Cracks in the Wall of Trumpism

Two-thirds of Americans in a Fox News poll say the Mueller investigation should continue; 64 percent think Mueller is treating Trump fairly; 56 percent think it’s likely he’ll find criminal or impeachable offenses by Trump, and 71 percent think Trump will try to fire Mueller before he’s done.

Former CIA Director John Brennan says Russia may have compromising information on Trump. “When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history,” Mr. Brennan wrote on Twitter. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has threatened Donald Trump with impeachment and sounded like he’s running for president in New Hampshire address. Conservative columnist Mona Charen deplored the betrayal of conservative values by Trumpism. Fox News Military Affairs Analyst Ralph Peters resigned with a scathing criticism of the “propaganda machine”  that is “assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law.” Former CIA Director Michael Hayden slams Trump for “autocrat envy.”

“Trump is Woody Allen without the humor,” wrote Peggy Noonan, former Reagan speechwriter, in the WSJ. She describes him as a weak man’s idea of a strong man. “Half his tweets show utter weakness. They are plaintive, shrill little cries, usually just after dawn.” This link is not behind a paywall.

“Is Donald Trump a Traitor?” asks James Risen in The Intercept. “If a presidential candidate or his lieutenants secretly work with a foreign government that is a longtime adversary of the United States to manipulate and then win a presidential election, that is almost a textbook definition of treason.” Treason is defined as “giving aid and comfort” to America’s enemies.

As a practical matter, he writes, the special counsel is highly unlikely to pursue treason charges against Trump or his associates because treason is so vaguely defined in the law and difficult to prove. The US is not at war with Russia, so it is not officially an enemy, but an adversary, competitor, rival for global power.

There is strong evidence that Russians engineered a series of cyber-break-in to Democratic Party communications in 2015 and 2016, and through Wikileaks, fed thousands of private DNC and Clinton staff emails to reporters, who wrote critical stories that damaged the Clinton campaign. If Trump or his staff knew in advance of this hack or encouraged it privately,  is that not collusion?

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