The revelation came out over the weekend and today from Donald Trump Jr. (if you’re counting his frequently changing stories) that he met with a Putin-connected Russian lawyer just after his father won the GOP nomination, in hopes of colluding to get anti-Hillary Clinton material.
Don Jr. originally claimed this weekend that the meeting was about adoptions from Russia because Don Jr. is such a compassionate, empathetic social warrior who worries day and night about the plight of childless couples in America and needy children in Russia. Or else it was part of a quid pro quo for helping the Trumps get Russian provided ammunition against Hillary. Those familiar with adoption issues in Russia know that Putin has barred U.S. adoptions of Russian children in retaliation against the U.S. for the sanctions Russia was hit with in the Magnitsky Act. This Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, that the Trumps and Manafort met with was engaged at that time as a Kremlin-backed propagandist and lobbyist trying to end the sanctions. So Don Jr.’s first lie was that they met with a Russian operative on a Russian state matter…and that excuse was meant to explain away concerns that they were colluding with Russia? I guess he inherited his intelligence from his dad.
Of course those bastions of honor and principle, Trump and his allies, are claiming that this is “a nothing burger” and no big deal because all politicians take meetings to get mud they can sling on their opponents and after all, nothing came of it. So it’s business as usual for campaigns to meet with their country’s greatest foreign enemy who is hacking into their own election systems, political parties, nuclear facilities, etc. and work closely with them and be indebted to them if it helps them win?
And what about the claim that since Don Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort came away from that meeting with no anti-Hillary material and didn’t follow up after that, it wasn’t collusion or a violation of any law? As you may have assumed, that’s not true. In fact, they could be guilty of at least four violations of federal law.
This seems to be a very convenient theory at play here by the so-called “law and order” president and party, that it’s not illegal to attempt a crime if you don’t succeed at it. So Trump and his soulless family and crew haven’t done anything criminal because their criminal venture failed. Kind of like Trump never failed at a business because he claimed bankruptcy before he had to pay for the failure.
Actually, it’s more like this…attempted murder is a crime too. If bank robbers fail in a heist, if terrorists fail in an attack, if a rapist fails in a rape attempt…are they all innocent of having committed crimes simply because in the end they didn’t succeed at their intended crime? And what about in the world of finance? If a fraud is attempted but fails, it is still a fraud and still criminal.
What this incident demonstrates is that the Trump cabal was indeed just fine with colluding with Russia to influence our elections. And where there’s smoke, there’s fire. With this admission coming out despite Don Jr. denying in March of this year that he had any meeting with Russian operatives, it is the first proof of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia but very likely, not the last. We now see that the intent was there to collaborate with Russia to manipulate the election, there were no reservations about doing so. The likelihood that more such collusion will be discovered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller has increased substantially.
And the prophylactic propaganda campaign from Fox News and the Trump admin over the past weeks, (falsely) insisting that collusion with Russia in our elections isn’t a crime, was an obvious precursor that they knew such revelations would be forthcoming.
Like everyone else in this country, the Trump Clan is entitled to a legal presumption of innocence in the commission of a crime…but not because it failed, only the attempt needs to be proven in a court of law. However, their efforts to cover up potentially criminal acts by claiming that they didn’t end in success…is also a crime against our intelligence, not to mention the principle of law in this country.