Nobody on my side of the aisle is asking that question. The assumption is that he is guilty of collusion with Russia, among other things, and that he is more than impeachable. He is imprisonable.
There are a lot of reasons for believing in his guilt, beginning with the assumption that an innocent man does not behave the way that Donald Trump behaves. I agree with them, because Donald Trump is guilty of a great many things. There is never a reason to believe him innocent of anything.
But is he guilty of colluding with Russia, with Russian agents, to secure the election for himself.
I’ve begun to doubt it.
Item 1. He loves to boast. Remember when he said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and people would still vote for him? What could possibly keep him from boasting about how much Russia likes him? Oh, he’s not as dumb as he looks. He would phrase it in such a way as to be immediately deniable. “Some people say,” or “Lots of other countries are hoping that I will win. Even Russia, I hear.”
Item 2. When he did learn something – I think someone on the staff, maybe Jared, suggested that Russia might have the dirt on Hillary – he came right out with it. “Russia, if you’re listening …”
Deductions from Items 1 and 2: No sane person on his campaign staff would tell Trump anything they didn’t want to escape to the public sphere. His staff, however, seems to have colluded like gangbusters. Why?
Item 3. Michael Wolff’s book, Fire and Fury, claims that Trump had no actual intention of winning the election. For him, it was a platform from which to launch his next “All About Me” project, the real “Trump TV” (as opposed to the current one, Fox News). It is possible, however, that his minions hoped he would actually win, thereby giving them a place of self-enriching power and influence in the world that “Trump TV” would be less likely to provide. It’s a theory that makes sense to me.
Item 4. Once having won the election, however, his ego will not let him admit to anything or anyone other than himself being responsible. People voted for him because they loved him. It’s the only answer he can imagine to be true. Given that, he continues to act guilty because he’s a suspicious son of a bitch. Given all the evidence, he has likely come to the correct conclusion that there was collusion, but that he was left out of it. His response has been two-fold:
a. Hang them out to dry (Bannon, Flynn, Gorka, etc.); call them “coffee-boys,” label them insignificant; or deny -- Judas-like -- all knowledge of them.
b. Commit the actual crime of Obstruction of Justice. This is a man for whom obstructing justice, which has long tried to come for him, is a way of life, and what with one thing and another, he has gotten away with it so far. He can’t, however, conceive of the difference between that and firing an FBI director or a Special Counsel.
There has long been a subset – I hope it’s just a subset – of people in the U.S. who don’t really understand our system of government. People who really do see people in power as having actual power to do as they wish. Who would readily assume that the Justice Department, along with all the others, are there to do the bidding of whoever is in power. I think Donald Trump falls into this category – and it may be the reason that so many people still support him. They think the same way. Power is there to be used, so why not use it? Because everybody knows that’s the way it works. Except that it’s not. It’s been tried, and sometimes it has succeeded, but the protocols are there, and when there is a will to use them, they can be used.
And there’s nothing he can do about it.
There is one more reason he may be technically innocent: the very word collusion implies cooperation with someone else on an equal basis. Donald Trump never cooperates and would never accept a role in which he was not the dominant player.
I think Donald Trump is guilty of a great many things and I heartily hope that one of them is a hanging offense. But actively cooperating with another entity to win an election he didn’t really expect to win and then having to admit that said win was due to something other than his personal greatness – I don’t think so.
I think his campaign staff had other ideas, and one of them was to eepkay rumptay in the arkday.