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.
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.
I said there was no reason to go over the history because I was aware of it already. You were telling me allegations I was already aware of.
Trump is actually allowed to try to influence people on investigations. He's the president and the FBI Director's boss. I'll grant you it's quite inappropriate and ill-advised, but there's nothing illegal about it.
Information is not something that would be covered under "thing of value". Candidates are allowed to gain information from foreign sources.
Yates was fired for a very specific reason of her own making. Any president would have also fired her. Beyond that, she would have been gone about a week later anyway since she was only the Acting Attorney General and Sessions was would soon be confirmed. Her actions were pure political theater on her part as a means to make a big stink on the way out the door.
I assume the other person that was fired you're speaking of is Preet Bharara. He was fired because he refused to offer his resignation when Trump (through Sessions) asked ALL of the U.S. Attorney's to tender their resignations. Something that is typical from new presidents.
I'm not sure what the distinction is about the legal theory not actively being contested. Untested is untested whether the controversy is active or not.
Clinton was impeached for perjury. The thing was, they pretty much nailed him to the wall on that thanks to taped recordings and *ahem* DNA evidence on a dress. That is significantly more substantial than what they have on Trump at the moment. And recall that Clinton never got close to being removed from office.
Yes, I know that Cohen said that Trump told him to make the payment. I said that was the first real problem I can see for Trump since this all began. As I've said, the Russia stuff seems to be a dud to me. A lot of smoke, but in the end nothing illegal has come out of any of it. The payoff has a bit more legs to it. The only problem, as discussed already, it the dubious legal theory it's based on.