by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller is authorized to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” The popular word for that is collusion, and it remains at the heart of both the Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee investigations. (Majority Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee recently announced they were unable to find evidence proving collusion.)
While much about the Mueller investigation remains unknown, we do know the indictments he has filed and the pleas he has reached with various figures in the case. …
… But all have faced charges and none of those charges, at least so far, has involved allegations that Flynn, Manafort, Gates, or Papadapoulos played a role in a scheme of collusion, or coordination, or conspiracy, or whatever it is called. And that could tell the public something about the state of the collusion allegation inside the Mueller investigation.
To put it briefly: What kind of collusion scheme between Russia and the Trump campaign could have existed without Michael Flynn being part of it? What kind of collusion scheme could have existed without Manafort? And Gates? And yet none of them — nor Papadapoulos, either — has been charged with taking part in a collusion scheme.