Saturday, January 06, 2018

Trump investigation, fatigue or revived interest?

At times it seems as if both the Republicans and the Democrats share a wish to drag out the ongoing investigations of Trump and his crowd.  The Republicans are hoping that they bore the public to near death with the tedium of half truths and delays while the Democrats are calculating that the pressure on the thin skinned Trump will cause him to do something even more bizarrely inappropriate than the usual.

On December 7th here there was a post here("The ongoing Trump investigation --- wearing out the broad public") that expressed concern about an investigation that could fall short of finding criminal or impeachable evidence directly and incontroverably linked to Trump.  Whether "obstruction of justice" or "collusion with the Russians", crossing the threshold needed for significant charges and change will be not be trivial.  This is not Watergate.  There were many many aspects to that situation including obstruction, but it began with a tangible fact --- Republican operatives broke into the DNC offices.  Everyone can understand something so straightforward.  It was like a television show.

With the Mueller inquiry, the first shoe to drop was the arrest of George Papadopoulos as in "who". While he was a part of the Trump campaign with the unlikely job of foreign policy adviser, the barriers to entry for such a role were low.  He was a brash attention seeking 29 year old who somehow charmed his way into the campaign and sought out Russian contacts in order to impress others.  Whether he was directed to do this and by whom is unknown.  He is definitely not a "smoking gun" for the investigation or for anyone observing.

Now Senators Grassley and Graham have thrown their integrity to the wind and asked the Justice Department to investigate Christopher Steele, the former British spy.  They are not disputing the accuracy of Steele's firm's "dossier" on Trump.  They are saying that he lied to investigators about his contacts with reporters to share that information.  That's big distinction.  This is unequivocally meant to disrupt the Mueller investigation.  That these two Senators have become Trump's lapdog minions is alarming.  The ramparts are up.

More to come...

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