Note: This is satire. It is critical to point that out because it’s 2017 and it’s hard to tell. None of this actually happened, but it totally could have.
Robert Mueller, the fatally conflicted Special Counsel in charge of the Russian collusion snipe hunt, just came out with his indictments, and there has been a lot of confusion among the lunatics, weirdos, and 23-year-old internet pundits who make up his fan base. They’ve been leveraging their extensive federal court experience, which consists of having heard that federal courts are a thing, into remarkably silly insights about the charges against Mrrs. Manafort, Gates, and Puffleupagus (sic) and how they relate to Donald Trump.
Spoiler: They don’t relate to Donald Trump.
So, in the interest of helping the ignorant, via Twitter I offered to explain what’s going on to a particularly committed and colorful commentator. For lack of a better pseudonym, let’s call her “Louise.”
Kurt: Wow, the indictments came out Monday and you’re still wearing a party hat.
Louise: This is the greatest week ever! *Blows party horn awkwardly* I still haven’t stopped celebrating these treason indictments!
Kurt: I guess that explains why you only have one shoe and your purse is on fire. You do know that no one was indicted for treason, right?
Louise: Now who’s being naïve? Didn’t you see the document? Count One, “Conspiracy Against the United States.” That’s totally treason!
Kurt: Yeah, no. A federal indictment for conspiracy, which in this case is two or more people agreeing to a plan to violate laws of the United States, is styled as a “conspiracy against the United States” in the pleadings. It’s not treason.
Louise: It’s totally treason!
Kurt: Look, “treason” is defined by the Constitution, which I assume you have heard of, in Article III, section 3: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” You don’t see tax dodging and not registering as a foreign agent in there.
Louise: There’re in there, somewhere, maybe behind the penumbras and emanations and the right to make people bake you cakes!
Kurt: No, they aren’t.
Louise: But CNN said it’s treason –
Kurt: It’s not freaking treason!
Louise: Well, the indictment still shows how awful Trump is for hiring Manafort!
Kurt: Manafort and Gates had no criminal record, but I agree there was one thing that should have made the president think twice – Manafort worked on Ukraine stuff with Tony Podesta and he’s super scuzzy.
Louise: I don’t know who Tony Podesta is.
Kurt: Democrat bigwig Tony Podesta? Pal of Hillary Clinton?
Louise: I don’t know who Hillary Clinton is either.
Kurt: Whatev. Basically Mueller’s big score is nailing Manafort for long ago crimes that pre-date his three months working for the Trump campaign. And Andrew McCarthy explains very clearly why some of the charges themselves are flawed. This is not just a nothingburger. It’s a vegan nothingburger.
Louise: It figures you’re racist against vegans. What about the guy who plead guilty? George Papa…Papaoomploompa?
Kurt: I think it’s Papadoofolopolis.
Louise: Anyway, he was a central key advisor involved in every aspect of the entire Russian conspiracy. This proves collusion! This is the first crack in the dam! The tsunami is coming! I can feel it! The voices in my head agree!
Kurt: George was a goofy 29-year old unpaid fringie who got honey-trapped by some Svetlana pretending to be Putin’s niece – which a Google search would have quickly found was baloney. He’d have had to work his way up the ranks to even be a nobody. He kept trying to get the campaign to have some sort of meeting with the Russians and the campaign kept not having one.
Louise: But the Russians promised him dirt on Hillary…whoever that is. That’s collusion!
Kurt: Wait, is getting oppo from foreigners bad again? I’m confused. Last week getting the nonsense in the Steele dossier from the Russians was awesome.
Louise: Steele dossier? Never heard of it.
Kurt: And isn’t not meeting with the Russians sort of the opposite of collusion?
Louise: Oh, that’s what they want you to think. This is all part of the giant, all-encompassing conspiracy those incompetent idiots in the Trump campaign managed to conceive and execute right under our noses! And George Papadosoupulous’s guilty plea to treason is proof!
Kurt: It’s not treason! What is your weird treason thing, anyway? Look, he plead guilty to lying to the FBI. What he allegedly did – talk to some foreigner who was obviously playing up to his ego – wasn’t even illegal. You can tell it wasn’t illegal because he didn’t get charged for it. Like a dummy, he got charged with covering up something that he didn’t need to cover up. That’s the thing – they always get you for lying to them, which is why you never talk to the FBI without your lawyer, and you never lie to them.
Louise: It’s kind of like treason…
Kurt: Stop it!
Louise: It’s treasonish…
Kurt: It’s not treason! Look, they got Manafort for all sorts of shenanigans from before he started up with Trump. And they got Papajohnalopolous for lying about doing something that was totally legal to do. But you know what they didn’t indict anyone for? Actually colluding with the Russians to rig the election for Trump.
Louise: Well, it’s collusion anyway!
Louise: Under HIPAA, probably, or the Monroe Doctrine. My contacts on the web tell me that in the next few days the FISA Court’s Grand Marshall will be frog marching everyone out of the White House to Gitmo! One of my best inside sources, Zorgon of Alpha Centauri, informs me that Trump’s already got the death sentence on 12 systems!
Kurt: Hmmm. Well, I will concede that I have found someone who agrees with your assessment of the charges.
Louise: Which are for treason!
Kurt: It’s not treason!
Chet: Well, I agree with you, Louise!
Kurt: Louise, meet my friend Chet.
Louise: Wait. Is Chet a…unicorn?
Kurt: Yes, Chet identifies as a unicorn.
Louise: Where did you get a unicorn?
Kurt: Oh, I deal with Democrats and Never Trumpers all the time. I just borrowed one from them.