They’re standing by their man

They're standing by their man

by digby

It's astonishing. TPM reports on GOP official, slack-jawed and drooling, unable to raise even the slightest concern over the fact that the president was secretly doing multimillion dollars deals with Vladimir Putin during the campaign

The White House’s closest allies in Congress and the media are leaning on President Trump’s go-to line in downplaying Thursday’s news that Michael Cohen has entered into a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Ignoring the meat of the development—that Cohen admitted he was working on a deal for the Trump Organization to develop a project in Moscow in the middle of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign—Trump’s defenders have claimed that Mueller is forced to prosecute false statements because he has no stronger criminal charges to bring.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) dismissed Cohen’s new guilty plea, calling it “a process crime.”

“I’ve yet to see anybody indicted for actually colluding with the Russians,” Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill, according to NBC News.

Sen. John Thune (R-SD), newly elected as the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, echoed that there has yet to be any development that “in any way changes the landscape, so to speak, where the President is concerned,” as he told Fox News.

Other congressional Republicans took a stronger line against Cohen. Both outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Judiciary Committee member John Kennedy (R-LA) said that Trump’s former attorney deserved to be prosecuted for the crime of lying to Congress.

Michael Anton, former spokesman for Trump’s National Security Council, also lashed out at Mueller’s team for pursuing a “process” crime, telling Fox that the special counsel has strayed from his initial mandate of investigating collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Pro-Trump media ran with that line as well. A splash feature on Breitbart News read “Mueller ripped for ‘false statement prosecutions’” and linked to a write-up of a Fox interview with Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.

“I think the weakness of Mueller’s substantive findings are suggested by the fact that he has to resort to false statement prosecutions, which really shows that he didn’t start with very much, and that the very fact that he’s conducting an investigation has created these crimes,” Dershowitz said. “These are not crimes that had been committed prior to his appointment, they’re crimes that were committed as the result of his appointment.”

Ok, but what crimes were they covering up with their lies? Eh, who cares, amirite? If Mueller isn't locking them up, we just don't give a damn and neither do his voters.

I'm not sure if they will care if it's proven that he made an explicit offer of a quid pro quo to Vladimir Putin's right hand man.

Oh wait. It appears that he did.

Who among us hasn't secretly offered a foreign adversary a 50 million dollar "gift" in the middle of a campaign in which said adversary sabotaged your political opponent?

Perfectly normal. Perfectly fine.