Saturday, July 1, 2017

Second Thoughts on the Salacious Parts

I appear, on second thoughts, to have been wrong in my views on the really salacious parts of the Steele memorandum.  The alleged pee pee tape, like covfefe, was good for some jokes, but ultimately a distraction from more serious matters.

The more serious matters fell victim to the Story of O factor.  In other words, the Steele dossier contained a lot of accounts of Trump campaign figures only dimly at the edge of most Americans' consciousness meeting with Russian officials most Americans have never heard of -- and Trump being blackmailed over a pee pee tape.  The meetings all run together; the tape stands out.

This is understandable, but it creates the misleading impression that it is all just about a pee pee tape and that without it, the Russians would have nothing on Trump.  I think it safe to say whether the tape exists or not, we are well past the pee pee tapes point by now.

Hiring prostitutes is a petty misdemeanor.  And besides, it took place in Russia, which is beyond the power of anyone in the US to prosecute.  At worst, it will be embarrassing, but hardly surprising given all that we know of Trump's conduct.

Then consider all the things Trump and his associates have been accused of.  Failing to disclose foreign contacts while applying for security clearance.  (Perjury).  Obstruction of justice.  Money laundering for the Russian mob.  Collusion with a foreign intelligence service in hacking an opponent.  Attempts to send secret messages from the Russian embassy over secure Russian lines. Revealing top secret classified information to a Russian delegation.

All of this is a whole lot more significant than some piddling little pee pee tape.

But then again, at least Trump has not been accused of the worst crime possible.  Sending State Department e-mails over a private server.

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