess, and his time will likely come. (Or are we to also believe that once Manafort left the campaign all the nasty business went with him?).
And then, are we to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin has no leverage over Trump? Every significant allegation in the Steele dossier that could be verified has proven true. Why should we doubt that licentious beauty pageant operator and voyeur Donald Trump, with no plans yet to run for office, would not take advantage of an opportunity to go whoring with what even Russia’s Premier calls “the best prostitutes in the world.” And should we doubt that Putin, an ex-KGB officer skilled in kompromat, would have missed the opportunity to pimp out his spy girls and photograph Trump in flagrante delicto, (or in urina delicto as the case may have been).
But let’s stick with the long shot innocence conjecture for a moment. Somehow Trump exercised caution once in his life and hid the trail of his own oversight of the Russian alliance. Or for his protection, or simply from neglect, none of the ‘I Team’ told him of their own Russo-shenanigans. Where does that leave the case against Trump?
Still on solid ground, thanks to his stupidity and unbridled greed:
- Trump is still the first president to wantonly abuse the emoluments laws against self-enrichment in office — the case against his crime is now active. Active, too, is the New York District Court’s investigation of tax fraud, which thanks to the turning of both Trump’s CFO and his lawyer’s, will come straight back to Trump’s desk.
- Trump is still guilty of electoral law violations by using campaign funds to silence two of his discarded bimbos.
- Trump is guilty of perjury and libel (though these will be hard charges to nail him on).
- Trump is still guilty of obstruction of justice in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and perhaps in threats directed at his ex-lawyer’s family, or promises made to Manafort for perjuring himself to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators.
- Trump may well be found guilty of embezzlement and money-laundering for Russians, Saudis, Indians and Azerbaijanis.
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