Calling all good men
It was only two years ago that it seemed beyond the pale that the Russian government could have attempted, much less, succeeded, in conspiring to change the outcome of a U.S. presidential election in favor of Donald J. Trump over Hillary Clinton.
Trump told us he did not know any Russians, no one in his campaign had any contacts with Russians, it could have been a 400-pound guy in his bedroom.
But over time his story changed. Donald Jr. had said the Trump organization did a lot of business with Russians.
Then the story Trump told about no contacts changed to a few meaningless contacts. Then it became contacts, but no collusion. Then it morphed into collusion is not a crime.
And now, according to Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, the new claim is that Trump never said there was no collusion and Giuliani never said there was no collusion.
The newest claim is, there may have been collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, but Trump did not collude personally with the release of the DNC e-mails.
In a related news story, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s legal team, stated in a legal plea that Manafort delivered Trump campaign polling data to the Russians. But for purposes of collusion, what rational reason could there be for such sharing of information?
Much later, just recently, we discover that, while Trump was repeating over and over that he had no business, no deals, no contacts, no plans in Russia, he was in fact negotiating to build a hotel in Moscow. He lied to us.
There is an obvious pattern here. You may recall Trump claiming hundreds of times that Mexico would pay for The Wall. Now Trump says he never said Mexico would pay for The Wall. His story changed to suit his own purposes. He lied to us.
And he lied to us about the attempt to build the Moscow hotel.
And he lied to us about collusion between his campaign and the Russian government.
So, we know from this pattern of lies, before we see the results of the Mueller investigation, that Donald Trump lies to us. And, we now know, through Rudy Giuliani, that the Trump campaign did conspire with a foreign government to elect Donald Trump president.
That leaves only a few unanswered questions. First, is President Trump a witting or unwitting agent of the Russian government? The evidence suggests that he may be actively serving Russian interests.
The primary evidence is five private conversations with Vladimir Putin held at various conferences with no other U.S. official present and the notes of those meetings either destroyed or taken by the president.
The secondary evidence is Trump’s action, as president, in support of Russian goals. Russia wants to end NATO and Trump has advocated the same recently. Russia wanted the U.S. out of Syria, and Trump, against the advice of his generals, has directed our troops to leave Syria. Russia wants sanctions reductions and the President has just proposed that.
Finally, if the president had any regard for U.S. interests, would he not welcome the Mueller investigation to identify and prosecute all those who have conspired to undermine our electoral process?
The president of the United States is not fit to serve. But as long as the faithful 35 percent do not care about treason in the top of the U.S. government, nothing will be done.
Trump is playing to 53 Republican U.S. senators, no one else. He is betting that, at risk of losing Trump supporters in the next election, those 53 will refuse to serve their nation.
Patrick Henry once said, “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.” That moment is now upon the 53. When the Mueller investigation reports, the moment for courage will have arrived.
May the country be well served by 53 patriots all.
Jim Crawford is a retired educator, political enthusiast and award-winning columnist living here in the Tri-State.