Over the weekend, Palmer Report pointed to the words of a Republican Congressman as evidence that the Republican Congress was preparing an ‘I conspired with Russia during the election, so what’ defense for Donald Trump, which in turn meant that the GOP expected it would soon be revealed that Trump did in fact conspire with Russia. Now Trump himself has begun trying out that same line of defense, in a sign that proof of his guilt may be even closer than we thought.
It was notoriously dishonest GOP House member Darrell Issa who stated on cable news this weekend that “If [Trump is] proven to have not told the whole truth about the fact that campaigns look for dirt, and if someone offers it, you listen to them, nobody’s going to be surprised.” As we pointed out at the time, there would be no reason for the GOP to begin floating this unless they feared that Robert Mueller, Michael Cohen, the media, or some other entity was about to expose the whole thing.
Sure enough, the story broke that Donald Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen was willing to testify that he witnessed Trump signing off on Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with the Russians. Then this morning Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani appeared on cable news and revealed that Trump campaign leaders held a meeting to discuss how to handle the upcoming meeting with the Russians. Rudy then stated that “I don’t even know if that’s a crime, colluding about Russians.”
So there it is. Donald Trump, through his trial balloon of a mouthpiece Rudy Giuliani, is now trying out the ‘I conspired with Russia, so what’ defense. While Trump’s shrinking base may choose to go along with the idea that his felony treason against the United States somehow wasn’t a crime, it’ll simply paint him as guilty in the eyes of those who haven’t yet firmly decided whether to believe the claims against him or his claims that it’s all “fake news.” Just as importantly, the ‘I did it but it wasn’t a crime’ defense won’t get Trump anywhere in his inevitable criminal trial.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report