Trump and his team are full of reasons why the Russian mess is a hoax. But it is becoming harder to believe that he does not have something going on with Putin and his billionaire oligarchs. This is especially true after having seen his servile appearance with the Russian leader in Helsinki, where the president took the side of the man who committed cyber warfare on our country—and who still is.
People have interpretations as to why Trump battles against the Russian investigation to the point of obstruction. Some say that he feels insecure and fears the Russia-boosted-him story invalidates his election. But that does not explain why he denied Russia’s role in the hacking before the election. What was with his statement that it could have been China or a 400-pound man? He was covering for Putin even back then. And we know he has never criticized Putin, and this started way back during the campaign. Heck, even before. Add in the infamous moment: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” And Russia did listen.
The truth is, Trump knew. At the very least, he knew Russia was helping to boost his election. And he was happy to get the help and thrilled to echo Russian talking points during the campaign.
Trump’s rebuttals when it comes to this scandal are lame. One of the latest: “… why wouldn’t the FBI or the Department of ‘Justice’ have told me that they were secretly investigating Manafort …?” Ever heard of a background check? For an on-call, not-even-part-time job, I went through a background check that Jared Kushner would definitely not have passed. You can’t do due diligence on your campaign chairman? (But that is the way the world works. The people at the top can steal millions. Only people at the bottom get drug tests and the like because they are afraid we are going to steal a post-it pad. (And yes, I’m going to take that post-it pad as a bonus. I’m not getting a raise, so I’ll give it to myself, in 1/16th of a ream of paper.)
Now let’s look at Alan Dershowitz, self-appointed talk-show defense attorney for Trump. He is twisting anything to delegitimize the probe. My favorite of his assertions is that you cannot investigate when you do not know for certain that there is a crime. Then why have any investigation? Apparently, that is the new rule. You can’t investigate something if you don’t know the results of the investigation before the investigation.
Finally, there’s the Giuliani special: There was no collusion. But even if there was, it is not a crime. Yes, there is nothing on the books about collusion. But there is conspiracy. Ever heard of a synonym? It’s like saying I don’t see the word patricide in the legal code. So, killing your father is not a crime. There is nothing saying you can’t stab your second cousin in the eye with the fork. Legal!
Trump and his team’s arguments are nonsensical. But does it matter? This is what they are counting on: that Trump’s hardcore base will buy anything and parrot the defenses. And it does not matter what a hoax they are.