While collusion with Russia is a phony crime, the attempted FBI coup ought to be recognized as a real one.
What the President said about a phony crime could be interpreted on multiple levels:
So disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were “leaked” to the media. No questions on Collusion. Oh, I see…you have a made up, phony crime, Collusion, that never existed, and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information. Nice!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2018
A phony crime could be a false allegation of a crime. But it could also mean that what the Russians were doing was not done to benefit the Trump campaign.
The notorious Facebook ads that, in the minds of Democrats, destroyed American democracy were not all pro-Trump. There is no crime to collude with. Another meaning is that contact with Russians is not a crime at all.
Since Mueller is not investigating or prosecuting those who contacted the Russians to get dirt on Trump to help Hillary win the election, then how can Trump be charged?
But Mueller isn’t stopping.
President Donald Trump angrily insisted again Tuesday that there was no collusion between his presidential campaign and Russians in the 2016 election, but special counsel Robert S. Mueller III apparently isn’t convinced.
After speaking with prosecutors on Mueller’s team, Trump’s lawyers prepared a list of nearly four dozen questions the prosecutors had that could be posed during a potential interview with the president, according to sources with knowledge of the process who declined to speak publicly.
Roughly one in four questions focused on what the president knew about Russia’s efforts to interfere in the campaign.
“During the campaign, what did you know about Russian hacking, use of social media or other acts aimed at the campaign?” reads one inquiry on the list.
The New York Times first disclosed the list and a source confirmed its authenticity to the Los Angeles Times. It’s unclear if Mueller has changed or expanded his areas of inquiry, which were detailed more than a month ago.[…]
Trump blasted the disclosure of the questions in a tweet Tuesday morning, calling it “so disgraceful.”
He added, “you have a made up, phony crime, Collusion, that never existed, and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information. Nice!”[…]
The newly disclosed list of questions also contained multiple queries related to whether Trump obstructed justice by trying to influence the Russia investigation. Several sought to establish Trump’s mind-set when he made certain decisions, such as when he fired James B. Comey as FBI director last May.
“What did you mean when you told Russian diplomats on May 10, 2017, that firing Mr. Comey had taken the pressure off?” was one question.
Trump’s allies argue that the firing was proper because, as president, Trump has full control over the executive branch, which includes the Department of Justice.
But Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor, said Trump could still face legal jeopardy.
“The president has been building an obstruction case against himself, tweet by tweet,” he said.