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This week, the Trump campaign’s collusion seems to have been confirmed. No one less than the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., divulged a series of emails in which he appeared willing to receive illicit inside information on Hillary Clinton coming from Russian agents. Without so much as considering what might be behind such an offer, Trump Jr. simply responded “I love it.” He loved it so much that the ethical violation it represents didn’t matter. He loved it so much that he didn’t even try to hide the exchange. Amid all of the noise after the revealing tweet, some qualify it as high treason. Now all that remains is to see what legal repercussions await.
Let’s take a step back. Despite the revelation of the emails being clear evidence of collusion, the case still does not have a judicial case pending. Until the complete publication of the emails, the information was being leaked bit by bit. It was thus that Trump Jr. found himself obliged to stymie possible fallout from the case, publishing the damning information all at once. For a campaign centered on Hillary’s private email server scandal, this scandal is all the more surreal.
In a Congress as ineffectual as this one has been, there is no margin for contemplating the total abandon of its project
Many Republican representatives negated the ties between Trump and Russia before the email case. They reserved their comments on it for new and concrete information to come out. Now, having it in hand, many still refuse to acknowledge possible Trump-Russia ties. Therein lies the problem.
If confirmed, this scandal would be a political and ethics violation on an unprecedented scale in the United States. Not even Watergate managed to be so flagrant as what we’re seeing now. Yet the Republican establishment is still hesitant. Their motive? They don’t want to slow down the already crawling pace of legislation.
Given that the political cycle is pointing to a probable loss of absolute control in the 2018 midterm elections, Republicans are not willing to interfere in the unique opportunity they have to pass their most important legislative projects. The impeachment process would not only halt the executive branch, it would halt the entire legislative agenda. In a Congress as ineffectual as this one has been, there is no margin for contemplating the total abandon of the project. Not even when evidence piles up.