Now that sentencing memos for Flynn and Cohen are floating around in public, the Left and the press, but I repeat myself, are having a good time explaining how those memos show that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has the evidence to take down President Trump. One of the sanest summaries I’ve read was by Max Bergman and Sam Berger at The Daily Beast. As much as I dislike Donald Trump and wish a different person were President, I find the evidence of collusion presented thus far to be sketchy. Most of it doesn’t even qualify as circumstantial. A good deal of it doesn’t past the laugh test. I mean, who would think that Putin would accept a penthouse in a Trump building when he already has equal or better housing with much better security?
It may be that there is some there there, but those memos don’t make a good case for it.
Matthew Walther has a post over at The Week that begins this way—
Do you remember when the United States was about to have her constitutional order upended? If you printed out all the concern-trolling articles from the fall of 2016 about whether Donald Trump would “accept” the results of the presidential election and laid them end to end, they would stretch from China to Peru. As far as I recall, no one actually predicted that opioid-addicted out-of-work steelworkers in Carhartt jackets would roam the streets of Washington looting and burning and eventually installing an Alex Jones puppet government under the nominal leadership of the host of Celebrity Apprentice. The point, assuming there was one, was that the “credibility” of our election system would be undermined if one of the candidates and most of his supporters refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the next commander-in-chief.
Of course, one side did reject the legitimacy of the 2016 election, and they’ve been trying to do something about it. Hence, the “Russian collusion” investigation which, to date, has failed to turn up any solid evidence of collusion between any Russians and anyone associated with the Trump campaign.
At this point the most obvious fair-minded explanation of the Russia investigation is that it exists to paralyze the Trump administration. It certainly monopolizes the president’s attention. When he is abroad he broods over the latest media talking points from his suite. When he is in Washington, he fumes in front of the television and tweets his favorite tidbits from Fox News. The special counsel has taken his attention away from diplomacy and the other ordinary business of the presidency. Mueller has failed to deliver the goods not simply because there are no goods to deliver but because delivering them is not the point. The point is to hurt Trump.
The Nation has a post up titled The Mueller Indictments Still Don’t Add Up to Collusion. Normally, one wouldn’t expect The Nation to be supportive of Donald Trump, and it may be that they’re really not in this case. The magazine has a history of … how shall I phrase this … favorable reporting … yeah, that’s the ticket … favorable reporting on Russia. So any aid they give to the President may only be a by product of their real intention.
The January 2017 intelligence report begat an endless cycle of innuendo and unverified claims, inculcating the public with fears of a massive Russian interference operation and suspicions of the Trump campaign’s complicity. The evidence to date casts doubt on the merits of this national preoccupation, and with it, the judgment of the intelligence, political, and media figures who have elevated it to such prominence.