I agree with all that, but here’s the rub. By your numbers:
- Nobody is going to get impeached because campaign people talked policy with the Russians prior to the election. That includes Trump. His base won’t care; the right-wing media will make mincemeat of out of the Logan Act, trotting up attorney after judge after attorney who will talk about how the Act will be found unconstitutional and has no reason to exist. The conclusion will be “witch hunt” if the Logan Act is invoked.
- All that may “strain credulity” indeed, but again, Trump is not going to get impeached on circumstantial evidence or the Logan Act.
- I agree completely that there may be some people go down around Trump; the campaign was inexperienced, there weren’t any campaign lawyers around, and there’s a ton of enthusiasm involved. But it would be very weird for the candidate himself to take a meeting like that (especially one with that kind of attention span); it would have been delegated, to avoid having the candidate in the meeting when the flow went as it did with Veselnitskaya, who testified herself that once they found out she didn’t have much, they lost interest in her.
- Business dealings don’t matter in all this. You can’t indict a sitting president. For good reason. Mueller might find something that could lead to an indictment AFTER his term in office, but not during. (Corollary to this one: Nobody who voted for him thought he was a choir boy. Everyone knew what they were getting. Finding out that he was a crooked businessman would be met with a yawn.)
There’s only one unlikely or possible scenario that could lead to impeachment here, in that impeachment is a political decision, not a legal one: that Trump himself knew that the Russians were committing a crime and said nothing. Most likely would be the hack of the DNC servers. If evidence were provided that Trump (not the campaign, but Trump) KNEW that was happening, before or after the fact, then THAT would have legs.)
So, I agree with Caitlin Johnstone that this is a sideshow. There may be some young’uns inexperienced with the political process who thing this will lead to getting rid of Trump (like that really matters; If I were a Dem, I’d be MUCH more concerned about running against Pence than Trump in 2020) but I’m not one of them.