After reviewing the charges against three former members of Donald Trump's presidential campaign -- the first charges to come from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election -- I have reached the following conclusion: LOCK HER UP!
By "HER" I mean Hillary Clinton, and by "LOCK" and "UP" and the exclamation point I mean put Clinton -- aka, "HER" -- behind bars.
The indictments of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates, along with a guilty plea by former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos show the obscene lengths Clinton went to in an effort to make Trump look bad.
Honestly, it's shameful. Not only is she responsible for this entire "witch hunt," as Trump calls the Mueller investigation, but now she's seeing to it that actual witches get caught, a move that GREATLY LESSENS the dismissiveness of calling something a witch hunt.
LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP!
Manafort and Gates are charged with conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money and acting as unregistered foreign agents, among other things. The charges largely revolve around work they did for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.
Papadopoulos, a 2009 graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI as part of a deal. According to court documents, he had multiple interactions during the campaign with an overseas professor he believed to be connected to the Russian government and was told the Russians had "thousands" of Clinton's emails. The documents say Papadopoulos tried to arrange a meeting between Russian government officials and members of the Trump campaign.
In response to these developments, Trump sensibly tweeted: "But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????"
That is such a good question, and it truly merits five question marks.
If there's one thing we know, Crooked Hillary is to blame for everything. Why? Because Republicans want her to be, and it's not possible to believe in two controversies at the same time.
You might say, "Gee, couldn't it be true that Clinton engaged in some dodgy behavior AND people around Trump also engaged in dodgy behavior?"
No. The answer is no. It was decided years ago that there can only be one dodgy person, and it's Clinton. I don't make the rules. (Fox News does.)
Knowing that, here's what we know based on what we have been programmed to think we know:
When she wasn't busy killing people or loading our precious uranium supplies into Russian nuclear warheads in exchange for money she used to fund a pizza parlor that served as a front for a child sex ring, Clinton convinced Trump's adult children to advise Trump to hire Manafort to run his presidential campaign.
She even bribed Trump advocate Newt Gingrich to glowingly tweet: "Nobody should underestimate how much Paul Manafort did to really help get this campaign to where it is right now."
For years before that, Clinton forced Manafort and his business associate Gates to make bazillions of dollars doing political work for Putin-hugging politicos in Ukraine. She then forced them to launder much of that money, setting them up for future charges.
Paying attention even to tiny details, Clinton had the Trump campaign encourage only one change to the GOP platform at its 2016 convention: the removal of language that suggested the United States arm Ukrainians to help them push back against Russian aggression. Clever move, Clinton.
It's clear from Mueller's court documents -- if you read between the lines with your head in a microwave -- that the Russia-connected "overseas professor" who met Papadopoulos was actually Clinton wearing a costume. She is known as a master of disguise, which explains how she hid her identity while shooting President John F. Kennedy, raiding the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and being Charles Manson.
During the presidential campaign, she covertly started chants of "LOCK HER UP!" at Trump rallies, knowing that people who wanted her to go to prison for violating government email rules might later look silly when they shrugged off 12-count federal indictments against Trump supporters as "nothing burgers."
These facts I'm highlighting should be more than enough to show that Clinton was involved in a wide-ranging conspiracy to create a conspiracy against Trump, one that he and his followers would believe is a conspiracy for which she was to blame. (That woman is devious!!)
But the icing on the Clinton-baked cake is this: Months after she purposely lost the election, she got Mueller -- a lifetime Republican highly respected by members of both political parties -- to convince a federal judge to convene a grand jury. Then she managed to get her Clinton tentacles on each member of that independent grand jury and force them -- presumably under threat of death by uranium poisoning -- to indict Manafort and Gates.
And in an act of mercy, she allowed Papadopoulos to cut a plea deal, presumably because she felt bad that she fooled him with that professor costume.
It's sinister. It's telling.
And it's the only possible explanation.
Because Hillary Clinton has to be blamed for everything.
Rules are rules.
(Rex Huppke is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune and a noted hypocrisy enthusiast. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @RexHuppke.)