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Truth and post-truth appear to be on brink of collision in Trump saga

Truth and post-truth appear to be on brink of collision in Trump saga

But even as Trump’s surrogates call for the investigations to be abandoned the signals from investigators keep growing louder that the president has a case to answer.

Vice President Mike Pence has called for the investigation to be wrapped up.

Vice President Mike Pence has called for the investigation to be wrapped up.

Photo: AP

On Wednesday in Washington an investigation led by Republicans in the Senate found, “There is no doubt that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with our 2016 elections.

“The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton,” read a bipartisan statement.

The committee released 2500 pages of testimony, including cross-examination, that suggests that Donald Trump Jr was particularly anxious to secure dirt on the Clinton campaign from Russian informants during a meeting at Trump tower, and that Trump himself may have influenced later misleading explanations of that meeting.

A second senate investigation – this one led by Democrats on the judiciary committee – suggested it believed the Russian government used the NRA to funnel money to the Trump campaign.

Meanwhile the Mueller investigation continues to advance in the quiet, implacable manner for which it has become known.

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer.

Photo: AP

The arguments by Trump and his supporters that it has achieved nothing in a year flies in the face of cold facts.

It has so far indicted or secured guilty pleas from 19 people and three companies. This includes indictments against Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and his campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos; as well as a guilty plea from his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn.

The indictments include those against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies.

One person, the Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan who pleaded guilty to crimes associated with his work for Manafort has already served a brief jail term. It is also possible that other people have already been indicted in secret and are now cooperating with Mueller.

Donald Trump's alternative reality is getting bigger.

Donald Trump’s alternative reality is getting bigger.

Photo: AP

Suggestions it should be abandoned simply because it has lasted a year are similarly unconvincing. Richard Nixon was investigated by a special prosecutor for two years, Bill Clinton for three.

Finally, and perhaps most unnervingly for Trump, it is simply not possible to know what evidence Mueller and his team of investigators have gathered because in a capital that is awash with leaks his is the only office that has proved to be watertight.

It should also be noted that even outside the Senate, Mueller’s is not the only investigation into potential crimes by Trump and his campaign. Prosecutors from New York state are investigating the dealings of Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who is now known to have orchestrated payments from Trump to the porn star Stormy Daniels and received huge consultation fees from companies apparently seeking access to the president.

Some view the New York investigation as an inoculation by Mueller against the possibility of his own dismissal by the White House. Mueller answers to the deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein, who can be sacked by Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

The New York investigators, by contrast, are utterly beyond the White House’s reach.

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