Many Democrats, and even a few Republicans, have claimed that Donald Trump, Jr’s meeting with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have information about Hillary Clinton’s illicit dealings with Russia while she was Secretary of State constitutes the long-sought evidence of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, even though the Russian with whom Trump, Jr. met conveyed no such information.
This, I think, overlooks a very basic point. It’s only collusion if the parties’ purpose is bad. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “collusion”:
secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose * acting in collusion with the enemy
Thus, when the U.S., Russia and other countries jointly operate the International Space Station, they aren’t colluding, they are cooperating.
Liberals talk about “collusion” in connection with Trump, Jr’s meeting to paper over the fact that there was nothing wrong with it. Collecting information about corruption on the part of a candidate for office is a good thing, not a bad thing. We know from Clinton Cash that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton played a key role in turning over a large part of America’s supply of uranium to the Russians, at about the same time when Russians associated with that country’s government paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bill and Hillary Clinton. So we know about the quid and the quo, the only question is whether there was a pro. If the Russian lawyer had had information on this point, it would have been a public service to disclose it.
It is different, of course, if false information about a candidate is being fabricated. Thus, we can properly say that Democrats colluded in the production of a fake dossier on President Trump.
Some have tried to argue that it would have been illegal for Trump, Jr. to get information on Mrs. Clinton from a Russian because under our election laws, foreign nationals and governments can’t provide cash or other things of value to candidates. (Of course, it does sometimes happen, as when the Chinese government supported Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign in 1996.) I would consider taking this argument seriously if anyone had ever reported giving information about an opponent to a campaign as an in-kind contribution. To my knowledge, it’s never happened.
Having failed to come up with evidence that the Trump campaign had anything to do with spearfishing the DNC’s and RNC’s* email accounts–presumably because it didn’t–the Democrats are now defining collusion down to include innocent conversation toward a proper purpose. If that is the standard, we have photographic evidence of Congressional Democrats colluding with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during President Trump’s speech to the House and Senate in January:
*The RNC spearfishing failed because no one there was foolish enough to fall for it.