Each of these episodes features either the FBI, U.S. intelligence leakers, the press or major party figures “colluding” (in one sense of the word), wittingly or semi-wittingly, with Russian intelligence. But there will be no investigation. Unlike Mr. Trump, these institutions are not expendable. The gnashing of teeth would be so much greater than any from merely driving out of office an “outsider” president, arguably an incompetent one, who is not fulsomely claimed by either party, and whose election is regarded as an institutional and statistical aberration anyway.
The great irony is that Mr. Trump, for all his public vulgarity and personal sleaziness, is the political innocent in this drama, and will be sacrificed to protect the sophisticates.
Yesterday, Democratic and news media types were already pronouncing the verdict treason. We can’t resist ending with Mr. Rich’s 1974 quote from Elizabeth Drew about Nixon, which applies as much to some of Mr. Trump’s critics today: “There was no one to challenge his assumptions, to set him straight in his confusion of political opponents with enemies. He didn’t recognize boundaries. He never learned to observe limits—anything went.”