First up, David Frum with FIFTEEN Unanswered Criminal Law Questions about trump (I've Bold the questions I think are the most serious):
- Trump campaign aides and associates met with Russian agents in advance of the Russian hacks and releases of Democratic internal communications. Did these meetings lead to any form of coordination between the Trump campaign, the Trump family, or Trump supporters on the one hand and Russian intelligence and its proxy, WikiLeaks, on the other?
- Russia engaged in large-scale and illegal expenditures on social media to help elect Trump. Did the Trump campaign, the Trump family, or Trump supporters coordinate or assist in any way with these violations of U.S. law?
- Trump campaign aides reportedly met with representatives of Persian Gulf governments who offered to violate U.S. law to help elect Trump. What came of those meetings?
- How much Russian money has flowed into the Trump family and the Trump Organization since Trump suddenly and mysteriously became cash-rich in 2006?
- Did all the foreign funds flowing into the Trump family and Trump Organization comply with applicable U.S. laws on taxation and money laundering?
- Did the Trump family and Trump Organization themselves comply with all U.S. laws on taxation and money laundering?
- To what extent was Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort beholden to foreign entities? What services, if any, did he provide them?
- To what extent was Trump’s first national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, beholden to foreign entities? What services did he provide them?
- The same question applies to Sam Clovis, George Papadopoulos, and other figures on Trump’s campaign and foreign-policy teams.
- The family business then run by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, was in desperate need of funds in late 2016. The record shows he approached entities in China, Russia, and Qatar for aid. What is the exact list of foreign entities solicited by Kushner? What pitch did he offer them in exchange for their prospective investments? Did his pursuit of these investments ever tilt the administration’s foreign policy?
- After the election, Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen obtained millions of dollars from foreign and domestic businesses in return for his promise to consult with them. Did Cohen share any of those payments in any way with the president, his family, or his businesses?
- Since the election, Trump’s companies have received millions of dollars in licensing fees from entities in Turkey, the Philippines, India, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, and other foreign countries. How much have the president’s businesses been paid by foreign persons and what portion of his total income originates in foreign payments?
- Is it true that Stormy Daniels’s daughter was threatened in order to coerce Daniels to sign a nondisclosure agreement with Trump? If so, who ordered and delivered that threat? Did any other women sign such agreements? Were any of them threatened?
- Was Trump in any way connected to the payment of $1.6 million to former Playboy model Shera Bechard, an agreement facilitated by Cohen—Trump’s personal lawyer—and using the same aliases and structure as the agreement Cohen struck with Stormy Daniels on Trump’s behalf?
- Elliott Broidy, the former deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee, told The Wall Street Journal that he had an affair with Bechard, and that she subsequently decided to terminate her pregnancy. He made the first installment of that payment on November 30; he had a private meeting with Trump on December 2, at which he pushed for a crackdown on Qatar, lobbying for which he expected to be rewarded by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. How did Broidy land that meeting—and why did Trump prove willing to follow his advice?
These are all legitimate questions that should not be evaded by trump nor his people.
Second, Washington Post's fact-checking by Glenn Kessler and Meg Kelly:
Here is a guide to the various “scandals” about the probe that Trump has promoted since he became president — and what happened to them. For context, we will include the actions taken by federal investigators.
March 4, 2017: ‘Obama had my wires tapped at the Trump Tower’ - ...On Sept. 1, the Justice Department said in a court filing that the FBI and the National Security Division confirmed that they had no record that would support Trump’s tweets: “Both FBI and NSD confirm that they have no records related to wiretaps as described by the March 4, 2017 tweets. FBI again confirmed that they do not have any such records by consulting with personnel knowledgeable about Director Comey’s statements and the surveillance activities of the FBI.”
June 1: ‘The big story is the unmasking’ - ...Trump openly mused that Susan E. Rice, President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser, was in big trouble and may have committed a crime. “I think it’s truly one of the big stories of our time,” he told the New York Times on April 5. But the story did not have legs and faded from sight. Numerous former national security officials told The Fact Checker that Rice, as national security adviser, had every right to request the identities of U.S. citizens who were incidentally recorded or referenced in surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency. It turned out that Rice had unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials to understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan had arrived for meetings with Trump aides, but the UAE did not provide the customary notice about his trip to the Obama administration. Republicans on the committee decided she did nothing illegal.
Aug. 10: ‘The Democrats colluded with Russia’- Trump has repeatedly tried to turn the tables by claiming that the Democrats, not his campaign, colluded with Russia. The allegation never made much sense because the Democrats were the victims of hacking operations that transferred emails and other information to WikiLeaks through apparent Russian connections. ...The president gained some traction for his case when it was revealed that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee were the mysterious Democratic donors who paid a research firm, Fusion GPS, to collect information on Trump’s Russia ties... The White House began to argue that because Steele was getting information from Russian officials in part with funds provided by the Clinton campaign, the Russians were helping Clinton. Officials also suggested that the whole investigation was tainted because it started with the dossier. But that was undercut by the revelation that the probe actually started because of a report from an Australian diplomat that Papadopoulos appeared to know about the Russian hacking before WikiLeaks began releasing details...
Feb. 3: ‘The FBI was politically biased against me’ - The Nunes memo suggested that a group of politically biased law enforcement officials set out to sabotage Trump, with the Steele dossier as a key piece of evidence. The memo focused on the FBI application for a wiretap order that targeted Carter Page, a former Trump adviser, after he had left the campaign. The classified memo, which Trump ordered released, claimed that law enforcement officials had abused their powers by failing to make clear that one of the pieces of evidence was the dossier; they claimed it was tainted by political bias because of its Democratic origins... But the memo also confirmed that the investigation of the Trump campaign started with Papadopoulos, not the Steele dossier. The impact of the memo further faded with the FBI’s strong statement that it contained “material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,” as well as the release of a Democratic memo that sharply disputed the conclusions of the Nunes memo...
March 18: ‘The investigators are hardened Democrats’ - Eleven members of Mueller’s team have made political donations to Democrats, compared with five with no record of such donations. Five of the 16 known members contributed to Clinton’s 2016 campaign. The Department of Justice is legally barred from discriminating against career appointees based on political affiliation, so Mueller, a longtime Republican, is not permitted to ask about political affiliation. Mueller took action against Strzok when texts expressing anti-Trump sentiments were discovered. But he can’t inquire about political leanings before hiring. (unspoken in this tidbit is the fact that among lawyers and other legal professionals that would partake in a Special Counsel investigation, many of them ARE Democrats by choice. You can't find enough Republican lawyers to hire in the first place)
The most current trump excuse - that Obama planted a spy (SPYGATE!) in trump's campaign - is also a losing argument because of various points: 1) the informant (NOT SPY) was inquiring into making contacts with trump's campaign only because of Papadopoulos' big fat mouth, 2) human sources like the informant is a standard FBI practice (remember Donnie Brasco?) when investigating criminal activity such as foreign nations hacking U.S. computers, 3) the Justice Department and FBI are not about to give up the source to trump's Congressional lackeys because doing so sets a precedent of partisanship interfering with the Justice Department's mandate to uphold the law and the FBI's ability to investigate crimes.
If I could combine both articles together under one thought it would be this:
donald trump is a lying crook trying to disrupt the very investigations into his crooked behavior and we as a nation are going to be fucked if he gets his way.
There. That simple.
Gods help us.