Notes on Trump 46 – breaking news flash on Mueller report liberals outraged

It isn’t entirely clear what they are outraged about but the liberal media is heavily covering Democrat outrage about the Mueller report.

As far as I can make out they are particularly outraged that they won’t be able to convince even themselves that impeaching Trump would be a good idea so they are left spluttering about more Congressional investigations. It looks like Pelosi and the rest of the leadership will successfully avoid the impeachment trap but the sense of total deflation must be quite devastating despite the mutli-stage build down from peak Trump delusion syndrome.

The report is over 400 pages so I won’t be scanning it for any hints on whether Mueller’s team considered my theory that Trump was deliberately encouraging the lunacy. There are certainly no such hints in the two annotated guides I did read on what right minded people should think about the report but I don’t expect the media to be capable of noticing such an outlandish idea. I would be interested if anybody else has time to look for hints although it is only of historic interest now.

Here is a link to searchable pdf (via politico):

Above broken by WordPress. Here’s a working to download from CNN:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/18/politics/full-mueller-report-pdf/index.html

Democrats look likely to switch to a focus on persecution of harmless intelligence agency officials for doing their party duty by trying to bring down a completely unacceptable President who could not possibly have won an election. That plus saving the climate by printing money looks almost as good an election strategy as Hilary Clinton saying it was her turn.

I won’t bother linking to the usual outrage.

Here’s politico’s key findings which pretty much confirm what has been known for many months and was announced in the four page summary by the U.S. Attorney-General a few weeks ago:

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/18/mueller-report-summary-key-findings-1280879

Here’s the New York Times moaning about the same:

[forgot link – fixed]

Even NYT does not seem to be complaining about the redactions that Democrats have been outraged about for several weeks now. Focus is on “obstruction” with not even an ongoing attempt to pretend that there was a crime to investigate in the first place other than the crimes of corrupt intelligence agency officials in leaking conspiracy theories to a corrupt media.

But the tone is one of defeat with lots of reminders about what a wonderful story they had told so many times that it really ought to have been proved true by now.

Notes on Trump 45 – now at 51% approval to 47% disapproval among voters

While following Brexit closely, I’ve only been scanning the headlines on Trump without reading the articles in the couple of weeks since the Mueller report confirmed “no collusion”, which coincided with the Brexit end game.

The headlines look like just a continuous stream of why people ought to hate Trump more. No sign of shifting to actual policy issues or aiming to communicate with people who don’t already agree with the liberal media. Basically unreadable.

Latest Rasmussen daily poll has Trump on 51% approval to 47% disapproval among likely voters. That may be an outlier but he needs much less than that to win in 2020.

Biggest danger for Trump is that the damage done by Democrat and media tactics is now so obvious that it would cause them to think again. He cannot reasonably expect to succeed in persuading them to just keep on ranting about Russia so his ongoing tweets about “Witchunt!” ought to be rather ineffectual with Democrats switching from conspiracy theory back to normal bourgeois politics.

But even though the focus seems to now be on some other “exposure” (sex with porn star, corruption etc), a lot of the conspiracy theorists are still so fixated on “Russiagate” that they just cannot let go and are hoping to keep it going when they get the “real” Mueller report.

I’ve only looked at this example but I assume it is a genre similar to the sects predicting end of the world on a specific date and then just revising the date with firmer conviction:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-trumps-washington/the-witch-hunt-lives-trump-and-the-investigation-that-just-wont-end

Here’s an initial defence of the media lunacy immediately after it fell to bits:

https://newrepublic.com/article/153408/russia-skeptics-committing-sins-despise

It took less than a couple of weeks for the New Yorker to fully return to the theme as above.

But its interesting the initial response actually links to a couple of dissident journalists it was responding to.

Both are well worth reading (even though their rejection of the mainstream enthusiasm for believing US intelligence agencies and authority figures is closely linked to their view of the Iraq war).

Here’s Matt Taibi:

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/russiagate-is-wmd-times-a-million

Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of the population, a group that (perhaps thanks to this story) is now larger than his original base. As Baker notes, a full 50.3% of respondents in a poll conducted this month said they agree with Trump the Mueller probe is a “witch hunt.”

Stories have been coming out for some time now hinting Mueller’s final report might leave audiences “disappointed,” as if a President not being a foreign spy could somehow be bad news.

Openly using such language has, all along, been an indictment. Imagine how tone-deaf you’d have to be to not realize it makes you look bad, when news does not match audience expectations you raised. To be unaware of this is mind-boggling, the journalistic equivalent of walking outside without pants.

There will be people protesting: the Mueller report doesn’t prove anything! What about the 37 indictments? The convictions? The Trump tower revelations? The lies! The meeting with Don, Jr.? The financial matters! There’s an ongoing grand jury investigation, and possible sealed indictments, and the House will still investigate, and…

Stop. Just stop. Any journalist who goes there is making it worse.

For years, every pundit and Democratic pol in Washington hyped every new Russia headline like the Watergate break-in. Now, even Nancy Pelosi has said impeachment is out, unless something “so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan” against Trump is uncovered it would be worth their political trouble to prosecute.

The biggest thing this affair has uncovered so far is Donald Trump paying off a porn star. That’s a hell of a long way from what this business was supposedly about at the beginning, and shame on any reporter who tries to pretend this isn’t so.

The story hyped from the start was espionage: a secret relationship between the Trump campaign and Russian spooks who’d helped him win the election.

The betrayal narrative was not reported as metaphor. It was not “Trump likes the Russians so much, he might as well be a spy for them.” It was literal spying, treason, and election-fixing – crimes so severe, former NSA employee John Schindler told reporters, Trump “will die in jail.”

In the early months of this scandal, the New York Times said Trump’s campaign had “repeated contacts” with Russian intelligence; the Wall Street Journal told us our spy agencies were withholding intelligence from the new President out of fear he was compromised; news leaked out our spy chiefs had even told other countries like Israel not to share their intel with us, because the Russians might have “leverages of pressure” on Trump.

CNN told us Trump officials had been in “constant contact” with “Russians known to U.S. intelligence,” and the former director of the CIA, who’d helped kick-start the investigation that led to Mueller’s probe, said the President was guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” committing acts “nothing short of treasonous.”

Hillary Clinton insisted Russians “could not have known how to weaponize” political ads unless they’d been “guided” by Americans. Asked if she meant Trump, she said, “It’s pretty hard not to.” Harry Reid similarly said he had “no doubt” that the Trump campaign was “in on the deal” to help Russians with the leak.

None of this has been walked back. To be clear, if Trump were being blackmailed by Russian agencies like the FSB or the GRU, if he had any kind of relationship with Russian intelligence, that would soar over the “overwhelming and bipartisan” standard, and Nancy Pelosi would be damning torpedoes for impeachment right now.

There was never real gray area here. Either Trump is a compromised foreign agent, or he isn’t. If he isn’t, news outlets once again swallowed a massive disinformation campaign, only this error is many orders of magnitude more stupid than any in the recent past, WMD included. Honest reporters like ABC’s Terry Moran understand: Mueller coming back empty-handed on collusion means a “reckoning for the media.”

Of course, there won’t be such a reckoning. (There never is). But there should be. We broke every written and unwritten rule in pursuit of this story, starting with the prohibition on reporting things we can’t confirm.

There’s more and its worth reading to understand just how big a favour the media has done for Trump.

Here’s Glenn Greenwald debating one of the journos in denial, also worth reading to understand their complete inability to face the situation:

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/3/25/as_mueller_finds_no_collusion_did

I don’t watch TV but the brain rot suffered by liberal Americans who do must exceed the impact of the press. Here’s a random account of the main liberal cable channel MSNBC:

https://newrepublic.com/article/153435/msnbcs-wild-ride

This is far worse than the notorious Fox news channel and closer to “Infowars” whose anchor recently defended itself from a defamation suit by admitting he was “psychotic”.

Most of the media may shift focus to other “investigations” of corruption etc which is less lunatic than “Russia”. But it still looks like the Democrats will be running a campaign to change the climate by printing money, in which case we’ll be stuck with Trump for another four years.

Hopefully some of the damage will be mitigated by the collapse of Brexit.

Notes on Trump 44 – No collusion but keep ranting about obstruction

Here’s the four page summary of the Mueller report from US Attorney-General Barr:

https://www.apnews.com/f4f1ea3c16884b49ae853e12e78e42ad

Despite massive efforts the inquiry did not find that anybody in the Trump campaign either tacitly or explicitly agreed to coordinate with Russian interference in the election.

Despite continuous public attacks on the investigation by Trump, the inquiry could not come up with a plausible theory for “obstruction” and left that issue for Attorney-General Barr to resolve.

Barr notoriously did so before becoming A-G. Here is his 19 page memo dismissing any “obstruction” theory from 2018-06-18:

https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/549-june-2018-barr-memo-to-doj-mue/b4c05e39318dd2d136b3/optimized/full.pdf

He and Deputy A-G Rosenstein, who initiated the inquiry, have already agreed and announced in the summary – no obstruction.

It’s “all over bar the shouting”.

The shouting may well intensify given the media and Democrat track record.

It would be hard for Trump to keep them on track blithering about this if they came to their senses.

But it looks like he will be able to easily keep them going on “obstruction”, especially if DOJ starts prosecutions of people like Comey, Clapper et al as it should.

Pelosi has wisely opposed impeachment by insisting that they wait for Mueller report.

But there’s no way to stop them from keeping on about sex with porn stars etc instead of actually developing saner policies than changing the climate by printing money.

Notes on Trump 43, Nazis and Brexit both sides losing

1   Brexit dramatization is still being scripted despite outcome having been done and dusted during the Ides of March. Current scheduling seems to be a pointless request for a delay till end of June on the basis of hypothetical successful third attempt at getting deal through Parliament that didn’t happen today. That seems to be intended to be postponed by the EU until an emergency meeting around the day before deadline expiry so as to maximize the number of Tory Brexiteers who might humiliate themselves by voting for BRINO in fear of the obvious alternative. That alternative seems to have been scheduled for April Fools day when  the UK gets offered a choice between spending the next two months actually preparing for “no deal” or agreeing to a referendum.

The EU will have been maximally cooperative with the UK Government seeking to get the deal approved. Only the usual suspects will keep claiming failure of Brexit is their fault rather than a British decision. May will have kept her promise to fight till the bitter end and will be able to blame the hard Brexiteers for forcing the long delay followed by no Brexit. Corbyn will have fought against a “Tory Brexit” still valiantly holding open some hypothetical unspecified alternative and only reluctantly accepted the referendum for no Brexit. But there will, as has been obvious for a long time, be no Brexit.

Here is quite a good analysis on the eventual referendum:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/19/brexit-tensions-referendum

Key point is that the parliamentary maneuvering does not include a positive campaign to convince people in favour of European Union.

Opponents have been out-maneuvered but Corbyn would not fight in the first referendum and won’t fight now. It is tactically smart party politicking for him to let things drag out while the Tories discredit themselves without alienating Labour supporters that voted to leave or the large majority of Labour members who want to remain. Likewise Therese May is being denounced as hopelessly incompetent by the people she has been very competently isolating in the Tory party. But both sides are unprincipled. Resentment could still do long term damage even when Remain gets a large majority as a result of their opponents not bothering to vote for BRINO.

2. CNN has acknowledged that Trump’s tactics on the wall have worked out for him:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/19/politics/trump-approval-rating-national-emergency-analysis/index.html

Also they have started paying attention to voters rather than polls counting everyone.

Their polling confirms Trump lost no support and is back to 43% approval among voters (42% including non-voters).

The preference for Democrats among non-voters is actually much more than the 1% they have noticed.

Rasmussen polls voters daily and is still running closer to 50% (today’s 47% approval, 52% disapproval)

3. This is also a good analysis on Democrat tactics against Trump from a right-winger helpfully explaininng Trump voters to CNN:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/19/opinions/what-progressives-should-know-about-trump-voters-hanson/index.html

Fascinating that they are so far gone Trumpists feel no hesitation about telling them how to do better.

They are still rabbiting on about Trump’s imminent doom from the Mueller inquiry but my morbid fascination that led me to read past the headlines of “explosive” new revelations has faded.

4. This book has some useful background on neo-Nazi fringe lunatics in Australia and how they repeatedly promoted and encouraged terrorist acts with exactly the same mealy mouthed denials of doing it and the same liberal defence of their “free speech” right to keep doing it as we are seeing now.

https://nonstateactorblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/01/everyone-wants-to-be-fuhrer/ (58MB pdf book)

After a series of violent attacks on Vietnam and anti-apartheid protestors, and Communist bookshops – actively encouraged by the Special Branch of the police, and attacks on Jewish businesses permitted for recreation, they were forcibly shutdown in Melbourne in the early 1970s by joint action of the Worker Student Alliance and Jewish ex-servicemen. Their HQ was destroyed and subscription lists captured. Their sponsors were visited personally and advised that “we know where you live”. They left town.

The account in the book above is very garbled, and omits most of the facts about them being shut down. But it accurately quotes the denunciations in favour of “Free Speech” from “The Age” and hostility to the protests from Zionist dominated Jewish Board of Deputies.

Does not mention that the police started committal proceedings for riot. Eventually abandoned when they realized a jury would be unlikely to convict.

The terrorist violence nearly half a century ago did not extend to mass murder. It would have if they had been tolerated and “censured” as similar elements are being tolerated and “censured” today.

Twilight Zone Trump

Politics today frequently makes me think I’m in the Twilight Zone. The words were made famous by a television anthology series that I loved in the 1960s and continue to re-watch today (on DVD). It dealt with bizarre and fantastic themes, often in a social realist setting and with a twist at the end.

Rod Serling, the show’s creator and main writer, was a small ‘l’ liberal. He was progressive on some key issues in the 1950s and 1960s, such as civil liberties and opposition to racism, and opposition to the US war in Vietnam. I’ve read a few biographies about him and he was an internationalist, cosmopolitan, opponent of tyrants and supporter of basic democracy: all values that Trump opposes. Serling would be in the globalist camp today.

This meme is too good not to share…

Serling on Trump meme

 

Notes on Trump 41 – the shutdown

I’m still not following it closely enough to predict an outcome. But I’m not seeing anything that suggests I was wrong to expect the media and Democrats would continue to play into Trump’s hands as usual.

Here’s CNN celebrating:

“…Trump ultimately caved, telling Pelosi he will wait until the shutdown is over to deliver the traditional address.

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/24/politics/donald-trump-state-of-the-union-behind-the-scenes/index.html

That is the sort of “victory” that liberals celebrate.

The shutdown is not going to end with a two-thirds majority overiding a Presidential veto or replacing Trump with Vice President Pence.

Trump’s total focus on mobilizing his base regardless of wider unpopularity has paid off.

https://thebulwark.com/trumps-loyal-senate-republicans/

Only a handful of GOP Senators feel safe enough from being primaried to openly resist. Opponents of Trump simultaneously crowing and whining that this is costing them wider public support just don’t get it. Trump still has nearly 90% approval among GOP voters likely to turn up at primaries so few of his opponents will get to campaign for wider public support. Meanwhile he still has nearly two more years for the Democrats to demonstrate that Washington will remain completely gridlocked until there are less of them in office.

According to a WAPO oped the recent Senate votes confirming that situation means that Trump has lost a lot of leverage.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/24/trump-just-lost-key-leverage-shutdown/

I cannot even guess why a Democrat would believe confirmation of Trump’s grip on the GOP gives them “leverage”. Presumably if they actually got a funding bill to Trump’s desk for him to veto that would count as total victory.

The shutdown might end with Trump losing in which case they are celebrating having given him the optimum opportunity to pretend otherwise as usual.

It might end with the Democrats losing. They could not resist denouncing the offer of only a 3 year delay in deporting millions of “illegal” immigrants in terms that open up the possibility of agreeing to billions for border security as long as it isn’t called a wall in exchange for Trump ceasing to pretend he could deport millions of people. Even I doubt that they are that pathetically inept but they will certainly go for “strong” gestures like not inviting Trump to speak in the House rather than actually resolving their internal differences and mobilizing a fight on immigration.

Most likely it will end with some sort of compromise, with both sides claiming victory. Again, they are celebrating having helped Trump to present himself optimally as having stuck by his base to the bitter end.

Trump’s approval rating among likely voters has declined significantly (currently at around 44% to 55%). But he has the initiative and can land it in the courts any time he wants. His preposterous claim that he could divert funds appropriated to the military for disaster relief into building his wall would be immediately blocked by court orders. Whether or not the Supreme Court agrees there is no reason for them not to take their time about it.

Meanwhile Trump gets to continue fighting elections on “build the wall” while Democrats cement their enthusiasm for gestures and gridlock.

I’m still expecting the Democrats to start embracing “victories” by delivering bipartisan huge deficits, infrastructure programs and healthcare etc that will help maximize Trump’s chances of re-election. Nothing confirming that yet but gestures like not inviting him to speak are a suitable prelude for “forcing” him into such “defeats”.

 

 

Notes on Trump 40

I started this post a month ago and have not been monitoring news on Trump (or Brexit) much since so had better get it out now with just a bunch of links at the end but no explanation of them.

1. Recent developments seem to confirm my take on Brexit a month ago:

Brexit April Fool’s day joke could be nearly over

Ministers now openly confirming they will have to request a postponement until after April Fool’s Day to sort themselves out whatever happens now:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-news-theresa-may-deal-article-50-extend-parliament-commons-eu-withdrawal-a8723281.html

I’m not following the death throes, but May seems focussed on defanging the Brexiteers screams of “Treason” when Brexit fails by setting up a situation in which they take the blame for voting “No Deal” to the only deal available thus making “No Brexit” inevitable after initial postponement.

2. As predicted when focus was on campaign finance, the campaign about Trump is now back where Trump wants it – firmly focussed on Russia:

Insane version:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/here-are-18-reasons-why-trump-could-be-a-russian-asset/2019/01/13/45b1b250-174f-11e9-88fe-f9f77a3bcb6c_story.html?utm_term=.6a08d7dee4b4

Less insane version (“we already knew”):

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-trump-putin-revelations-are-nothing-new-why-are-people-so-excited/2019/01/13/a3ab6434-1775-11e9-88fe-f9f77a3bcb6c_story.html?utm_term=.b815ec58de7b

The less insane one sort of prepares readers for a Mueller report expected to not provide any way to get rid of Trump while not preventing them from continuing to bloviate about him being a Russian “asset” instead of developing actual policies.

I haven’t followed the latest “shutdown”. Trump approval currently down to 45% after near 50% late last year. Seems plausible that he will end it with a “State of Emergency” to be quashed by Supreme Court so he consolidates his base by having done everything he could to deliver on promises but was stopped by Democrats.

Meanwhile Democrats have gone out of their way not to actually fight on immigration issues but support border security. So support for “the wall” (now actually a fence) has RISEN from a year ago:

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-gop-blamed-shutdown-crisis-fewer-oppose-wall/story?id=60337670

Now the minority support is 42%/54% while a year ago it was 34%/67%.

So Trump takes the blame for fighting hard for his promises while winning greater support for his policies.

Not much sign of “bipartisan” moves to help relect Trump by delivering on infrastructure spending, healthcare and massive deficits yet.

But this item on prison reform actually delivered is a straw in the wind – especially relevant to reducing the black turnout for Democrats:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/19/trumps-prison-reform-win-great-trump-paradox-it-reveals/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.bcf87f0d94d8

3. I don’t know what’s going on with Syria policy.

Kurds and Turks clashing in northern Syria indicates increasing irrelevance of both Daesh and Assad regime, despite Daesh still existing and regime still holding ALL the cities.

Turkey seems to be stepping forward as the protector of Sunnis with a US withdrawal and Russian military police in areas that fighters withdrew from under cease fire agreements potentially able to hand over to them.

Al Qaeda is now the main threat to democratic revolution and has strengthened its position in Idlib embedded in close alliance with other Sunni forces, although now isolated from the opposition to regime in other areas. Interesting that Turkish tanks are being openly moved to the border of Idlib:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-turkey/turkey-reinforces-troops-on-border-with-syrias-idlib-anadolu-idUSKCN1P51MU

Some deal was arranged between Russia, Iran, Turkey and the more democratic resistance long ago, but I only know it could not be for long term occupation of Syria by Russian and Iranian forces and the other option of an Alawi enclave in Latakia has been foreclosed by the regime’s occupation of all cities. Media claims victory for Assad (and Russia and Iran). They are clearly wrong but I don’t know what is happening or when.

For an opposite view, here’s “Voice of America”:

https://www.voanews.com/a/arab-nations-inch-toward-rehabilitating-syria-president-assad/4741186.html

Meanwhile Trump’s focus is clearly domestic and his withdrawal announcement will be popular with the overwhelming isolationist sentiment in both his base and the Democrat base while the denunciations for “playing into Russian and Iranian hands” will only reinforce isolationist sentiment among Americans who might support democratic revolution but are rightly unenthused about maintaining imperial boundaries against other powers. As long as there are few US casualties it won’t matter much domestically whether the announced withdrawal actually happens or whether covert and air operations continue. Isolationist sentiment will still be strengthened and Trump will still benefit from the announcement. As for the impact in Syria, the Turks are far more important and the Kurds would be well advised to pull back and not turn towards the regime.

4. Now here’s what I started a month ago:

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/byron-york-sudden-shift-in-get-trump-talk-now-its-campaign-finance-not-russia

This summary of current Democrat theme looks about right to me. Only missing a couple of points.

1. They won’t drop Russia and are starting to convince themselves that Trump’s lawyer thinking about bribing Putin with an apartment at a hoped for Trump tower in Moscow could at last be proof the Kremlin has something on him that explains how they lost the election.

2. Trump benefits from Democrats impeaching him and splitting about such idiotic tactics.

But it does confirm they are headed straight for it, even on something as utterly pointless as trying to convince more than a third of GOP Senators to remove him from office (and later get removed themselves by GOP primaries), for using his own money to pay off people he had sex with not to talk about it during his campaign.

Sudden shift in get-Trump talk; now it’s campaign finance, not Russia

by Byron York

December 10, 2018 03:48 PM

Prosecutors investigating President Trump made big news Friday, but it wasn’t about Russia. Rather, in their sentencing recommendation for fixer Michael Cohen, lawyers with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York wrote that in the final weeks of the 2016 campaign, candidate Trump directed Cohen to pay off Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who wanted money to keep quiet about sexual dalliances. While such arrangements are legal, prosecutors argued that since the payoffs occurred during the campaign, they were violations of campaign finance laws.

Cohen, who is cooperating because prosecutors nailed him for tax evasion and bank fraud in his private business, pleaded guilty to two felony campaign finance violations. So no one has to talk about an “alleged” campaign finance scheme; there’s already a guilty plea. But what was really significant about the sentencing memo was that prosecutors specifically said Trump told Cohen to do it.

“With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election,” prosecutors said. “He acted in coordination with and at the direction of [Trump].”

Those words caused a sudden shift in the debate over investigating the president. What had been a two-year-long conversation about Trump and Russia instantly became a conversation about Trump and campaign finance.
“Prosecutors are now implicating the president in at least two felonies,” said CNN.

“Federal prosecutors in New York say that President Trump directed Michael Cohen to commit two felonies,” said NBC’s Chuck Todd.

“At least two felonies,” said Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy.

“Implicated in two felonies,” said anti-Trump gadfly George Conway, husband of top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.
And so on.

“There’s a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him,” said Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who will become chairman of the House Intelligence Committee next month, “that he may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time.”

Jerry Nadler, the Democrat who will chair the House Judiciary Committee, said the campaign finance charges “would be impeachable offenses because, even though they were committed before the president became president, they were committed in the service of fraudulently obtaining the office.” Nadler said he has still not determined whether the charges, even thoughthey could be the basis for impeachment, are important enough to actually go forward, at least yet.
Nadler’s public caution is understandable; his committee will have the responsibility of starting the impeachment process, if that is what Democratic leaders decide. But the fact is, a number of Democrats clearly believe they already have enough evidence to impeach.

One significant problem could be that the campaign finance charge against the president is a pretty iffy case. Back in 2010, the Justice Department accused 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards of a similar scheme — an alleged campaign finance violation based on a payoff to a woman with whom Edwards had had an affair (and a child).
Edwards said he arranged the payment to save his reputation and hide the affair from his wife. The Justice Department said it was to influence the outcome of a presidential election.

The New York Times called the Edwards indictment “a case that had no precedent.” Noting that campaign finance law is “ever changing,” the paper said the Edwards case came down to one question: “Were the donations for the sole purpose of influencing the campaign or merely one purpose?”

The Justice Department failed miserably at trial. Edwards was acquitted on one count, while the jury deadlocked in Edwards’ favor on the others. Prosecutors opted not to try again.

President Trump would point out that the accusation against him differs in at least one key respect from Edwards. Prosecutors accused Edwards of raising donor money to pay off the woman. Trump used his own money, which even the byzantine and restrictive campaign finance laws give candidates a lot of freedom to use in unlimited amounts.
So even more than Edwards, if the Justice Department pursued a case against Trump, it would be on unprecedented grounds.
But the political reality is, it doesn’t really matter if it is a weak case. And it doesn’t matter if Trump himself has not been indicted, or even that a sitting president cannot be indicted. Because now, Democrats can say, “The Justice Department has implicated the president in two felonies. Two felonies. TWO FELONIES!”

Politically, that’s as good as an indictment of Trump. Perhaps even better, since it does not give the president a forum to make a proper legal defense.

The last few days have seen a big pivot in the campaign against Donald Trump. For two-plus years, it was Russia, Russia, Russia. But despite various revelations in the Russia probe, the case for collusion remains as sketchy as ever. Now, though, prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have given Democrats a new weapon against the president. Look for them to use it.

A subsequent item indicates there is more solid grounds for eventually convicting Trump of a campaign finance violation than the Edwards case:

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/trumps-john-edwards-defense-further-dissipates

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/06/how-trumps-approval-rating-has-evolved-according-data-scientist-donald-trump/

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-12-06/trump-s-tariffs-could-clinch-electoral-college

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-12-06/huawei-arrest-gives-u-s-leverage-over-china-on-technology

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/12/07/latest-filings-show-that-nobody-can-save-trump-now/?utm_term=.2bf06befaf27

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/12/08/donald-trump-denies-wrongdoing-amid-accusations-prosecutors-mueller/2249001002/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/12/07/michael-cohen-sentencing-memo-key-takeaways/2243428002/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/08/donald-trump-mueller-investigation-cohen-manafort

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/08/donald-trump-mueller-investigation-cohen-manafort

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/08/europe/russia-putin-trump-bromance-intl/index.html

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/07/opinions/mueller-is-putting-the-puzzle-pieces-together-on-trump-honig/index.html

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/07/opinions/mueller-is-putting-the-puzzle-pieces-together-on-trump-honig/index.html

https://www.newyorker.com/news/swamp-chronicles/the-michael-cohen-sentencing-memos-are-damning-for-trump

https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/trump-s-tweeting-veers-into-suspected-witness-tampering-territory-20181204-p50jzk.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/08/george-conway-blasts-trumps-claim-that-cohen-filing-totally-clears-president/?utm_term=.71abf94e1d8e