As we see the first evidence that Russia is again taking efforts against Democratic candidates in the next US election, let’s be clear about how bad the Russia issue is.
In 2016 the Republican campaign for the presidency was aided by crimes committed by a foreign government. The only people who dispute this are the president and his most loyal supporters. To make it even remotely plausible that he did not approve of that help, or want similar help in future elections, would have taken an exception amount of effort. Donald Trump has not made even the most cursory attempt. The idea that he is not actively encouraging further crimes by foreign government to help elect Republicans is absurd.
So Donald Trump’s actions as president have welcomed and encouraged foreign governments committing crimes to aid Republican political campaigns. The Republican party has not stood up against it. Rather, they have supported the president in encouraging further criminal and foreign aid. Most recently by rejecting efforts to protect our elections.
The drama has been largely about whether or not Trump committed crimes that require his removal from office. But this search for criminal culpability seems to have allowed many to distract from, ignore, or not fully realize that he has made publicly embracing criminal aid from foreign governments politically acceptable.
This is an existential threat to our system of government.
And that’s before we know the full extent of Trump’s culpability or what other crimes the special council will uncover.