June 16, 2018

Sanity and insanity on the Mueller investigation
and the Paul Manafort case

The Mueller investigation, just over a year old, appears to have a variety of charges against Paul Manafort and may be getting Michael Cohen to flip, belying winger critics, as I have noted.

But, to what end?

The Nation, injecting some left-of-center sanity in the picture, decried by Hillbot wingnut David Corn, says that Manfort was clearly grifting for Ukraine to become more western, if anything. In other words, he had a more money-grubbing version of the Clinton-Obama mindset that led to the Maidan semi-coup. That's the reality, David.

It comes from Aaron Mate, who's been a voice of sanity at The Nation and elsewhere for ever since I've run across him on Twitter post-2016 election. Indeed, within that piece, Mate notes that the Clinton campaign accepted help from Ukrainian sources while also seeking dirt on Trump.

Now, it's possible that Mueller may find money-grubbing info vis-a-vis Russia about Trump and/or his family.

And?

If it happened before Election Day, it may or may not be illegal. That would depend on just what happened. It would not be unconstitutional; not yet president, Trump would not be subject to the Emoluments Clause. It would be unethical. And? See "Clinton, Hillary."

And, speaking of? Mate also notes that those Russian Facebook ads, besides being a drop in the bucket, were after money, not election fixing.

And the Internet Research Agency case behind that? Not only is it a nothingburger, as Mate notes, in my opinion, it violates the spirit, at least, of the First Amendment.

And, Manafort now being jailed for witness tampering claims changes nothing about the main issue of whom he colluded with, per the Mueller investigation.

As for the insanity?

One of the ringleaders of the #Resistance, The American Prospect, gets more stupid yet by claiming Trump's growing tariffs war is all driven by Vlad the Impaler Putin and his Moscow minions.

The real problem is that the real "crime" of Manafort, playing a long-term part in corruption of the American political system in general, is not a crime. Sadly, the second half of that Atlantic piece repeats the traditional #Resistance talking points. The first half is good; read the second half in light of the Nation piece.

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