After indictments skip him, Trump claims vindication, but collusion still part of Mueller's probe
How many times has Trump responded to indictments or plea deals or new evidence about the criminal swamp he inhabits by tweeting “NO COLLUSION”? He did it again Friday, even as the indictments don’t actually address the question. The indictments make clear that that while they don’t charge anyone within Trump’s inner circle, they also don’t rule out such a future possibility. Simply put, Friday’s indictments are about Friday’s indictments.
Trump said in a tweet hours after the indictment was released that “Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!”
The indictment did not make a judgment as to whether the results of the election were impacted, or whether collusion occurred between the Trump campaign and Russia in any other instances.
Trump also claimed that the election results were not impacted, but that question also was not addressed in these indictments.
“Claims of a ‘hoax’ in tatters,” John Brennan, the former CIA director, said in a tweet. “My take: Implausible that Russian actions did not influence the views and votes of at least some Americans.”
So odd that Trump keeps claiming exoneration when it doesn’t exist.
But what the indictments did leave in tatters is Trump’s continuing claims that the investigations are a “witch hunt” or “fake news.” Which will make it that much more difficult for Trump to rationalize firing Mueller, or otherwise stopping the investigation. It also eviscerates the narrative the Trump orbit will try to spin if Americans do end up indicted.
And meanwhile, about that question of collusion:
Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his prosecutors have not concluded their investigation into whether President Donald Trump or any of his associates helped Russia interfere in the 2016 election, according to a person with knowledge of the probe.
Friday’s indictment of a St. Petersburg-based “troll farm” and 13 Russian nationals should be seen as a limited slice of a comprehensive investigation, the person said. Mueller’s work is expected to continue for months and also includes examining potential obstruction of justice by Trump, said the person, who requested anonymity to discuss an investigation that is largely confidential.
The investigation continues. Trump continues to reveal himself in unintentional ways. And remember when this was supposed to be the latest iteration of Infrastructure Week?