This past week more than 300 American newspapers colluded — if the word fits…

It doesn’t fit. A little education of the definition might be helpful.

collusion

noun

1. a secret agreement, especially for fraudulent or treacherous purposes; conspiracy:Some of his employees were acting in collusion to rob him.

2. Law. a secret understanding between two or more persons to gain something illegally, to defraud another of his or her rights, or to appear as adversaries though in agreement:

The Globe openly (not secretly) exercised its free speech rights to encourage others to speak up. They were persuasive enough to convince 300 others they had a good idea. Neither secrecy nor a defrauding of rights was to be found anywhere.

But let’s separate Trump’s crude rally remarks and crass online rants from his Administration’s policies. What is he actually doing?

Well he really is proposing that Congress investigate TV stations he deems hostile, in his own version of McCarthyism. He really did advocate that broadcasting licenses be stripped from media he deems “fake news.” He has repeatedly argued that libel laws should be changed to make it easier for him to sue who he doesn’t like. He really is taking retribution against political enemies by revoking their security clearances. And someday, Trump’s “enemy of the people” rhetoric against our free press is going to get someone killed. Those words are dangerous no matter how much you want to dismiss them as mere “rudeness.”

Trump stands accused of colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 election. There is still zero evidence that this happened. It’s still just vague insinuations leaked to newspapers with histories of cozying up to the CIA-FBI-NSA by anonymous CIA-FBI-NSA spooks.

In an article full of dishonest tripe, this statement may be the biggest offender. There is much more than “zero evidence” and “vague insinuations” from sources you arbitrarily dismiss.

The evidence includes Trump Junior’s emails where he is told representatives of the Russian government want to help elect his father by giving him dirt on Hillary Clinton. To which Junior responds, “I love it.” He goes to the meeting and supposedly is disappointed to discover it is really about adoptions.

The evidence includes that Trump Junior then tried to lie about the existence of any such meetings. When news of the media started to come out, President Trump personally dictated a dishonest letter to the media about the purpose of the meeting. Then Trump an his people repeatedly lied about the President’s involvement in drafting that letter.

The lies from Team Trump about this have been incredible. I’m not sure when Trump supporters will tire of being lied to, or when they will accept that the lying itself is suspect.

The evidence includes the confession of George Papadopoulos who acknowledges meeting repeatedly with Russians to arrange getting dirt on Clinton. His confession also states he did so with the full knowledge and encouragement of the higher ups in the Trump Campaign.

There are the known connections of Roger Stone to Wikileaks, of Wikileaks to the GRU, and Stone’s apparent advance knowledge of what Wikileaks was going to do. Stone wrote an article in Breitbart endorsing the GRU cover story for Guccifer 2.0. That’s evidence, not insinuation.

There is actually much more than this. The point is that it is a lot more than “zero evidence” no matter how much you want to dismiss it. It is more than enough evidence to justify a thorough investigation that does not stop until it gets to the bottom of the truth.

Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80

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