And related matters. In no particular order:
- Trump is still a bagman. I’ve been saying all along that if Trump goes down–and that’s a big if–it will be over money laundering, not collusion. He seems to find purchasers, buying at inflated prices, just in the nick of time. His Turnberry golf course in Scotland appears to have an inexplicable funding stream. His partner in his Baku project is the money man for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. And he sure does seem to have a lot of mysterious buyers of his properties (some of whom appear to be in the ‘anchor baby’ business). Speaking of properties…
- Got emoluments? He is a walking, breathing, non-stop violation of the emoluments clause. And there’s no proof of intent required: he is in violation, and that is the only requirement for impeachment.
- That’s the weird thing about parts of the left that are claiming vindication I don’t get: do they think that Trump hasn’t violated the emoluments clause? It’s one thing to argue that Trump didn’t collude with Russia, but I gather they are so invested in proving that Hillary Clinton was a bad candidate, the Democratic Party sucks and so on that they can’t recognize that Trump is, in fact, in violation of the emoluments clause.
- At a larger scale, as the saying goes, it’s not what’s illegal that’s shocking, but what’s legal. The axis of authoritarianism, whether it be the Russian, Chinese, or the homegrown U.S. version, is not a friend of the left and should be opposed. How Barr’s interpretation of the report helps the left escapes me.
- It goes without saying that the entire report should be released. Despite the dominant Democratic belief in Republican Daddies who will do the right thing (and yet just never seem to do so…), there is no reason to trust the hyperpartisan Barr.
- One thing to remember is that Mueller’s investigation was not a criminal investigation, but a counterintelligence investigation. His goal was to find evidence of foreign influence, not go after Trump.
- Related to the previous point, Trump, if he weren’t president, would be just another guy to flip.
- Unfortunately, we are now reliant on the gormless House Democrats, who, to use Abba Eban’s phrase, never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. As long as the ‘resistance’ was largely in the hands of rank-and-file Democrats, we were alright, but professional Democrats can’t even muster the intensity of will to write a damn letter and get Trump’s taxes. We’re so fucked.
- Get ready for Republicans to demand investigations of the Mueller probe investigators. It’s what they do.
- At this point, Democratic supporters (i.e., not professional Democrats) are going to have to force professional Democrats to do the right thing. Unfortunately, all the fanboi/grrl shit gets in the way of that. They will not protect us, and they will only do the right thing when they fear us. Start yelling at them.
- As I predicted a year ago, this will likely end like Iran-Contra (hope I’m wrong though).
The problem with Russia gate as I understand the criticism, is that it has distracted from the emoluments corruption and the other stuff that could have been or could be going somewhere maybe.