Maybe No Conspiracy Or Coordination, But Lots And Lots Of Collusion
Trump and his supporters have been loudly claiming that the Barr letter about the Mueller report has shown “no collusion!” which has been shouted loudly from the rooftops, with many supposedly respectable sources such as the New York Times agreeing with this assessment, thus supporting the long running Trump/Hannity repeated claim.
But I note that the big headline on this morning’s Washington Post was “Mueller Finds No Conspiracy,” not “No Collusion.” Indeed, a careful reading of the clearly carefully written Barr letter finds it not using the word “collusion” at all. Its crucial getting Trump off a major hook says that the available evidence suggests that there was “no conspiracy and no coordination.” Nothing about collusion.
Clearly few have even notieced this, very few besides myself so far, but I did occasionally see commentators noting that while Trump/Hannity were constantly denying “collusion” with the Russians, Mueller was not investigsting that, ssomething that is not iillegal in any case, but instead “conspiracy” was what was being investigated, something that is a crime. While I am about to accuse Trump of stupidity, I think he or somebody figured it out that pushing this “no collusion” line would end up as it has as indeed Mueller was not investigating the not-illegal “collusion.” So far, they are getting away with this scam.
So how do these things differ? Conspiracy and cooedination both imply some amount of planning and direction, with for conspiracy some sort of communication and agreement on the plan with the other conspiring party, namely the Russians. What apparently the Mueller report finds is none of that: no central plan or direction or the making of such a plan with the Russians. This indeed looks like it is true, although some of what went on around the Trump Tower meeting gets pretty borderline, even as that seems to have been sort of a mutually botched meeting.
But on the matter of collusion we have piles of evidence that this has occurred, and the evidence is the large pile of indictments that Mueller has brought forward against a lot of people, with many of those charged with having unreported meetings and dealings with Russians, including passing of information back and forth, with many of these then lying about all this, and with some of these people pleading guilty of what they were charrged with. These actions have involved very clearly in many cases collusion with the Russians rhese people were dealing with. The crucial diffeeence is that it appears that all this collusion was unplanned and undirected. It was disorganized and spontaneous collusion, although serious enough to bring about efforts to cover up what was going on by many, including apparently Trump himself, even if AG Barr has decided he did not commit obstruction of justice.
The only person I have seen so far to have sort of caught on to this, although not quite as clearly as I am stating here, Juan Cole today. He notes that Trump himself is simply so disorganized and frankly stupid that he is barely capable of cooking up such an organized conspiracy. No conspiracy was organized. But given his situation of being deeply in hock to the Russians and wanting major business with them, showed up in the many efforts to work together, especially given that Mueller’s group found the Russians actively intervening in the election itself to the point that Mueller indicted a bunch of them, although it seems they were largely working without any plan or coordination with Trump or his campaign.
To close this out, of course I am watchng Hannity, who is ranting and raving about “no collusion,” but he is lying as usual. He demands the rest of the media to apologize, but he is the liar. There was lots and lots of collusion, and we know it. It was simply collusion without any organized conspiracy or coordination.