‘The Russia thing’ is not yet a scandal

Some of my lefty friends — OK, maybe more than some of them — are going to dislike this blog post.

Too bad.

I’m struggling with a word I keep seeing in print and hearing on TV and radio. It’s the word “scandal” being used to describe what I like to call “the Russia thing.”

My sense is that “Russia” hasn’t yet risen to the level of scandal. It fits a list of potentially pejorative descriptions: controversy, tempest, tumult. Scandal? I’m not yet ready to go there.

The “Russia thing” is what Donald J. Trump called it when he told NBC News anchor Lester Holt about his reasons for firing former FBI director James Comey. It was “the Russia thing” that caused the president to fire Comey.

We have a special counsel assembling a legal team to investigate whether the Trump 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russian hackers to disrupt and influence the election outcome. At least one former aide, Michael Flynn, has been linked tightly to the Russian government.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is looking, too, at the Russia matter. Not so with the House Intelligence Committee, whose new chairman — Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. — said his panel is keeping its hands off this investigation.

Yes, I’ve seen a whole lot of smoke. There’s even a boatload of circumstantial evidence that appears to be piling up.

Do we have a scandal on our hands? Is the president now been tied up in a “public disgrace,” as the dictionary defines the term “scandal”? Well, I can think of a lot of ways that Trump has disgraced his office; they generally involve his use of Twitter to blast out those idiotic and moronic statements.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, though, is likely going to be the determining factor in whether all this “Russia thing” stuff drags the president and his administration straight into scandal territory.

I’ve sought to avoid using the “s-word” on this blog. I’ll continue to do so — until we all hear from the myriad investigative teams seeking to determine what in the hell happened during the 2016 election.

Read more posts from High Plains Blogger here.

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