It’s the big question lingering in the back of many minds today. Paul Manafort’s indictment is a big event in Trumpworld because Manafort worked on his campaign. Knowing what we know about the guy, his business dealings could have impacted the Trump campaign in ways we can’t yet see.
Once we start wondering about Manafort’s influence within the campaign, the question then becomes “Well, how much did Trump know?” Ultimately, the concern on both the Right and the Left is whether or not Trump is going to go down for the so-called Russian Collusion.
A lot of folks on the Left have completely bought into the idea that Russia and Trump worked together to screw Hillary Clinton over. You don’t hear it much from Democrat politicians, but activists still beat this war drum, convinced that their candidate was infallible (Note: It is the opinion of most of the rational-thinking world that Hillary Clinton wasn’t just fallible, but the most fallible of all).
On the Right, outright denial from the farthest of the far Right has consumed them. Just mentioning Robert Mueller’s name can send the likes of Sean Hannity into a sputtering rage. He’s clearly a Democrat operative, sent to destroy Trump Almighty… or so they say. I don’t buy it, personally, though questions about his stint at the FBI do raise some concerns.
“What did Trump know?” and “When did he know it?” are going to be the most-asked questions here, but I believe they are the wrong questions. The question we should be asking is this: Did Trump know anything at all?
I don’t believe he did. Trump is not a micro-manager. He delegated and just did his own thing. Manafort, Kushner, and the rest of the campaign team went out and did what they thought was best. What we don’t know is who did what was best for Trump and who did what was best for them.
And that right there is where the trouble comes in. Manafort, by all accounts and based on what we know of this investigation, set out to enrich himself. If he is indicative of the type of people Trump hires, is it likely that more of them did this? It could be.
That, then, is the downfall of people within Trump’s campaign. Trump himself can get away with simply not knowing, and whatever did happen happened for personal gain, not to advance Trump himself.
I can’t be one hundred percent sure of that fact, but based on what we know right now, that’s the indicator. If/when there is another arrest, then the picture will become clearer. But, for right now, we simply don’t have the information to conclude that Trump is guilty of anything – which, to be fair, matches what has previously leaked out of the investigation.