Trump Jr. Confesses To Attempted Conspiring With Hostile Power To Meddle In the Election.
The Trump campaign constant moving of the goalposts related to the Russia investigation has bumbled into placing criminal charges in field goal range. Clearly seeking to preempt an imminent release from the NY Times of the same thing, Donald Trump Jr. released a remarkable set of tweets effectively confessing to conspiring with a hostile power to at least try to meddle in the election.
The tweets purport to contain the entire email exchange setting up his June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer (even though he previously claimed to have had no meeting with Russians that were set up). In these emails Donald Trump Jr., now admits he responded favorably to an email request for a meeting with a Russian that promised to “incriminate Hillary” and which included the following statement to induce him:
“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Trump’s indictment worthy response to this statement was “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
Thus Trump Jr states not only that he wants it but suggests to the Russians a time to release it, “later in the summer.” In fact, the emails were released by Wikileaks (who got it from the Russians) “later in the summer” on July 22d. Put simply, the email evidence suggests Trump Jr coordinated the release of Clinton’s emails with the Russians.
In an explanatory note Trump Jr. makes two remarkable claims that are contradicted by the text of the emails themselves.
- “The information they suggested they had about Hillary Clinton I thought was Political Opposition Research.”
- The woman, the Russian lawyer he met with to get this information, “was not a government official.”
As to the first, it is an absurd claim in light of the above statement that the promised information about Clinton was “very high level and sensitive information” part of “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
As to the second point, whether really a government official or not, Trump Jr. clearly thought she was because the emails involved said she was. The emails involved explicitly describe her as a “Russian government attorney.” Can’t be much more direct than that. She has for years campaigned and lobbied for the United States to repeal Magnitsky Act, which blacklists Russian human rights abusers. If she has not been doing that for the Russian government then who has she been doing it for? The Magnitsky Act is also the connection to the supposed adoption issue because Putin responded to it by banning adoption by Americans of Russian children.
Trump Jr.’s remarkable explanation for this is that while he went to the meeting to get the “very high level and sensitive information” against Clinton that was part of the Russian government’s support for his father’s campaign, the Russian attorney did not actually have it. Trump Jr. claims he was “agitated” to not get the information that lured him to the meeting and that is why they made the meeting short.
The problem for Trump Jr is that his defense really is not a defense to conspiracy and attempted collusion with Russian espionage and computer hacking. Trump Jr. clearly had the criminal intent to conspire with a hostile power’s espionage and computer hacking to at least try to meddle in the election. In addition, he took specific steps in furtherance of that intent (attending this meeting). If one meets with a foreign spy to get supposed secret information it is no defense to attempted espionage that the foreign spy didn’t actually have what you thought she would have.
The supposed “fake news” of collusion is now the very real news of attempted collusion with the intent to collude established, and acts taken in furtherance of the intention also established.