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Calling It: “Treason”

The completely inconceivable idea that . . . the president of the United States is an active agent of Russian intelligence, no longer seems completely unthinkable.  Garrett Graff to Jonathan Capehart, today’s “Cape Up” podcast (WaPo).

For a calming perspective, I’m remembering that this is not the first time, in my lifetime, that a Republican politician has committed treason in order to achieve or maintain power.  It’s a Republican thing.  Because that’s the way they are, when the stakes are high and democracy gets in their way. Their country should be theircountry, to use in service of their personal interests; so when their country’s democracy gets in their way, they subvert that democracy, rather thangive up ownershipof the means of production of theirwealth (as the Southern aristocracy modeled in 1860 and again with Jim Crow).

They did it in 1968, 1972, 1980, 2000, and, as is increasingly clear, in 2016.

Two items add to that clarification today:  

(1) U. S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who had read the entire Flynn sentencing document, not just the parts that weren’t redacted, suggested to Gen. Flynn that he may have “sold out his country.” Flynn’s acts of betrayal and subversion of the law, involving other nations, were so egregious that he might want to postpone his sentencing, the judge suggested, to give himself time in which to offer even more cooperation with the American government, in the form of the Special Council, in its investigation of the sitting pr*sident, to make up for the damage that he has inflicted on his country, in the service of that pr*sident, the govs of Russia and Turkey, and his personal financial desires.

(2)  Historian of the American presidency, Jon Meecham, wondering whether our habituated use of our language has dulled our ability to identify our present reality, the possibility that the sitting pr*sident is, right now, committing treason by making himself vulnerable to manipulation by a hostile foreign government, in the service of his personal financial desires (and those of his family), i.e. that he has been, and now is, “giving aid and comfort to the enemy” and is “a witting or partially witting agent of a foreign power” (see video).

That so? “Possibly the biggest question that we can confront as a democracy.”  What say you?

I remember the afternoon of June 18, 1972 (or maybe it was the next day) when I learned that Republican Party operatives, seemingly under orders of Pres. Nixon, had been caught burglarizing the national headquarters of the Democratic Party, surely in an attempt to gain information that the RP would use to damage the electoral campaign of their opponent.  At age 33 I was deeply shocked, because this seemed to me to be an existential threat to our democracy, itself, which I believed was one of humanity’s most important achievements, and was a fundamental condition for the kind of life that I wanted.  A major political party had tried, through secret, illegal acts, to weaken its opponent’s ability to function as an opposition.  The stakes were raised by the fact that a presidential election would take place in a few months, and many Democrats were working to end the war in Vietnam.

But, as Herr Trompf would happily boast (if doing so wouldn’t threaten his bottom line), what he and the RP have done, through the past several years, is probably the biggest American political scandal ever, and makes trivia of the Nixon efforts.  As a crook, Nixon seems almost quaint, even naïve.

T has jeopardized (I’m guessing is jeopardizing) our democracy and the safety of our nation, certainly by making himself vulnerable to manipulation by Putin, and possibly by cooperating in Putin’s machinations (as for instance during the transition into office when his people were working to reduce the sanctions on Russian oligarchs—that being one of Putin’s major motivations for getting T elected, and Hillary not); and he is doing so for personal profit at the nation’s and the world’s expense.

But Trompf, his people, and fascist Republican owners and operators have their own naïveté, in the blindness that comes with egomania, cruelty, cynicism, and banality, etcetera; and I’m thinking that the highly experienced and conservatively principled Mueller and his posse know what a large web in the night they are tasked with revealing, and what it takes to knock it down.  

The Shearing of Hair Trompf (43)

To record how far we have come since the election, and where we stand now, I’m going to claim Fair Use and Public Service (and free advertising for The Washington Post), and reprint yesterday’s “Plum Line” by Paul Waldman almost in it’s entirety.  I could just reference, with the link; but somehow I feel that the novel, page by page, must include these words in its text (with my bold):

Yes, there was “collusion.’ Now what should we do about it?

As we continue putting together the pieces of the 2016 Trump campaign’s cooperation with the Russian government, a pair of new reports produced for the Senate Intelligence Committee is making clear just how intense the Russian government’s effort on Donald Trump’s behalf was. In fact, it’s long past time when we stop talking about Russian “meddling” or even a Russian “attack” on our election, not because those characterizations are inaccurate but because they obscure the broader truth.

So let’s stop beating around the bush. The Russian government tried to get Trump elected, and Trump, his campaign, his close associates and even members of his family tried to help them. For all practical purposes, Russia was part of the Trump campaign.That is no longer in doubt. All we’re doing now is filling in the details.

But those details are appalling. Let’s begin with the first report, created by Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Projectand Graphika, a network analysis firm, and obtained by The Post, examining efforts by the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) to use social media in the service of Trump’s campaign:

“What is clear is that all of the messaging clearly sought to benefit the Republican Party — and specifically Donald Trump,” the report says. “Trump is mentioned most in campaigns targeting conservatives and right-wing voters, where the messaging encouraged these groups to support his campaign. The main groups that could challenge Trump were then provided messaging that sought to confuse, distract and ultimately discourage members from voting.” […]

The Russians aimed particular energy at activating conservatives on issues such as gun rights and immigration, while sapping the political clout of left-leaning African American voters by undermining their faith in elections and spreading misleading information about how to vote.

Depressing African American turnout was plainly a top priority for Russian intelligence. In other words, their efforts offered a short-term reinforcement of one of the core elements of the Republican Party’s long-term electoral strategy. The GOP tries to erect barriers to registration and voting that fall particularly hard on African Americans, and then the Russians sweep in to tell those same voters that they shouldn’t bother even trying to go to the polls, because it won’t make a difference anyway.

This is clear in the second report that the Intelligence Committee commissioned from a cybersecurity firm called New Knowledge. Nicholas Thompson and Issie Lapowsky of Wired explain:

Among more than a dozen web domains the IRA registered, the vast majority, including and, were aimed at black communities. Of the 33 most popular Facebook pages linked to the IRA, nearly half focused on black audiences. This effort was particularly successful on Instagram, where the account @blackstagram, amassed more than 300,000 followers and elicited more than 28 million reactions. Much of this content seemed designed to stoke distrust among black Americans in democratic institutions and depress black turnout for Hillary Clinton.

Whether or not the Russian officials managing this effort were in direct communication with the Trump campaign, they were certainly trying to push the same buttons. Let me refer you to this October 2016 article in which Joshua Green and Sasha Issenberg got unusual inside access to the Trump campaign’s digital strategy:

“Instead of expanding the electorate, [Steve] Bannon and his team are trying to shrink it. ‘We have three major voter suppression operations under way,’ says a senior official. They’re aimed at three groups Clintonneeds to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans.” […]

On Oct. 24, Trump’s team began placing spots on select African American radio stations. In San Antonio, a young staffer showed off a South Park-style animation he’d created of Clinton delivering the “super predator” line (using audio from her original 1996 sound bite), as cartoon text popped up around her: “Hillary Thinks African Americans are Super Predators.” The animation will be delivered to certain African American voters through Facebook “dark posts”—nonpublic posts whose viewership the campaign controls so that, as [Brad] Parscaleputs it, “only the people we want to see it, see it.”The aim is to depress Clinton’s vote total. “We know becausewe’ve modeled this,” says the official. “It will dramatically affect her ability to turn these people out.”

So Russia picked up on one of the most despicable — and effective — parts of the GOP strategy, understanding that it was where its help was needed and where it could have an impact.

I suspect one of the reasons we can even still debate the magnitude of the Russia scandal is that people want a clearer, simpler conspiracy. . . Even when we see Trump implore Russia on national television to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails and learn that they obeyed the instruction within hours, it somehow isn’t enough.

So we have to assemble the picture from disparate parts: the 16 (at least) Trump officials who had contacts with Russians during the campaign and transition, the Russian hack of Democratic emails, the carefully timed release of those emails to maximize damage to Clinton, the extraordinary social media effort the IRA mounted to amplify the Trump campaign’s efforts, and who knows what else.

When we speak now of “the Trump campaign,” we have to think about it as something larger than just those people who were working at the Trump Tower headquarters. The Trump campaign was also the National Enquirer buying the silence of an (alleged) Trump mistress, attempting to knock off Trump’s primary opponents and spreading lurid rumors about Clinton to every American who ever stood in a supermarket checkout line. And the Trump campaign was Russian intelligence, echoing the campaign’s messages and working for both the short- and long-term goals the campaign had set out.

Now what are we going to do about it?

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The Shearing of Hair Trompf (42)

O Happy Day! The stars are beginning to shine again and the sun is coming out.  I’m sensing a national feeling, even if cautious, of relief, and a general lifting of mood.  As when the fever breaks and eyes flicker open.  

Those eyes will have to close again, and there’s a long period of recovery and recuperation ahead.  But breathing is much easier.

After the Dem electoral victories—at every level of governance, and the investigative revelations of the past week, even R owners and operatives, incl donors and senators, can see that T will be shown to be guilty of spending money illegally to advance his 2016 campaign, defrauding the U S by corrupting the election, in conspiracy with a hostile foreign government, and obstructing the process of justice.

In short, a remarkable NY-NJ real-estate crime family and friends are about to get a come-uppance. Big time.  Hubristic corruption, although not tragic.  

And a blow will be struck by democracy against the international oligarchy.

What a story.  Historic.

[More Flynn, Cohen, Manafort, Butina, Pecker/AMI, et al. details to be sketched in when I get a chance.  Everything Trompf is being investigated, and here‘s a Year of Justice in Review by Michelle Goldberg, who concludes that “this is the first year since 2015 . . . that is ending more hopefully than it began.”]

At the White House meeting, “Nancy” previewed her superior strength, as Speaker of the House, “Chuck” showed remarkable self-restraint as he snookered the Pr*sident into dooming himself to a political disaster, Trompf showed, for TV, what a jack-ass he is, and Pence made himself null and void.

T and his people will yet misbehave, possibly even their worst ever; but the powers ranged against them can and will prevail.  The legislative branch—the most powerful, by Article 1 of the Constitution, as Pelosi pointed out to Trompf, may well be forced by Revealed Reality News to initiate impeachment.

And maybe most important for the Republic and the planet, House Ds are pushing ahead with a life-saving and enhancing legislative agenda.

O Happy Day!

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The Shearing of Hair Trompf (41)

Evidence will show, slowly but surely, that Trompf committed at least one felony (violated campaign finance laws), and that Trompf conspired with various Russians, surely with the knowledge of Individual 1 of the ROS (Russian Oligarchic State) to defraud the United States and become Individual 1 of the UOSA.  The goals of this operation were (1) to make a lot of money, (2) to forge a Russo-American oligarchic partnership, with central offices in Trompf Money-Laundering Towers in NYC and Moscow (including a Putin penthouse, financed by Russian oligarchs who would take advantage of a central location where operations could conveniently combine business, crime, and politics), (3) consolidate the Western Oligarchy, and (4) make a lot of money.

Not only is this now obvious to all Republican operatives, it is also obvious that they can no longer keep a lid on it (him, aka, in court, Individual 1).  The bigger he puffs himself up, the bigger a liability he becomes.  They will suffer mightily if they cling to him much longer.  They have to hope that M puts T sufficiently in disgrace to justify abandonment by his base, and thus by Party operatives.

Their singing (to paraphrase an old song):  Well, he ain’t nothin, but a dirty low-down pr*sdent anyways, we’re gonna hav uh let im go.  

For instance, T decided to try to score a late, legislative victory by urging passage of criminal justice reform, and he told the Turtle so.  But Turtle is going to deprive him of that victory, by not scheduling a vote. Bigger yet, T says 5 billion for Trompf Memorial Wall, or shut down gov (at least partially).  I’m guessing that Turtle is not gonna let either happen.  He’ll run out the clock, and come back for the second half, to take charge of the team and call plays in the huddle.

(Note, too, that Tillerson is now publicly saying that T wouldn’t read State Dept briefs, and T asked the him to do things that were illegal.  Qs from the last paragraph of that article:  Who suggested Barr for AG; is that also a counter-Trompf move?  And now we’ll watch the replacement of Kelly, and prob his protégé, Nielsen.  Meanwhile, goofball Tucker Carlson is now saying that T is incompetent.  Hannity will never stoop so low as to be honest, of course, so he doesn’t count.)

When the Rs lost the Battle for the House, they lost the war.  T’s defense of the Senate, a campaign in which the Rs had prepared the battlefield and he held the numbers, was just a rear guard action, as are the current anti-voter, anti-democracy skirmishes in WI, MI, and NC (those local Rs, put in place by their 2010 victories, when they caught the Ds napping, are like die-hard platoons in the mountain forests who insist that their side hasn’t lost the war).  T cannot save the R Party, any more than Jeff Davis could save the Confederacy.

Later that day: At WaPo, Costa and Rucker report growing anxiety among DC Rs; and Brice-Sadler reports that John Dean believes that the “totality of today’s filings show that the House is going to have little choice, the way this is going, other than to start impeachment proceedings.”  As I’ve said, I think neither Rs nor Ds (because they want to accomplish positives) prefer impeachment, but T simply, absolutely must be removed from office, asap.  I suspect that the M report will leave no alternative but immediate impeachment proceedings.  Those can take some time, while House Ds get other things done too; but there might be a serious felt need to hurry. Especially if chaotic T and his fascist crew start wrecking the place.

On the very first Shearing page (Mar 2, 2017), dear reader, your narrator predicted an R coup to replace Trompf with Pence.  Now I’m thinking they will ease T out, trying to avoid another character (theirs) besmirching impeachment/exposé and food fight.  Then they will run their politics through a Turtle-Pence alliance, trying to keep their Party intact and its agenda in place until 2020.

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It’s Over

This.  In context of Herr Trompf’s rainy Paris cop-out, his obscenely immoral response to the Kashoggi murder, followed by yesterday’s G20 Putin-MSB “high five,” this past week’s revelations by Mueller (with so much more to come), and the imminent D House majority, I’m thinking that this is the moment when the end of Trompf’s pr*sidency was caught on camera.  

It’s there for the world to see.  There’s nobody home in that head anymore.  I’m thinking that the Rs are already making preparations for easing T away.  Last one to leave, turn out the lights.

They’ll salvage what they can, with a President Pinch, aka Pence, Fundament-IN.  A sign could be when T is obviously a hot potato among R senators, or McC allows a vote in defense of Mueller.  Or we might not see a sign until this congressional session ends.  

It’s a dilemma of two evils for the Rs, but fate/reality/truth has a way of forcing a choice.  I’ll be narratorially surprised if T is still in La Maison Blanche at the end of January.  [ * ]

12-2  Still stunned by that display, I tried to explain my reaction to the author. It’s like you’re set up by a friend (who later admits it was a practical joke) for a blind date with a guy your friend describes as a promising developer, with a great head of hair. You’re gonna meet at a swanky steak house, and he will buy.  You arrive early and wait just outside the door.  After a while a limousine pulls up and the guy gets out, like he’s a prince from somewhere, with an orange comb over.  You begin to suspect, but hey.  He looks around, and although you’re the only person standing outside, you wave to make sure he sees you and knows it’s you.  He walks over, shakes you hand and pats your shoulder, says Hi, how are you, steps in front of you, and walks on up the street, mumbling something, like, “Get me out of here,” and waving at the passing cars.  Never looks back.  A guy from the limousine company hurries past, to chase him down. Your friend said the guy was a real charmer, who had been made CEO of some Fortune 500.  But come on.  Beyond rude.  Guys gotta be nuts.

The author said he had had the same reaction.  He put it this way.  He’s live through, and seen film or video of, 13 American presidents: FDR, Ike, JFK, LBJ, The Crook (aka Treason with N Vietnam), The Pardoner, Carter, The Cowboy (aka Treason with Iran), Willie Horton (aka 41), Bill (aka Monica), W (aka 43, aka Supreme Crt Gift, aka the worst president until this one), Barack Husein Obama, and Trompf (aka *).  

First, with any one of them before Trompf, no one would possibly have imagined that he would wonder away from a head of state (host of the gathering of heads of state) and right on off the stage, off camera as far as we can tell.  Second, if something like that did happen, everyone would have assumed that there was a logical, rational explanation, maybe a glitch on the part of the staff.  Third, the President would quickly have realized that he had made a mistake, and walked back to his host, with gracious gestures (unless it was The Pardoner, who might have tripped) and a gracious remark or two, received by smiles from the host and appreciative laughter, maybe even applause, from the other dignitaries, guests, and press.  No harm done.  Brief novelty TV.  Soon forgotten.

[ * ]  12-3  As if things aren’t dark enough, there is this darker prognosis put clearly by Charles M. Blow (NYT), that there is nothing that Mueller will reveal that will cause T to budge or his supporters to leave him. Therefore T owns the Party, and it will not force him out.  The result is going to be a lot of damage to the nation.  Frankly, that wouldn’t surprise me.  However, I’m still going with the idea that, as I believe we saw in the Nixon case, the owners of the Party (eg the Koch Bros Gang) and the Party operators, espec McConnell, in alliance with Pence, will have sufficient power to force T out, and will do so when they decide that it serves their vital interests.

How to Treat a Sick Pr*sident (2)

The reality is grim, dear Reader.  Our Pr*sident, a ranting writer of very short, flash fiction, inhabits his own imaginary world, which he tries to suck us into, in which he fantasizes that his dream comes true:  he is Commander of life or death, of anyone, and therefore everyone.

I’m thinking that’s the essence of his character.

As a candidate for president, our character, our villain Trompf, was already danger-crazy enough to publicly and boastfully imagine shooting someone to death, right out in the middle of the street—not some backstreet, a famous and glamorous American avenue.  He offered no rationale.  He declared his act to be unbounded by any conventional, bothersome, obsolete, irrelevant world of moral reflection. We, being rational, gather that the dead someone must be anyone whom he perceives to be a threat or to get in his way.   Or?

As pr*sident, he publicly professes admiration and affection for Duterte, a vigilante killer of thousands, and Kim, whose family has starved millions, without noticing. He exclaims that a Crown Prince who ordered the murder and dismemberment—the disappearance, the liquidation (possibly literal)—of a critic, maybe is guilty, maybe not. It depends on how you look at it.

He approves the military use of lethal force against thousands of asylum seekers, and his border agents terrorize (word chosen thoughtfully) children, with a gas attack.  He says it’s the asylum seekers’ own fault.  Q:  When is it okay to tear gas children?  A:  Have we reached the point in America where it is actually necessary to ask?!

Dostoevskian as he is, anything he imagines doing, he might very well do. He could shoot someone with a (nuclear) rocket launcher, with impunity.  He believes he is impune to cause and effect.  

Second essential characteristic:  he believes himself to be Above the Law.

It’s his imaginary world, and he’s sticking to it.  Like the tar baby, he can’t let it go.  Like a golden pussy, with his Midas touch he doesn’t want to.  He’s sick that way.  He simply can’t (healthfully) imagine it.

We must do that for him.  When our Pr*sident is a nut case, we must apply the established legal means of peacefully removing him from office—by right of self-defense.  This reality transcends mere individual high crimes and misdemeanors; his pr*sidency is so dangerous and debilitating that if those who could remove him, do not do so, they—we, are guilty of a disqualifying abuse of presidential power.

Some story-tellers argue that it might be better for the nation to leave such a one in office. Impeachment wounds and scars the nation.  He is becoming weak enough that he can be controlled by saner operatives.  We can work around him.  Let him continue to inspire the opposition to come out and vote.

Meanwhile, he enables murder, war, chaos; and he inspires mass anxiety and hopelessness.

Is it really acceptable to say to ourselves and the world that it is okay if the American President, the world’s most powerful leader, is nuts?  Can the world afford an American president who is so weak, so shrunken, that he really doesn’t matter?

Is it really acceptable to say to ourselves and the world that it is okay if the American President, the world’s most powerful leader, sets an international example of normal diabolical egotistical nihilism?

Sure, he makes an interesting, even perversely dramatic, character in a novel.  But if we go right on reading that novel, without moving to affect the plot line, thus making its violence gratuitous, what does that say about the health of ourimaginations?  Can’t we tell ourselves a better story than that one?  Wouldn’t we rather be reading about a nonfiction fictive world, each morning, that was sane?  Or, at least, that offered the possibility of more sanity?

And btw there’s this: treason [*].  Plus “conspiracy to defraud the United States.” Potentially it’s the new normal, if we enable it.  (To my tongue, while “collusion” seems rather vague, bland, although with hints of collision, “conspiracy to defraud” seems full-bodied, criminally concrete, with black-red hints of caked blood.)

All in the fullness of time.  In 229 years we haven’t had a president do time in jail.  Maybe just this once.

[ * (11-28)It has been widely observed that Rs, and Trompf, often charge their opponents with having negative characteristics or aims, or engaging in negative actions, that actually belong to those Rs and/or T. Whether they are aware of what they are doing is debated.  It has seemed to me that, early on, it was an unconsicous, psychological projection, but that eventually some Rs caught on to its usefulness as a tactic, and have been doing it consciously.  Sometimes they do it pre-emptively, when they know that they are going to do something negative and unpopular, so they say that they Ds are doing that.

It has become a “tell.”

Along with many observers of recent R and T actions, I have thought out loud that they were being treasonous.  News items, yesterday, brought me to think it again.  And whadaya know, today T, feeling the pressure of Mueller’s investigation, charges an entire group of his opponents with . . .Yep. ]

11-29  Here’s the thing.  It might become impossible for Congress not to impeach.  For one thing, if M shows criminality.  But even, sort of, aside from that:  the entire Trompf pr*sidency has been a grand exercise in abuse of presidential power!  It’s all self-aggrandizement, at the expense of the nation.  It’s all obstruction of justice (and btw what an interesting 2nd act to the Rs’ total obstruction of the last 6 years of the Obama presidency).  T is the R Obstructor-in-Chief.  It’s all so obvious.

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The Shearing of Hair Trompf (40)

It’s Monday of a week in which many people expect to learn of Mueller’s next big public move. Maybe I’m jumping the gun (an-ti-ci-pay-ay-shun, he’s driving me crazy…), but I want to point out that Herr Trompf is at the weakest point in his pr*sidency so far (with the bottom, quite possibly, about to drop out from under him), even as his dementia seems steadily worse.  E.g. he and his party have suffered an electoral disaster, which will produce genuine Congressional investigations of a wide range of T and R wrongs; he has excused the murder of a journalist by a dictatorial regime, on the grounds that it’s really his financial relationship with those dictators that matters; his signature policy, stopping immigration, is failing, including the tear-gassing of children in families who are legally seeking asylum; he has been alienating yet another large block of voters, the military; R politicians now realize that he is more a liability than an asset; his administrative staff is depleted, including the office of WH Council.

Now what?  (Well this morn T tried again to weasel out, with his lamest excuse so far.  Here’s hoping that these are notthe good old days.”  And since music hath something to sooth the savage me, while I’m hearing Carly Simon in my head:  He’s so vain he definitely thinks this world is about him.  Apology to CS if needed.)

Wed 12-4  The week turned out to be a good one for our team; and things appear likely to keep on getting better.  On TH/11-29 a BPS (big pleasant surprise) of a Cohen plea deal (doc).  E.g.  White (Atlantic) on 3 remarkable things.  Blake (WaPo) with 4 takeaways.  Feldman (Bloomberg) on Trump-Russia linkage.  Wheeler (HuffPost):  could be bad for Don Jr.

People are saying this event might be over soon, but in view of articles such as these by Sumner (DKos) and Eliason (WaPo), I’m thinking that if this were the old 440-yd dash that I ran as a kid, we got an excellent start and had the inside on the first turn;  now we’re heading down the back stretch, with a lot of the race ahead of us.  I’m thinking, inside position coming around the second turn, probably overtaking Jr., and then head for the finish with only Individual #1 ahead of us.

(Now, in earlier meets members of the R team, when losing, have pulled shenanigans such as sending a water boy onto the track to disrupt the race so much that no one can be declared the winner, or loser (sometimes the R runner has limped or snuck across the finish line and been declared winner, by a R ref), so a Win is not guaranteed here, but we’re looking good.  And yes the metaphor is a narratorial self-indulgence.  A celebration, maybe too early.)

[Skipped Flynn.  Will get back to it.]

12-7 M court filings re. Cohen and Manafort allege T violation of campaign finance laws, and further suggest link btwn T business ventures in Russia and possible collusion wth R interference in election (not to mention obstruction of justice, which is one of T’s life-long projects).  Blake (WaPo), “5 big takeaways”; Bump (WaPo); Waldman (WaPo), “nobody can save T now”; Berke, Bookbinder, Eisen (NYT), “Beginning of End for T?”.  (Meanwhile, Hayden (DKos):  Mother Jones reporting that the T campaign org illegally coordinated with NRA.)

Marshall (TPM) offers a helpful telling, here and here.  Interesting how seriously Putin and his oligarchs want out from under the US sanctions.  What are all of these crooks, Russian and American, willing to do, to make good things happen for themselves?

In short, the evidence will show, slowly but surely, that Trompf committed a felony (violated campaign finance laws), and conspired to defraud the United States of America.  His motivation was to make a lot of money.

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