Sunday, September 16, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He crammed an awful lot into 280 characters.

This morning, Trump managed to hit almost all of his talking points in a single emotional tweet about the investigation into the Russian attack on the 2016 election.

Nothing here is new material, but literally all of it is a lie.

It is not illegal or "not allowed under the LAW." The special counsel statute exists, and was invoked by a Trump appointee with the authority to do so.

If Trump has a reason for thinking otherwise, he's never shared it.

" search of a crime." The underlying crime--Russia's attempts to weaken Americans' faith in democracy by sabotaging its elections and putting the astonishingly Putin-friendly Trump in office--is already known.

But as for specific indictments, there have been 90 so far.

Trump has already admitted to collusion. While Trump doesn't like the word "collusion," he has (correctly) pointed out that it isn't a crime. But all of the following people connected with the Trump campaign have since admitted to having secret contacts with agents of the Russian government during the campaign: Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, Jefferson Sessions, Michael Caputo, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Roger Stone, Erik Prince, Donald Trump Jr., and Peter W. Smith

Flynn, Manafort, and Papadopoulos have already been convicted or pleaded guilty to crimes related to their Russian connections, or their attempts to keep those connections secret by lying about them to federal investigators. 

The Clinton campaign did not "collude" with Russia. Trump is famous for accusing other people of his own sins, to the point where he may not be able to control himself. When he accuses Hillary Clinton's campaign of colluding, it appears he's talking about the Steele dossier, which relies on Russian sources opposed to the Putin regime. 

It is not illegal or "collusion" to ask foreigners about the evidence they have linking Trump to the Putin regime.

"17 angry Democrats." The special counsel himself is a Republican. He was appointed by and reports to a Republican. The number of other "angry democrats" Trump imagines are persecuting him has changed over time, but all were chosen by those Republicans heading the investigation.

Trump tells lies so often that it is difficult even for major news organizations to keep track of them all, and has told these lies in dozens if not hundreds of tweets already. Unfortunately for him, they don't seem to be working as well as they used to.

Why does this matter?

  • It's wrong to lie.
  • Presidents are not above the rule of law.
  • It's not normal or right for a president to be openly at war with his own Justice Department.
  • Suspected criminals don't get to pick their own police.