What collusion? The fall of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen have nothing to do with Trump and Russia

The moving train wrecks involving the trials of US President Donald Trump’s one-time campaign chief Paul Manafort, and his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, remind us to think carefully about our choice of words.

I’m pondering “collusion”. Is it the right word for whatever has been going on?

Eerie echoes of the Richard Nixon-Watergate era resound in this saga. As in Watergate, these are two of the president’s men. Nixon proclaimed, “I’m not a crook.” Trump proclaims, “No collusion.” People again speak of impeachment.

For all its usage, collusion has not yet appeared in any charge. There was no mention of Russia’s alleged “collusion” during the Manafort trial, as the charges predated Trump’s campaign.

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