There's no reason to go over the history. Asking Comey not to pursue Flynn was inappropriate as far as norms and appearance of propriety ethics go, but is in keeping with Trump's general behavior. You assume criminal intent, but it's something he would do either way, so there's really no significance.
He's hiding his tax returns from the press, not the IRS. Why you think that would be significant to Russia, I don't know.
Don Jr. has never admitted to anything that would amount to collusion.
You can believe what you will about Manafort. I don't see him holding back and putting the rest of his life in the hands of a jury to protect Trump. Just not going to happen.
I'm not sure why you brought up Sally Yates being fired as her firing was for gross insubordination, and properly so. If she couldn't perform her role, she should have resigned instead of instructing her department to undermine the president's policies. If she had resigned, that would have been the honorable path and I would have respected it. And, ultimately, the travel restrictions that she ordered her department not to defend were upheld in court. Frankly, she has no business in government if she thinks she can set up her own policy directly contradicting her superiors and should be forever disqualified from public service.
No reason to go over the history?
After you said "I rather doubt that the Russia stuff amounts to anything", I should just reply with "I think there's something to it", with no explanation given?
I prefer to explain my reasoning. And in order to do that, I'd have to go over the events.
Trump's general behavior does not mean his behavior doesn't have legal consequences. I'm sure he doesn't know what he's doing half the time, like when he told Lester Holt on air that he was going to fire Comey regardless of any recommendation, and that he was thinking of the Russia investigation when he did it. Accidentally admitting to possible obstruction of justice on TV just because it's something Trump would normally do wouldn't make it any less severe if he stands trial for it.
Likewise if a jury decides that he was trying to influence Comey to stop a criminal investigation. Doesn't matter if it's something Trump would normally do. You don't have to be aware of the laws you break, in order to be convicted of committing the crime.
By the way, even Bill Clinton was charged on obstruction of justice regarding the Monica Lewinski case.
Regarding his tax returns, I said "there's definitely something he doesn't want us to see." That would include giving people a reason to look deeper into his finances. Now that there's a special council involved, they can probably access his tax statements though.
Can you explain how Don Jr saying he agreed to meet with a Russian government official “as part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump” (it stated clearly in the email he so kindly provided for us to read) to get dirt on a political opponent isn't attempt to collude? I believe the exact legal term is 'conspiring against a US citizen'.
This is the law he may have admitted to breaking:
A provision of the Federal Election Campaign Act, Section 30121 of Title 52, broadly outlaws donations or other contributions of a “thing of value” by any foreigner in connection with a US election – or even an express or implied promise to take such action, directly or indirectly.
As for Manafort, I didn't say I believed anything. I have no reason to believe one way or another regarding him (unlike Trump). I simply told you one possible scenario, because you ruled it out.
I brought up Sally Yates being fired, because Trump fired several people involved in the Russia/Flynn investigation. Around the same time as Yates there was another man who I forget the name of. Then Comey. Then "according to sources", he tried to fire Muller in June of 2017. I don't know exactly where this information came from. But when Sean Hanity of Fox News' sources tell him the same thing, and prompts him to do a 180 on TV after he just a few hours earlier said he heard nothing of the sort, it looks like it's someone they trust to be in a position of that information.
Either way, whether it's firing people involved in these investigations, risking criminal charges to protect someone who lied to the vice president and the FBI (and has since pleaded guilty for doing so), and continuously trying to discredit the investigation, he certainly isn't acting like a man who is innocent.
If he wasn't guilty, he'd gladly let the investigation clear his name rather than complaining about it every day, and firing people. Whether you count Yates to that or not, Comey certainly was, and Muller is.
Cohen choosing to plead guilty on that specific charge does not strengthen the legal theory that it's a campaign contribution. All it means is that Cohen chose not to challenge it as a part of the deal he made.
It's still a fairly weak legal theory. I wouldn't want to base a prosecution on it.
I understand your point here, and I agree. I'm just saying that for now, we have a man who under oath pleaded guilty to campaign finance crimes.
Right now, no one is contesting this legally. And the only way that could even happen (I think) is if Trump stands trial. That's what I was getting at.
Whether it's something you want to base your prosecution on, I'd say that depends on how much else Muller uncovers in the meantime. You don't ideally want to build a case against a president that isn't very strong. However, if there's nothing more severe uncovered by the Russia investigation, then I wouldn't rule out a case built on this, because like I said, Clinton was impeached for lying about having sex in the oval office.
Btw, you may have missed the edit in my post above, but it had some interesting information from Cohen's lawyer.
Apparently Trump's lawyers told the special council that Trump "directed Cohen to make that payment."
So if it goes to court, they already admitted that it was Trump's idea. So it would seemingly indeed come down to them trying to disprove that it broke campaign finance laws. in that case.