The interesting thing now is how Erdogan will respond to the threat posed by this political she-wolf who has refused to be co-opted or silenced. He could treat her like he did his erstwhile biggest rival, the charismatic Kurdish HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas: toss her in jail. But it won’t be as easy to imprison a popular nationalist as it is to throw a Kurdish politician behind bars in Turkey. Her hardcore supporters can unleash rowdy havoc on the streets, and they are just the sort of shock troops Erdogan himself uses when he needs a thug act or two. And then, don’t forget Erdogan is an Islamist. If he has to put a devout Turkish Muslim granny — as opposed to a godless Kurdish woman — behind bars, it won’t sit well with his religious base. The sultan has swung many impossible political flips in the past, but this gladiator fight, whichever way it goes, will be a treat to witness.
What is also exceptional about the Trump case, distinguishing it from other forms of national electioneering, is the absence of any question about intent, or state of mind. In the most recent round of revisions to its rules, the FEC went to some lengths to allow a candidate or political committee to establish that it did not reasonably know about the foreign source of the contribution or expenditure or other value received. (11 . § (a)(4),(7) ). This is no help to the Trump campaign which certainly had every reason to know that, as widely reported and declared officially by the US government, Russia was behind the hacking. Trump, on the campaign trail, said as much in inviting Russia to release more. At other times he suggested that perhaps Russia was not behind these activities, that no one could know: but, remarkably, he allowed for the possibility that another foreign power, China, might have been responsible. And once again, there are other parts of the public record bearing on intent that will receive close investigative scrutiny, like Trump’s close confidante Roger Stone’s repeated statements about his communications with Wikileaks and Julian Assange.