I must admit that the "Russian Collusion" and "Russians Hacking Our Election" issues seem a bit obscure and overblown to me; but then I don't have all the facts. Few do at this point. My opinion could be changed before this is all over, but right now, that's where I am. As with everybody on both sides of the political spectrum, I suspect things, but bias creeps in.
Hopefully, bias has little to do with the observation that both terms have more to do with propaganda and framing the debate than truth. But, since I'm always in search of truth, I think I'll try to break this down a bit.
First, these are two separate things to me, though I suppose if there is a grand conspiracy (which I currently doubt) they could be related. But, in the interest of getting my head around this mess, I'll just address "collusion" here. I'll may look at “hacking our election” later.
The definition of "Russian collusion" to me would be someone(s) interacting with Russian citizens/agents to do something (like release information) that would possibly affect the outcome of an election. The key being that both sides (American & Russian) work together to accomplish a task.
From what I've heard, I believe that the act of "colluding" itself... is not illegal. This is not a statement of approval or disapproval, but rather just a statement of fact. But... while I'm on the subject of approval/disapproval; to be honest with you, I don't have much trouble with it as log as 1) the law is followed and 2) the information released is true.
My opinion has always been, the more accurate information the public has the better, concerning those in office and how they conduct their business and lives. Even if that information is something they don't want made public. That goes for everybody (GOP, Dems, left, right, moderate, etc...)
Back to the legality issue, simply accepting dirt from the Russians (or anybody) against your opponent is not illegal to my knowledge. Encouraging them to find more is not illegal. Encouraging them to release it is not illegal.
Illegal could come to play on this issue though. It would be illegal to promise and/or give something of value to a foreign agent in such consequences. Examples could be something like money or a promise to change policy/law. Please note that the "foreign agent" part is pretty important here; remove that from the equation and you're back into legal territory. (Think lobbying and campaign contributions.)
Granted... it would be very likely that whoever was supplying such dirt would expect some sort of quid-pro-quo payment or favor. But those in the position of prosecuting crime must prove that is what happened... not just speculate or say it is probable. That's kind-of how the rule of law works. But I digress...
I envision that one of the following scenarios took place concerning "Russian Collusion".
Scenario 1: The Russians had dirt, they offered it to Americans or offered to release it and nothing was promised or delivered in return.
This may not be as crazy a scenario as it sounds. It has been speculated (by many in the know) that Putin held a grudge against Hillary Clinton for denouncing his previous election victory as tainted and corrupt. Of course, it was tainted and corrupt; but Hillary bent over backwards to denounce it (to her credit) and she made a political enemy.
Reports are, Putin hated the woman and wanted to return the favor by giving her a good %^&%ing over. And who doesn't think Putin would do that? For free? Anybody?
Result of Scenario 1: No harm no foul. It may not have been fair that the Russians %^%#ed Hillary, but that's life in the big league. No crime was committed if no payment in kind was offered.
Scenario 2: The Russians had dirt, and offered it to Americans in exchange for something. The American declined OR never followed up. This is possible.
Result of Scenario 2: No harm no foul. It is not illegal to be offered an illegal transaction. Think of it like a congressman being offered a bribe. He doesn't have to decline it to be in the clear; all he need do is not accept. It is only illegal to accept it.
Scenario 3: The Russians had dirt, and offered it to the Americans in exchange for something. The Americans accepted the offer (if they paid is immaterial, just agreeing to pay would be a crime). This scenario is also possible.
Result of Scenario 3: Harm and foul. Said Americans (all of them) should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This, in my opinion would be an impeachable offense, IF the President had full knowledge and gave approval of the transaction.
To be honest with you... I don't think this happened; even at a lower level. I certainly don't think it happened at a higher level. Why? See my analysis of the Mueller investigation below.
The Mueller Investigation:
That said... getting to the Mueller investigation. A crime happening and proving it beyond reasonable doubt are two separate things. This is just my opinion... but if Mueller had anything of this nature he would already have concluded his investigation. The fact that he's laying little perjury traps and blackmailing associates and lawyers to set these traps says to me... he's got nothing related to "Russian collusion". He's moved on to Stormy Daniels bullshit which means his investigation is now purely political.
Could Mueller surprise me with actual proof of "collusion"? Absolutely. But were well past the time and expense where he needs to %$#@ or get off the pot.
I'm of the same opinion as disgraced FBI investigator Peter Strzok concerning the "Russian collusion".
"There’s no big there there." -- Peter Strzok.
Peter was someone who would know, and Peter was someone who with all his heart and soul would have wanted there to be a there… there.
If you’re still hoping for collusion, you really need to prepare yourself for what Peter Strzok already knew well over a year ago. If you’re hoping the likes of the Stormy Daniels BS pans out into something, then this is strictly political for you, and rational analysis and rule of law went out the window a long time ago.
Given there is an absence of much there, I can’t blame Trump for his reaction to the investigation and the investigators.
I would have given the benefit of the doubt to the investigators for as long as they proved professional and unbiased. Mueller simply naming nothing but a cabal of Hillary supporters went well past that line. Since then, the actions of the investigators and Mueller in moving on to the likes of Stormy Daniels, leaves that line well in the rear-view mirror.
With the obvious disingenuousness of the investigators; I wouldn't cooperate with them one bit. I wouldn’t answer their questions. I would make them jump through hoops to get the tiniest bit of information or cooperation. I would bend them over the table every chance I got. I would drag their sorry behinds through the mud and back again just for the fun of it.
You wage political war... expect political war in return. %$#!, the Clintons knew that in spades.