Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 17 Share on Twitter 5 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 4/1/19

The No Collusion Delusion (with a definition)"

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     (# of views)   8 comments
Author 50778
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Steven Jonas
Become a Fan
  (20 fans)
- Advertisement -

Author's Note: Although, unfortunately, many on both the Right and the Left are going to treat it as a joke, this column is deadly serious, even though it was originally posted on April Fool's Day. For a really good one of those see https://www.opednews.com/articles/Twitter-Bans-The-Donald-by-Josh-Mitteldorf-Political-Satire-190401-574.html, right here at Op-Ed News.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the Random House Dictionary of the English Language, 2ndEdition Unabridged, "collusion" is defined as "a secret agreement, especially for fraudulent or treacherous purposes; conspiracy." According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, collusion is defined as: "1. agreement between people to act together secretly or illegally in order to deceive or cheat someone: 2. agreement, esp. in secret for an illegal or dishonest reason: 3. the act of doing something secret or illegal with another person, company, etc. in order to deceive."

In terms of these definitions, there is ample, out-in-the-open (maybe that's the problem with it, it is so obvious) evidence that Trump, members of his family, and members of the Trump campaign committed simple collusion, in re the Russians, ranging from the famous "Trump Tower Meeting," to, during the campaign, working on a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow and lying about it to the public, to Jared Kushner's attempt to establish a "back channel" connection with Russian officials during the Transition, to various secret connections, at various times, between such folk as George Papadopoulos, Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and others, with various Russians, some of whom have been indicted by the Mueller investigation, in absentia. In terms of his charge (see below), the only question for Mueller about what the Trumpites did in terms of collusion was, did it rise to the level of criminality, provable beyond a reasonable doubt.

What are those birds, anyway!
What are those birds, anyway!
(Image by IoSonoUnaFotoCamera)
  Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

Now of course we do not know what is in the Mueller Report (which has been reported to range in length from 300 or so pages to, with attachments, 700 or so pages). What we do have is the 3 ┬Ż page "Barr Report" (on which I have commented previously, on March 25).

I began that column by saying:

- Advertisement -

"As is widely known, Donald J. Trump hired William Barr as his personal lawyer inside the Justice Department (oops, I mean Attorney General) for one reason only: to try to shut down the Mueller investigation entirely and prevent any of its findings/reports from reaching the light of day. Lacking achievement of that objective (and it could have existed only in Trump's head, and perhaps the heads of one or more of his children and his acolytes at Fox"News"), Barr's assignment was: a) to short circuit Mueller's work to the extent possible and b) to make as light of the findings as possible."

Further, in a cover note to a distribution of that column four days later I said:

"I published this column the day after the 'Attorney General' (otherwise known as Trump's personal lawyer at the Justice Department) published what will become known in American History as the 'Barr Report,' on the extensive report on the work that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller did over a two-year period looking into, as is well known, connections between Trump, various family members and campaign officials, with 'The Russians.' (Also, it looked at possible obstruction of justice by the Pres. --- couldn't be, could it?) The 'Barr Report,' all four pages of it, with no supporting evidence, came to the conclusion that there is no there there. Of course, that may or may not be in sync with what the Mueller Report actually says."

Austin Barr.  No it's not that one, but Austin is minor league.
Austin Barr. No it's not that one, but Austin is minor league.
(Image by mark6mauno)
  Details   DMCA

For what is critical here is what definition of "collusion" Mueller used. According to his charge from then Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he was to investigate "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump." And then "the Special Counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters." Of course, we have no idea what definition of "collusion" was used in either the Barr Report or the Mueller Report.

- Advertisement -

If the definition used by Mueller was one that included the word "crime" --- in the Random House definition the word "conspiracy," which can be a crime, appears, and in the Cambridge definition the word "illegal" appears thrice (remember that's an English definition) --- then it might be that Mueller found what has appeared out in the open over and over again in terms of "agreements" or attempts to reach them (see both definitions). But then, and this is critical, it is very possible that he did not conclude that any of them rose to the level of crime, the commission of which could be charged, and then proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

If that is the definition of collusion he used, and if that is the criminal law standard that Mueller required to be met, it is possible that in that narrow sense Barr is telling the truth when he says that Mueller found no "collusion." Further, the charge used the term "Russian government." And we know, for example, that Julian Assange, a very important source of "dirt" on the Clinton campaign, was always very careful to say that his source was not the Russian government. BUT, there were a variety of non-government actors (and I'm not naming names here; they are well-known --- some of them indicted in absentia) who had contacts with the Trump campaign, as well as Russian government personages who could have been claiming to speak informally (some of them showing up on FBI wire-taps).

And so, it is impossible to know what the Report might say about collusion --- as defined above --- other than the type that could be proven in a Court of Law, beyond a reasonable doubt. For collusion is not an illusion necessarily: it's just a matter of how it is defined. The "delusion" in the title of this column is that Mueller found no collusion of any kind, when it is lying about in plain sight. It's just whether or not it rose to the level of provable criminality.

As for the matter of obstruction of justice, Barr tells us in his Report that in his Report Mueller lays out evidence on both sides of the question, but that Barr and Rosenstein concluded that it did not rise to the level of obstruction that could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. But then, if Mueller did find some evidence of the attempt/intent to obstruct justice on the part of Trump and various Trumpites, one question that arises is, over what matters were they attempting to obstruct justice. Couldn't be the matter of collusion, could it? And if not, what was it?

And so, a whole bunch of folks, on both the Right and the Left have jumped to a whole bunch of conclusions, for a whole bunch of motivations. I will not go into the latter here. Except to repeat that that whole bunch of conclusions have been arrived at, in my view, way prematurely.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   Valuable 2  
Rate It | View Ratings

Steven Jonas Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at StonyBrookMedicine (NY) and author/co-author/editor/co-editor of over 35 books. In addition to his position on OpEdNews as a "Trusted Author," he is a Senior Editor, (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Pope Francis and Change in the Roman Catholic Church

Limbaugh, Santorum, Sex, and the Origins of the Roman Catholic Church

The "Irrepressible Conflict" and the Coming Second Civil War

Gay Marriage and the Constitution

The Republican Party and the Separation of Church and State: Change Does Happen

What the Gunners Want: What's in Rick Perry's Pocket, Unlimited

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

6 people are discussing this page, with 8 comments


John Jonik

Become a Fan
Author 10030

(Member since Jan 16, 2008), 14 fans, 38 articles, 2108 comments, 6 diaries
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

Trump is/has been colluding with private corporations, including military contractors, health insurers, et ilk...and putting his employers, the US Public, who he is sworn and contractually obliged to serve, out to pasture.

Doesn't any taxpayer have grounds to sue him, or file charges, for his Violation of Sworn Contractual Duties...and, therefore, theft of people's tax revenues, for failing/dodging, his solemn duties?

Submitted on Tuesday, Apr 2, 2019 at 12:49:05 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 
Indent

Maxwell

Become a Fan
Author 4952

(Member since Feb 15, 2007), 2 fans, 4045 comments
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


Reply to John Jonik:   New Content

Good idea. The SCOTUS ruled, in Jones.v. Clinton, that the president of the United States is indeed answerable to civil suites while in office, or so I'm led to believe. Maybe it only applies to someone claiming to have been sexually molested though.

Submitted on Tuesday, Apr 2, 2019 at 8:24:28 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 

Susan Lee Schwartz

Become a Fan
Author 40790

(Member since Oct 25, 2009), 24 fans, 17 articles, 3695 quicklinks, 6829 comments, 2 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

This says it best" We the members of the Judiciary Committee, the House of Representatives and the entire American public are still waiting to see that report. We will not wait much longer. We have an obligation to read the full report, and the Department of Justice has an obligation to provide it, in its entirely, without delay. If the department is unwilling to produce the full report voluntarily, then we will do everything in our power to secure it for ourselves.

We require the report, first, because Congress, not the attorney general, has a duty under the Constitution to determine whether wrongdoing has occurred. The special counsel declined to make a "traditional prosecutorial judgment" on the question of obstruction, but it is not the attorney general's job to step in and substitute his judgment for the special counsel's.

That responsibility falls to Congress and specifically to the House Judiciary Committee as it has in every similar investigation in modern history.The attorney general's recent proposal to redact the special counsel's report before we receive it is unprecedented. We require the evidence, not whatever remains after the report has been filtered by the president's political appointee."

"The entire reason for appointing the special counsel was to protect the investigation from political influence. By offering us his version of events in lieu of the report, the attorney general, a recent political appointee, undermines the work and the integrity of his department. He also denies the public the transparency it deserves. We require the full report the special counsel's words, not the attorney general's summary or a redacted version."

Submitted on Tuesday, Apr 2, 2019 at 4:17:11 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 

Susan Lee Schwartz

Become a Fan
Author 40790

(Member since Oct 25, 2009), 24 fans, 17 articles, 3695 quicklinks, 6829 comments, 2 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

Trump Castle and Other Towers That Never Got Built - The Atlantic

Compiling a definitive list of what Donald Trump has not managed to accomplish, despite his self-proclaimed status as a master developer and dealmaker, is a task best left to a future historian.

"One project has recently made news: the skyscraper Trump sought to build in Moscow, a long-held dream he pursued throughout the 2016 campaign despite his repeated assurances that he had no business ventures in Russia. The nature of that potential deal, the vast sums of money behind it, the influence he brought to bear on the Russians and they on himall of this is beginning to clarify, like a photographic print in the developing tray. The deal and the possible quid pro quos involved are a major focus of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation."

"The Moscow tower, which at 100 stories would have been the tallest building in Europe, was but the latest attempt by Donald Trump to leave behind a skyline-altering legacy. His career is marked by plans for major projects that never came to passarguably to posterity's benefit. Herewith, a quick summary of what never happened."

Submitted on Tuesday, Apr 2, 2019 at 4:25:00 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 

Frank Inbun

Become a Fan
Author 79861

(Member since Jun 30, 2012), 3 fans, 233 comments
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

For actual collusion Israel is second to none.

.youtube.com/watch?v=j_qJiid6l1k

Submitted on Tuesday, Apr 2, 2019 at 8:13:26 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (6+)
Help
 

Maxwell

Become a Fan
Author 4952

(Member since Feb 15, 2007), 2 fans, 4045 comments
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

My understanding is the word "collusion" wasn't used as it's not a legal term. Rosenstein didn't use it in his commission to the special counsel. The Democrats were so attached to a specific collusion narrative that led to the defeat of their beloved HRC, the charge of the special counsel was so narrow, and Mueller is so averse to being at the center of a political shitstorm that the real smoking gun, if it was uncovered, probably isn't mentioned in the report. And the Democrats have probably piddled away any credibility they may have had to look for it very aggressively now.

Note to "Russiagate hoaxers" though: The report, according to the summary of its findings issued by Barr, definitely describes efforts by the Kremlin to ratfuck the election of 2016, as do the indictment memos issued earlier. Trumpeting the "no collusion" finding while ignoring that part is called cherry picking.

Submitted on Tuesday, Apr 2, 2019 at 8:40:17 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

Christopher Zell

Become a Fan
Author 506274

(Member since Aug 2, 2016), 4 fans, 2 articles, 609 comments
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

In the end, it's a sick obsession that pushes the US ever closer to all out nuclear war. Russia, Russia, Russia....

What do Democrats offer in response to Trump? More partisan fighting, regardless of what damage that may do.

Submitted on Wednesday, Apr 3, 2019 at 12:23:04 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 

Steven Jonas

Become a Fan
Author 50778

(Member since Jul 8, 2010), 20 fans, 351 articles, 93 comments
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

Well, let's see. Under the "peacenik" Trump, the U.S. has vastly expanded its already hugely out-of-proportion military spending (have to keep the MIC going, donchaknow, it's a major Federal support for the whole of the economy), is "modernizing" its nuclear arsenal (while the "peacenik Putin is doing the same), and Trump wants to militarize Outer Space. Definitely a clear plan for avoiding nuclear war.


But at least we didn't get the hated HRC (of whom, by the way, I was never a fan, going back well before this last election: http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/dr-js-commentary-iowa-policy-and-the-democrats/3657-dr-js-commentary-iowa-policy-and-the-democrats). Instead we got the proto-fascist (by definition, by the way) Trump: https://www.opednews.com/articles/21st-Century-Fascism-Trum-by-Steven-Jonas-Definitions_Dominionism_Fascism_Goldwater-180110-110.html and all of his just wonderful policies and judges.


Submitted on Thursday, Apr 4, 2019 at 5:24:22 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment