Obviously, the astonishing developments of the last few days remove from the Trumps any intent or mens rea defenses. All that is left is that “nothing happened,” which in politics, or in adultery, does not really get you very far.
The developments have also caused the first upswing in the use of the word “treason.” There may well be a legal case, perhaps ultimately a compelling one, but for the target population of traditional low information Republicans, it may be a wall too far right now.
So let me suggest that the concept we should be pushing is “patriotism,” or rather the astonishing lack of it. How can anyone truly patriotic, if and when approached by a foreign and hostile power offering partnership in interfering with our sacred democratic election process, do anything other than say “no,” and then call the FBI. Nor, would we expect any patriot of another country to do anything other than that country’s equivalent.
Obviously, such an idea never occurred to anyone in the Trump operation. But, I am sure that the vast majority of Trump voters, while happy to get hear of dirt on Hilary, would not want to be in partnership with Russia to get that dirt. They are better and more patriotic people than that.
So I would experiment with phrases like “frighteningly unpatriotic to even consider participating with Russia to undermine our election system,” or “at best shockingly unpatriotic and maybe at worst treasonous behavior.”
The point is to use words that resonate with the Republican base.