Trump’s Inner Nixon: Is It Possible To Have a Cover Up Without An Actual Crime?

Below is my column in the Hill Newspaper on the Comey termination and comparisons to the Nixon presidency.  Those analogies deepened this weekend after the President repeated that he thinks that they should just get rid of the daily press briefings that have been such a central part of White House operations for decades.  What is most striking is how, again, the White House has engineered its own undoing.  Many people had called for Comey to be fired, particularly Democrats. However, the timing and manner of the termination has created yet another scandal for the Administration. Only 27 percent of citizens support the decision according to a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.  The growing credibility crisis has made the appointment of a Special Prosecutor (or even the resurrection of the Independent Counsel Act) a priority for many. While I have been a dissenting voice regarding the need for a Special Prosecutor, the Comey debacle has changed my view.  The public deserves an independent investigation into these allegations and related issues.  Perhaps people will be satisfied with the FBI investigation under a new director, but the last week has been so damaging to public confidence that the need for an independent investigation is obvious. Having said that, I am still unsure of the major crime being investigated under the facts that are currently known.  For the moment, this Administration appears intent of self-incriminating actions in the absence of an actual crime.

Here is the column:

Teddy Roosevelt once quipped, “When they call the roll in the Senate, the senators do not know whether to answer ‘present’ or ‘not guilty.’ ”

It seems this week that presidents can face the same dilemma. President Trump’s obsession with the Russian investigation has been widely taken as proof of his guilt. The night of the firing of FBI Director James Comey, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin declared that the only explanation was that the investigation was getting too close to the president.

Echoing what has become a mantra in the media, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) declared that Trump’s conduct is “nothing less than Nixonian.” Of course, the difference is that the Nixon scandal cover-up began with an actual crime. The Trump scandal appears to be a cover-up in search of a crime.

History may ultimately be faced with one of the greatest curiosities in presidential politics: how the Trump White House convinced a nation that it was hiding a crime that was never actually committed. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and others have expressly stated that they have seen no evidence of collusion between the White House and the Russians in the election. The focus of the investigation remains the Russian hacking of Clinton campaign emails.

However, that is not likely a crime committed by Trump or his associates. Indeed, no one is likely to seek the indictment of Vladimir Putin for the very same offense committed by our own government in hacking countless foreign accounts, including those of our closest allies like Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.

440px-Michael_T_FlynnThus far, the only clear criminal allegation centers on reporting or disclosure violations by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. However, the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) is rarely actually prosecuted. The Justice Department prefers administrative enforcement over criminal prosecution. The result is that there have been only seven prosecutions under FARA since 1966, when the law was revised, and only four such cases in the last decade.

Likewise, the Logan Act (which is often referenced) is a virtual dead letter. Passed in 1799, the act is widely viewed as unconstitutional. It makes it a crime for citizens to intervene in disputes or controversies between the United States and foreign governments. It has never been used to convict a single U.S. citizen and Flynn would have compelling defenses if it were suddenly resurrected. There could be false statement prosecutions to either Congress or federal investigators, but that is hardly worthy of Watergate analogies.

Background_to_Danger_film_posterYet, if there is no “noose closing around the neck” of the president, why does he constantly look like he is playing the perpetual bad guy George Raft in “Background to Danger” who, when asked what he was doing in Moscow, sneered, “We’re gonna cement Russian-American relations.” The irony is that the bizarre conduct this week could be the manifestation of paranoia rather than guilt.

Reports suggest that Trump was irate over the failure of Comey to support him on the Obama wiretapping allegations and to dismiss the allegations in the Russian controversy. Comey had been quoted by sources as saying that Trump was “outside the realm of normal” and possibly “crazy.”

Other sources allege that Trump demanded that Comey assure him of his “loyalty” as a condition of his retaining his position at the FBI. Trump himself admitted that he asked Comey to confirm that he was not a target of the FBI at a dinner where he said Comey was lobbying him to keep his job. Trump insists that Comey assured him that he was not a target of any investigation.

440px-Comey-FBI-PortraitIronically, if true, Trump finally came up with a bona fide reason to fire Comey. If Comey actually did repeatedly assure Trump that he was not a target, Comey deserved to be fired. It was a grossly improper question for the president to ask and an equally improper question for Comey to answer. Of course, the president’s account would contradict everything that we know about James Comey.

Trump actually embodies a harsher Nixon than Nixon himself — like Nixon without Checkers.  He conveys Nixon’s paranoia without the pet. He tweeted today that “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

Where Nixon proclaimed after an election defeat that the media would not “have Nixon to kick around anymore,” Trump seems intent on out-Nixoning Nixon. Friday, he also threatened that “maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future ‘press briefings.’

Of course, Trump may not have Checkers but, thus far, he also does not have a crime. He may have achieved the impossible in making a case for a special counsel without evidence of serious criminal conduct on his part.

The irony is that the only way that Trump can now clear his name would be the one thing that he seems most eager to prevent: a new independent investigation. He has succeeded in convincing millions of citizens that he is hiding his guilt. That view is not likely to be changed by conclusions of congressional investigations in the GOP controlled houses or an FBI investigation after he fired its director.

Sarah-Huckabee-Sanders-2017-05-05-cropThe White House itself has undermined any other path to exoneration for the president. This week, Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated, “We want [this investigation] to come to its conclusion. We want it to come to its conclusion with integrity. And we think that we’ve actually, by removing Director Comey, taken steps to make that happen.”

In case such statements were not suspicious enough, the White House arranged for Trump to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office on the day after the termination of Comey.

As the public debated whether Trump was a puppet of the Kremlin, the president had his picture taken in the Oval Office with a grinning Kislyak — the very Russian at the heart of the collusion allegations. Not only did the White House admit that the meeting was held at the request of Vladimir Putin, the pictures of the meeting were taken by the state-run Tass organization because the White House barred U.S. media.

An independent investigation could reveal the evidence of criminal conduct that is so conspicuously missing today. It might also find nothing but a bizarre anomaly: a president who exhibited the most incriminating conduct in history without actually committing a crime.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

232 thoughts on “Trump’s Inner Nixon: Is It Possible To Have a Cover Up Without An Actual Crime?”

  1. “These people are playing with matches… I don’t think they understand the scope and scale of the wildfire they are flirting with. They are ph’king around with a civil war that could last a decade and cause millions of deaths… and the sad truth is that 95% of the problems we have in this country could be solved tomorrow, by noon… simply by dragging 100 people out in the street and shooting them in the ph’king head.”


    Do you realize just how many Sr. Intel people & special forces have used safe public sources to warn everyone, USA, against harming Trump & his administration?

    May you find your authoritarian tyrannic utopia in N Korean, Londonstan, Swedislamrapeastan.

    May your chains rest lightly upon you,go, but this is what’s left of the USA Freedom that others & my family gave us all years ago.

    BTW: JT, Titles, law degrees, you operate from are a gift from others, you’re not entitled to anything & it can be taken away by the same type forces that gave it to you. Just something to consider as it’s that you seem to have been in this current Deep State compromised position of the past few years, as I see things.

    Ya, maybe we’ve all become a bit compromised by putting up with such deep state crap all these years.

    At least I’ve been shown the lawful way to defeat it’s tyranny, let’s pray it works.

  2. Yeah, I agree 100% with Turley. Let’s spend about $30 million investigating Trump’s firing of James Comey, who has been a total failure as FBI director, having failed to protect American lives many times, even though all he had to do was to do his job for a change. I’m sure the investigation will have amazing disclosures that will stun the media. Like, for example, when the CIA/FBI was talking about the Russian “interference” in the US election, the only evidence that came up was that the son-in-law of the the aunt’s second cousin who was married to a CIA agent, reported that he had “heard through the grapevine” that the third cousin’s daughter of the uncle of an FBI agent told him unequivocally that Russian agents had hacked into the DNC’s computers using software borrowed from the mother-in-law of the sister of an aunt’s brother at the KGB.

    1. I know, really. Like who in the media cares to remind us all that Omar Mateen, the Orlando shooter, was on the FBI’s radar, had been interviewed, and then case closed before he shot up the Orlando nightclub killing 50 people. Or the Fort Hood shooter, Nadal Hassan, who was on the FBI’s radar only for them to close the matter and have him murder 13 people at Fort Hood under the label ‘workplace violence.’ Yeah, let’s talk about the great job the FBI has been doing. I don’t agree with the way Comey was fired by Trump, but I believe there is a reason he was fired the way he was. Comey has a long history of being part of Clinton ‘fixing’ teams. I give Trump the benefit of the doubt on this one.

  3. So let’s get something right all these investigations by just about everyone, just innuendo by the Dums and their left wing press. Absolutely no evidence, no proof and they need a special investigation. Manchin, Fienstein, Schiff and God knows how many others say there’s no evidence. So the Dums want to keep the narrative going for the nex 3 1/2 years to disrupt a President who was legally elected by the overwhelming majority of the electorate. What’s worse the party in power doesn’t have the guts to fight back for the benefit of the people. God only knows what we can expect when an openly biased press decides to pick our leadership. Is it really the Russians who have interfered with our election or could it be the media?

    1. Do you really think the liberal media is rooting for President Pence?

      1. If Dems win back the House, they will begin impeachment proceedings. Whether or not they can get a conviction in the Senate matters not – as long as they can drive the media narrative with ‘Trump is Impeached by the House’ as long as possible, that’s all they care about initially.

      1. Sure he did. To which Lavrov stated the President’s “daily” briefings might need to be done “hourly”. He (Lavrov) had already been provided this “briefing” after his team collected it using Obama’s “more flexible” back channels of “diplomacy”.

  4. “In the US, a wrong political stance yields no dire personal consequences, and since no special valor is required, no cowardice is exposed. One can wave the red flag, join the Nazi party, cheer for Trump, swoon for Hillary or idolize Bernie, all without risking anything, really. Collectively, however, Americans’ collusion with their leaders’ political charade is resulting in the ongoing destruction of this nation.

    As a child, I witnessed the violent collapse of one country [Vietnam]. As an adult, I’m living through the systematic, orderly and, so far, meekly accepted dismantling of another.

    You can bet it won’t stay calm much longer. Soon, we’ll see who are our rare heroes, and who will do whatever it takes just to survive another day.”

    Linh Dinh

    1. autumn,

      Do you have a link to this? I think Linh is speaking the truth here. Is there more to the piece?

      If it’s handy, will you link me to it please? Also, I will try looking it up!

  5. Messing around in the elections of other countries has been going on for a few thousand years. Fifth columns, espionage, blackmail, bribery, etc. can all be found in one form or another in most countries coming and going, especially the US. Russia got ticked off at Clinton for supposed encouragement of opposition to Putin.

    What is important here is not Russia meddling in the politics of the US but the connections a US President might have to Russia, before, during, and after the Presidency in question. Clinton and others may have done stuff and may still be doing stuff and this stuff should, indeed, must be investigated. However, what is infinitely more important is the stuff done, being done, and the potential stuff, now, with this mutt in the White House.

    First the tax returns. There is no honest argument for not being transparent. Trump is either playing simply to amuse himself, self gratification, or he is hiding stuff. The US public has a right to know. In the end the Presidency belongs to the people of the US, not the other way around. We have a disgusting, deplorable, excuse for a human being, let alone a President in the White House. It’s time we took the sacred out of the office and take a good look at this mutt.

    1. issac – show me the part of the US Constitution where it says the President has to expose his tax returns. Some Americans may WANT to know, but they do not have a RIGHT to know.

      Dude, I keep telling you, get an American Civics book, read and memorize it.

    2. “It’s time we took the sacred out of the office and take a good look at this mutt.”

      Did someone hack issac’s account? “In the end the Presidency belongs to the people of the US, not the other way around.” I encourage anyone reading this blog to go into the archives and review issac’s ACTUAL opinions on the ‘sacredness” of the office of the Presidency and who it belongs to. There you will find enough genuflection towards Obama that you would have thought issac to be his personal shoe shine boy.

      I don’t know who you think your fooling. You have absolutely ZERO credibility when it comes to defending our constitution. I’ve lost track of the number of times you’ve dismissed it as a living document that has time and again been an obstacle to real progress. That real progress of course being lead by the political elites that will ignore the constitutional limits in favor of progressive ends (stuff). Stick to opining on Canadian civics because you’ve failed miserably at ours.

      1. Olly

        Failed miserably at your perverted opinion, perhaps. Ever heard of ‘amendments’. The Constitution is alive and only as strong as the people it serves. Yes serving the people, not the people serving a perverted interpretation. The Presidency is there for one purpose and one purpose only, just as is every other democratic office, to serve the people. Obama may have placed himself above the Presidency but no President has ever surpassed Trump in achieving this ‘holier than all’ position. Study up on your American history.

        1. “Perverted opinion”? It’s DOCUMENTED fact. This blog’s archives have all the proof. But then you fancy rewriting history as it suits you so you have that going for you.

          “Obama may have placed himself above the Presidency but…” That’s your tell. Like I said, ZERO credibility. And that is your legacy.

    3. Isaac wrote: “Clinton and others may have done stuff and may still be doing stuff and this stuff should, indeed, must be investigated.” Yes! THIS is progress….

  6. This is interesting:

    “Earlier this week, Paul said reporters have told him they have evidence he was a target of Obama administration spying.

    This is the first time that Paul mentioned another senator is also concerned about the Obama administration’s surveillance.

    He said if this proves to be true, it’s a much bigger story than any allegations about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the presidential election.

    “It’s about your own government spying on the opposition party,” Paul said. “That would be enormous if it’s true.”

    1. No one in the media wants to touch this story. And this is the real story. This, IMO is another big part of why Comey had to go. He was stonewalling. There is an extensive paper trail that makes it fairly easy to quickly identify possible leakers and unmaskers – but to this day we don’t even know if Comey had opened up an official investigation into getting to the bottom of the ONLY felony crime that we KNOW was committed in this whole ordeal – the leaking to the media of Gen Flynn’s name and conversation. That information could have been obtained in a week. Where is it? Where is the investigation into the ONLY crime that we actually know of?

      1. No one seems willing to provide information. That is scary. No accountability at all, just innuendo, lies and BS! This nation has real problems and Putin isn’t one of them.

  7. This country is done. Its toxic politically and the divide is too great. We either end up with a Civil War or a Secession of states. The Left has declared outright war on the fairly elected president just because they dont accept a Republican leader any longer. if this country were to somehow continue, and a Democrat were to win, the blowback would be beyond what the Democrats have done. The Democrats have borken us into two.

    Either way lets get the show going. Im sick of the Left and they need to go.

    1. The Left’s sudden interest in the constitution is wholly consistent with it on anything else. The Left had marched down the field (sans constitution) but they fumbled on the goal line and Trump ran it back stiff-arming the Dems and his own players to get inside the Left’s red zone. Now when their backs are against the wall, the Left is busting out the rule book to find anything that might get Trump ejected. SMH

      1. Trump certainly gave the republicans ample reason to give up on him today. Forget the left. Trump’s fate is in the hands of a few republicans that desire to uphold the constitution.

    2. Sadly, I think Anonemouse is right. Look at this article in The Daily Caller: ‘Violence and Intimidation Against Republicans are Becoming the New Normal’

      And check out the piece they mention that was printed in Huff Po – “how to really turn up the heat on elected officials” The author, Michaelangelo Signorile, called on protesters to harass Republicans at dinner, when they’re out shopping and even at home. Societal norms for the basic levels of decency one should afford political opponents, Signorile argued, no longer apply to liberals. “It’s time to move beyond polite protests within specified boundaries. It’s time to escalate the expression of our outrage and our anger in a massive way.”

      More from his article: “Starting today and from here on, no elected official ― certainly those in the GOP defending and supporting Trump on a variety of issues, for example ― should be able to sit down for a nice, quiet lunch or dinner in a Washington, DC eatery or even in their own homes. They should be hounded by protestors everywhere, especially in public ― in restaurants, in shopping centers, in their districts, and yes, on the public property outside their homes and apartments, in Washington and back in their home states.”

      This is happening on campuses, in our cities, on subways, at Townhalls, on cable ‘news’ programs….all over….and do we hear calls from the media for ANY Democrats to disavow and condemn this kind of rhetoric and violence? Oh hell no. This reason alone is enough for me to continue to support Trump.

  8. Suppose Comey asked Trump a question related to Russia; would it not be appropriate for Trump to say, “wait a minute, before I answer that, am I under investigation?”

  9. George Soros WAS and IS influence peddling in America. He’s over in Hungary sending millions over here to influence elections here. Is there any investigations of why the Democrats are taking foreign money? Is George Soros the heart and soul of the Democrat/Marxist party?

  10. No special prosecutor….let the investigators do the jobs they are already being paid by the taxpayers to do.

    If Chuck Schumer keeps up his threat to block the appointment of a new FBI director unless a special prosecutor is appointed, then Trump should call him on it and say ONLY IF a special prosecutor is assigned to investigate the Clinton Foundation including ‘selling access’ in exchange for donations while Hillary was Secy of State.

    Trump called Comey a ‘showboat’ and ‘grandstander’….which is true….and he fired him. Watch this one short clip and see if you don’t agree. We don’t need an FBI director who gets up there dramatically talking about how ‘nauseous’ he was and making up complete rubbish that he needed to find “intent” in order to charge Hillary and her aides.

    1. It will be tough to replace Comey though – afterall he did act not only as FBI director….but also as Attorney General and Grand Jury.

  11. “If Trump participated in, facilitated, or encouraged a Russian cyber attack intended to overthrow the United States government by changing the outcome of the 2016 election — and then promoted Russia’s interests after assuming office — Waters may get her wish. Those acts could amount to an impeachable offense.”

  12. About 10 1/2 months of this Trump/Team Trump investigation and the only evidence of crimes is against Obama, Obama’s mafia and some in intel agencies.

    It’s past time for AG Sessions to bring Charges against the Clintons & OBama’s mafia!

    Sign up below & you can be sure Roger Stone will get it to President Trump.

    ” Many people had called for Comey to be fired, particularly Democrats. However, the timing and manner of the termination has created yet another scandal for the Administration. Only 27 percent of citizens support the decision according to a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. ”

    Sorry JT, the old dying media like NBC/WSJ only have a 6% trust rating with the US public. And didn’t they claim in their polls Hitlery Clinton would win in a landslide, that work out lovely for people of my views.

    “As the public debated whether Trump was a puppet of the Kremlin, the president had his picture taken in the Oval Office with a grinning Kislyak — the very Russian at the heart of the collusion allegations. Not only did the White House admit that the meeting was held at the request of Vladimir Putin, the pictures of the meeting were taken by the state-run Tass organization because the White House barred U.S. media.”

    Posting this BS lie, why? It only keeps hurting your credibility.

    BTW: The word from insiders Roger Stone/ Infowars is that Trump’s actions were at least two fold, get rid of Deep State compromised Comey & find out who the leaker inside the WH. Mission accomplished the Leaker turns out to Rino Reinhold Richard “Reince” Priebus. Bye Bye Rino 🙂

  13. Well, I’ll give praise where it’s due. Thank you, Jonathan. We need an independent counsel with subpoena power. What we also need is a Justice Department willing to prosecute. I am not reassured with J. “Cracker” Sessions at the helm.

    The only thing I can add is that we don’t know what we don’t know, and although there’s no PROOF at this point that tRump committed a crime, we don’t have all the facts, and he’s not terribly willing to disclose things like tax returns, which adds to the suspicion. He’s also not willing to fully divest himself, and his daughter and son in law also haven’t divested. Who knows what entanglements with Russians that there are?

    1. Hmmm. Let me translate your statement into “Birther” for you!

      Well, I’ll give praise where it’s due. Thank you, Jonathan. We need an independent counsel with subpoena power. What we also need is a Justice Department willing to prosecute. I am not reassured with J. “Cracker” Sessions at the helm.

      The only thing I can add is that we don’t know what we don’t know, and although there’s no PROOF at this point that tRump committed a crime Obama was born in Kenya, we don’t have all the facts, and he’s not terribly willing to disclose things like tax returns his school records, which adds to the suspicion. He’s also not willing to fully divest himself, and his daughter and son in law also haven’t divested cough up the records he gave his book publisher, who said he was born in Kenya . Who knows what entanglements with Russians Kenyans that there are?

      See, you have the same mindset as the Birthers, just with less evidence!

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. I mean it’s not like Obama was the first president to have to show his birth certificate…oh wait…
        Or trump was the first recent president not to show his tax returns…oh wait…

        Or remember the time Obama hired the national security advisor who lied about meeting with Kenyan envoy…oh wait…

        Or the time Obama fired the head of the investigation into his potential wrongdoing all within barely 100 days in office.

        The birthers mindset was “we don’t care if your mommy is American and even if you were born elsewhere that makes you more American than cruz, we want ur BA out”

  14. Debbie Barnhart, people want to hear what Bill talks about, nobody wants Dubya, Dick, Condi and Colin to talk about their war crimes.

  15. CK07, it does not matter with most of these people on this site. If it were to happen, it would be Obama’s or Hillary fault…….Under 2 years is the line.

    1. Lol, yeah I was tempted to say 1 year but even the hearing could take time. Then there’s the news he gave the Russians highly classified information this week :-/

        1. I believe the Washington Post broke this story tonight and then all the other outlets picked it up and ran it citing anonymous sources yet again. It’s good to know exactly who is behind the Washington Post because we know they would never disclose it to their readers – and that is that the owner of the Wa Po is doing business with the CIA. Good to keep in mind everytime you read a story in the Washington Compost.

          This from 2013…

          “The Post’s new owner, Jeff Bezos, is the founder and CEO of Amazon — which recently landed a $600 million contract with the CIA. But the Post’s articles about the CIA are not disclosing that the newspaper’s sole owner is the main owner of CIA business partner Amazon.

          Even for a multi-billionaire like Bezos, a $600 million contract is a big deal. That’s more than twice as much as Bezos paid to buy the Post four months ago.”

        2. “Always remember the basic rule that has been proven accurate 100% of the time:

          When the CIA wants to leak a damaging story they coordinate with the Washington Post and ABC. (and vice-versa).

          When the State Dept. or FBI/DOJ wants to leak a damaging story they coordinate with CNN and the New York Times. (and vice-versa)

          This consistent pattern has NEVER been broken.

          Tonight using “unnamed” and the most vague descriptions of “anonymous sources” The Washington Post creates a fake news story specifically timed to release at the 5pm hour to hit President Donald Trump.”

    2. Also meant to add, good point. Many here will point to Obama blaming bush for the economy which he inherited (ignoring depression projections) and claim turnabout is fair play (also ignoring Obama warning him not to hire Flynn, and the fact that there could be no logical connection to anything a former president did, and the next president’s decision to get in bed w/ a foreign superpower for votes.

      1. Right, and Obama and his media pals keep telling us how he ran a scandal-free administration for eight years. BaHahahaha……

        1. You had manufactured scandals like benghazi that repubs pursued to the ends of the earth, despite their own culpability in refusing to fund the base, and the fact that it paled in comparison to the bush administration’s negligence in 9-11, katrina, and “wmds” in iraq, yet the gop pursued it with more fervor than all 3 of those scandals combined.

          But you have a scandal or 2 under the 8 years of Clinton, Bush and Obama…then you have whatever this is under twitter fingers in 4 months (leaks, russia, hiring a general who lies about collaborating with a russian envoy and is rightfully under investigation after the former president warns you not to, a closeted klan member given full access to the security council with no militafy or government experience, before having it revoked, your daughter and husband using their ties to your administration to push their business, not knowing what a blind trust is, undermining everyone from your speaker to the vice president’s logical defense of you by way of tweet. The list goes on and on. I’m shocked if he makes it past the midterms.
          Then his policy on NK seems to have accelerated this madman’s timeline on icbms (though until bush declared them part of the axis of evil they seemed to have abandoned such ambitions).

  16. If i didn’t know better i’d say Trump wants to be impeached. Is Vegas taking bets on his imeachment timeline? 2 years over/under 4 months?

  17. If anything positive and lasting could emerge from the House and Senate Investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, it would be for the US to adopt a “code of foreign election non-interference” that we ourselves dedicate ourselves to. I’m not even aware that there is any such standard in US law, nor one internationally, that could say if lines had been crossed by the Russians. And objectivity, the U.S. has both openly and clandestinely interfered with elections…most recently in Israel, the Brexit vote, the French Macron-Le Pen runoff election, and using subterfuge, in Ukraine and Georgia and who knows where else.

    My question is, if the major purpose of the several Investigations is merely to blame the Russians for things the United States expects to get away with, how deranged will we look to the larger global community? And, if the purpose is still narrower, to gain partisan advantage in the 2018 and 2020 elections by ginning up false narratives, why bother wasting the time and $ on it? The starting point is to develop a code of non-interference that the US would sign up to obeying. Then, we can use that leadership to try to develop one internationally.

    1. The only way such a code could work would be if all candidates won at the same time. No that’s wrong. The other way is for the United States to declare that it will henceforth determine, implement and be the sole judge of all elections; national and international. Everyone will love it.

    2. The Russians are not to blame for Trump’s’ crooked financial dealings with them. He did those all on his own. How indebted is he to the Russian oligarchs and what do they expect from him?

      1. Please elaborate, Joe. What are “Trump’s crooked financial dealings” with “Russian oligarchs?” And since you are so obviously concerned with foreign influence, how do you explain the State Department’s actions under Hillary in view of her husband’s lucrative “speaking fees?”

        1. if Clinton had been elected I would imagine the Clinton Foundation would have been investigated but she wasn’t.

    3. It’s because we’re special! AHHHHH!!!!!

      pbinca, you made many good points above.

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