What was Watergate about? A physical break-in. In the days before computers and the hacking possibilities that new technology offers, crooked politicians and their operatives simply broke into offices and tried to steal files and information. In that case it was the offices of the DNC at the Watergate Towers. So went Nixon and his cronies down the road to his resignation or a jail cell.
A comedian once made a distinction between plagiarism and research. The first is where you steal information/writings from a single person, whereas ‘research’ is where you steal from everyone. The Trumps and their lawyers are doing their best to conflate “research” and “espionage.” After all, every politician does that….right? Apparently every one that Trump every bought did.
This leads us to the next and most current parsing of words. Trump likes to call it “opposition research” and I haven’t heard any one yet call it for what it really is—“opposition espionage.” Stealing other people’s stuff; not simply asking around for little known but revealing information and turning that to your opponent’s disadvantage. Instead, taking by stealth things that don’t belong to you.
Put another way, the Trump culture looked for every opportunity to gain advantage, including what amounts to insider trading. They probably have a long history of cheating on their exams, or getting an advance copy of the test. Or, just as likely, making sure the teacher knew better than to give them a failing grade.
They didn’t pick the lock on the DNC office, but slithered under the door, so to speak, using Russian operatives who were pretty confident that the bait would be too tempting for the Trumps to pass on. They knew their marks well, and the Trump campaign executives swallowed it whole. They were confident that they could make a killing with this information (“I LOVE IT”), at minimal cost, and could not care less about the illegality of the transactions. Trumps have a history of finding ways to mysteriously disappear documents that it was obvious would become subjects of future discovery motions in lawsuits. They had a natural sense of how slimy behavior would let them slip the hook in future litigation. What went wrong?
So with that kind of ethical and business background, they took to the hacked information like pigs would naturally take to a pile of garbage. Oink, oink, wink wink……….
This all makes sense when you realize that they had no intention of ever being caught with their hand in the cookie jar. After all, they had led charmed existences using their standard slippery MO.
After month after month of trying to bury the Russia problem with the constant claim of so-called 'fake news', the cookie crumbs are being reassembled into cookies again. The last crumbs are being brushed from their own lips and lapels. Voila! Abracadabra! Shazam! The picture is coming into focus and the White House now has more high-priced lawyers than groundskeepers and housekeeping staff. Imagine getting any real work done in that fish bowl full of sharks, gropers, grifters and shysters.
One closing thought-- they don’t seem to understand the difference between normal and illegal, and now they will have to wonder and try to understand what the punishment will be for that. And that's a good thing, and long overdue. Stay tuned.