To collude with Russians or not collude?

Let’s play out a hypothetical scenario that appears to be a bit less hypothetical than it was a month or two ago.

FBI Director James Comey says his agency is investigating whether Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign worked in cahoots with Russian goons to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

Let’s presume for the sake of discussion that the FBI finds collusion. It determines that someone in the campaign worked with Russian government officials to swing the election in Trump’s favor.

How far up the campaign chain of command might it go? Maybe such collusion occurred only at the mid-level of the Trump campaign. Perhaps it was done only by some junior hired gun who, perhaps, was feeding the Russians information they could use against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

If that’s the case — that this was done without direct knowledge by the campaign’s senior management team — then it becomes fair to wonder: Does such a discovery presume an impeachable offense? Would that be grounds to impeach the president of the United States, even if he had zero direct knowledge of such collusion as it was taking place?

My sense is that it should. Why? Well, the president boasted of his business acumen. He bragged about how he had control over everything in his life.

If such collusion occurred out of his sight or his earshot, then would he be guilty of gross campaign incompetence? Does such incompetence translate to an inability to govern? And does any and/or all of it destroy whatever credibility the president needs to conduct his duties as head of state?

We don’t know the status of the FBI investigation. Nor do we know the extent of the evidence that congressional committees have gathered in their search for the truth behind this most disturbing story.

We are likely entering a frightening time as the FBI continues this complicated probe.

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