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Trump's damning doublespeak on collusion is noted by Slate's William Saletan:

President Trump and his attorneys used to demand a high standard for proving collusion. Words alone, they argued, weren't enough. Trump and his aides might have met secretly with Russians, solicited campaign help, received campaign help, and done favors for Russia. But without proof that all these words and deeds were connected, they insisted, there was no basis for investigation.

We can now junk that argument, because Trump and his lawyers have shown they don't believe it. They believe that corrupt words are sufficient to investigate, terminate, and jail a public official. That's the standard they're applying to FBI employees involved in the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the Russia investigation.

"And if it's the right standard for other executive branch employees," Saletan reminds us, "it's the right standard for the president." Trump's supporters agree on the words-alone standard:

In an exchange on Fox and Friends, Brian Kilmeade pointed out that "we just have words" from Strzok and Page. Kilmeade asked Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani: "Are words enough?" Giuliani replied: "Absolutely. I mean, words are the making of a conspiracy." In an interview with Sean Hannity, Giuliani concluded that based on the IG's findings, special counsel Robert Mueller "should be suspended," and "Strzok should be in jail by the end of next week."

You can argue that this standard for dismissing public employees, and certainly for jailing them, is too harsh. But let's indulge the president and others who advocate this standard, by applying it to them. [...] If conspiratorial words warrant imprisonment, or at least removal from office, what are we to make of the messages exchanged during the 2016 election between Trump, his son, his aides, and his Russian benefactors?

"In June 2016," Saletan reminds us, "Trump Jr. received an email from Rob Goldstone, an intermediary for a Russian oligarch:"

Six days later, Trump Jr., Manafort, and Jared Kushner met in Trump Tower with a Russian agent who was supposed to deliver the dirt. "So I believe you have some information for us," Trump Jr. told her.

She didn't provide the dirt. But five days after the meeting, the Washington Post reported that Russia had hacked the Democratic National Committee. The Trump campaign dismissed the report and said the DNC had faked the hack. Several weeks later, Trump aides intervened to block Republican platform language that challenged Russia's invasion of Ukraine. On July 22, WikiLeaks began to publish emails from the DNC hack. Five days after that, at a press conference, Trump said of Clinton's emails: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing."

Saletan then addresses Rudy Giuliani:

Your client, his family, and his henchmen are up to their eyeballs in suspicious conversations that seem highly related to what he's done for Russia and what Russia has done for him. By your standards, they should be in jail.

As if Giuliani actually has any standards...

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on June 17, 2018 10:27 PM.

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