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Collusion or No Collusion?

Jeff Hall

Posted on October 30, 2017 12:28

7 users

There's no way to know for sure, but here are two predictions.

I can't imagine anyone being surprised by the fact that Paul Manafort has been indicted by Robert Mueller. 

The smell of secret payments by the pro-Russia Ukrainians has been in the air for quite some time now.

I suspect Mueller is just getting started.

But I think Democrats hoping for a "smoking gun" that proves Donald Trump directly colluded with Russians to influence the election will be disappointed.

The reason I think this is that, when Donald Trump, Jr. met with the Russians in June of last year, he seemed thrilled at the prospect of picking up dirt on Hillary Clinton.

This implies to me that, up until this time anyway, there was no back-channel arrangement in place. 

Did Trump, Jr. WANT such an arrangement?  It sure sounds like it. 

But did the Trump campaign have time to put all the pieces in place prior to the election?  That's not clear. 

That would have required some planning, thinking -- with much attention going into how the Trump team would cover its tracks. 

It doesn't seem like the Trump guys are big on planning. Moreover, in the heat of the election, Donald Trump was on the road, attending rallies, participating in debates, etc. 

If anything were going on, it would likely be his underlings' doing, so there might be no direct fingerprints. 

Manafort WASN'T charged in any election-related shenanigans today.  So maybe there really ISN'T any evidence of collusion.

I think Democrats are losing time by focusing on collusion.  It's possible there WAS no collusion. 

While being anti-Trump might make Democrats feel good, they really need a viable candidate to run against Trump if they really want Trump out of office. 

Do they have such a candidate?  It sure doesn't feel that way to me, at least not yet.

What is interesting about Mueller's charges, I think, is that they went back in time, prior to the election. 

Is it hard to believe Mueller might find evidence of money-laundering, tax evasion or other such stuff -- maybe even a "golden shower" -- from our president's past? 

I don't think so.  I think this is why Trump has been so maniacal in his "this is all a witch hunt" campaign.

Trump can't focus long on much of anything -- except for this one particular thing.

I'm reminded of Shakespeare's line from Hamlet: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." 

Let's assume for a moment that one day Mueller reveals some form of nastiness, that, in an earlier time, would have led to impeachment.  Will that bring about impeachment today? 

I don't think so. 

The Republican House and Senate will never allow this to happen -- just as the Democratic Senate would not convict Bill Clinton in the Republican House-led effort to impeach him. 

So, in order to impeach, Democrats need to re-take the House AND Senate.  That will be hard. 

To win back the White House will require a really good candidate. 

That's where Dems should focus, methinks.

 

 

Jeff Hall

Posted on October 30, 2017 12:28

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