Thursday, February 1, 2018

Where’s the Crime? Release the Memo

2/1/2018—Today’s New York Times has more news on the investigation of President Trump. On the one hand, the FBI is opposing release of a memo prepared by House Republicans purporting to show that the FBI and the Justice Department abused their authority to obtain a spy warrant for a former Trump campaign adviser. On the other, that special prosecutor Robert Mueller (actually special counsel) is investigating a trumped-up lie (if you’ll pardon the expression) that the Trump campaign released to cover up why they met during the campaign with Russians claiming to have dirt on Hillary Clinton—they claimed the meeting was about adoption policies.

Can any news be clearer that there is nothing here and we need to move on?

As for the memo, the FBI says it is inaccurate and incomplete. Fine. Let’s all read it and see. Can the Democrats be so stupid as not to see that the only way to show us its inaccuracies is to let the public see it? What are they afraid of? That the Republicans will tell a lie? I’m sure Republicans realize that their advantage in this narrative will disappear once the memo is released and they are in no hurry. And as for claims that the memo will violate confidential sources or whatever—I haven’t believed such clams since the Pentagon Papers.

As for the lies about the meeting, since when is lying to the American people by politicians a crime worth investigating? Of course Donald Trump is a liar. And dishonorable. But the behavior of his campaign is the same as his speeches at the same time: in public, he asked Russian hackers to release any dirt on Hillary Clinton that they had learned. How can doing the same thing in a meeting be a crime if doing it in public is not a crime?

Am I supposed to believe that the Clinton campaign would not have met with a foreign source claiming to have dirt on Trump? Didn’t they?

Gaining from a crime is just not the same as conspiring to commit it. Presumably, Mueller knows this. It is relevant to the subject of Russian interference with the election, but it has nothing to do with impeachable offenses.

Why can’t the Democrats just get back to the fact that he is a bad President? Neither of these two stories helps regain Congress next November.

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