The collusion scenario

In the sentencing memo about Michael Flynn, Mueller’s office noted that he was cooperating on three criminal investigations. Three.

This should give pause to those who say, “If there were any evidence of collusion with Russia, we would have heard of it by now.” Not necessarily. The Mueller investigation has been the most silent of any in memory. He doesn’t leak. His spokesman is said to have the simplest job in Washington, saying “no comment.”

At least 14 people in Donald Trump’s orbit were approached by Russian agents during the campaign and transition. These included his children, his lawyer, his national-security adviser, and business associates. His campaign chairman, Trump had reason to know when he hired him, was up to his eyeballs in oligarchs. Supposedly, when Trump learned of Paul Manafort’s extensive Russia ties in 2016, he said, “I’ve got a crook running my campaign.” Today he paints Manafort as a martyr and ostentatiously dangles a pardon, even though we’ve since learned of Manafort’s close ties to an asset of Russian intelligence. And it’s worth asking again: If Mr. Trump was such a keen businessman, why didn’t he question Manafort’s willingness to work for free? Shouldn’t it have alarmed him to have someone so indebted to shady Kremlin associates so close?