Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hmmmm..... (UPDATE: Trump, Jr. confirms email and its contents)

So The New York Times came out with a rather explosive allegation regarding President Trump's eldest son.

Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy, according to three people with knowledge of the email.

The email to the younger Mr. Trump was sent by Rob Goldstone, a publicist and former British tabloid reporter who helped broker the June 2016 meeting. In a statement on Sunday, Mr. Trump acknowledged that he was interested in receiving damaging information about Mrs. Clinton, but gave no indication that he thought the lawyer might have been a Kremlin proxy.

Mr. Goldstone’s message, as described to The New York Times by the three people, indicates that the Russian government was the source of the potentially damaging information. It does not elaborate on the wider effort by Moscow to help the Trump campaign.

Like with the memo where FBI Director James Comey allegedly documented a conversation with President Trump regarding his desire for the FBI to drop the Michael Flynn-Russia matter, there was a mere allegation of documentation as opposed to the NY Times being furnished with a copy. But even if such an email exists, Matt Ford of The Atlantic cautions that we shouldn't jump to any definitive conclusions.

Some details about the email still remain uncertain. The precise contents of the email are not offered. Its exact tone and phrasing could produce different interpretations than what the sources told the Times; the report claims the email “indicates” that the source was the Russian government, but does not explain the nature of that indication. The Times report also says there is no evidence so far that Donald Jr. was informed the information could have been illegally obtained, or that he was offered the contents of hacked emails from either the Democratic National Committee or the Clinton campaign. If either of those things turned out to be the case, it would place the president’s eldest son in significant legal peril.

Let's say that Trump, Jr. received damning information about Mrs. Clinton from Russian connected sources and that said info was not obtained illegally. While it would appear the younger Trump would avoid any legal consequences, such a scenario would prove politically damaging to his father's administration. It would resurrect all the chatter of collusion with Russia, which would be especially tumultuous given the impression by some that President Trump came out looking rather feeble in his initial meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week.

In the end, this may end up being the obligatory "nothing burger." However, just these mere allegations give extended life to the poo-flinging leftist media and their obsession with Russia.

Stay tuned.


UPDATE: Trump, Jr. not only confirms email content but unwittingly admits to attempting to collude with Russian connections. Legally speaking it's not a crime but it is felony stupid.



jerrye92002 said...

Collude? A private citizen working a political campaign where opposition research is crucial, is offered some opposition research through an American citizen, presumably obtained legally. Then, after the meeting begins, it becomes obvious that there is no such information, that there is no official Russian government knowledge or involvement, and no action whatsoever results, from either side. That is VERY poor "collusion," and it isn't even criminal at the outset. In other words, the NYT just laid a very stinky pile of BS.

Brad Carlson said...

The legal term I'm seeing thrown around is "failed collusion." Criminal? No. But that doesn't mean it isn't sleazy or potentially damaging politically.

jerrye92002 said...

Oh, the Dems and drive-by media will do their absolute darnedest to make it damaging politically. But at best they have a soap-bubble cannon. There is absolutely nothing illegal, immoral or fattening about what occurred or even might have occurred.

I'm thinking: Suppose Wikileaks actually got that very damaging DNC information from the Russians (which both sides flatly deny, BTW). Wiki didn't ask for it and didn't pay anything of value for it. Did Wiki "collude" with the Russians? No. No suppose the Russians told Wiki they had something like that and then failed to deliver it. Was THAT collusion? That's the situation we have here, except the Russians (plural) were not involved, it was only one Russian citizen.

I will say I have some sympathy for the Dems. If it wasn't for these fanciful boogie man stories, they would have nothing at all to talk about.

Mr. D said...

The legal term I'm seeing thrown around is "failed collusion."

It's a term, but it's not a legal term. The end game now is to convict someone on a process crime, a la Scooter Libby. Meanwhile, I'm wondering why the Russian operative lawyer had a front row seat at a congressional hearing last year, days after meeting with Fredo Trump.

Brad Carlson said...

All good inquiries, D. One can hope that a lot of these concerns are adequately addressed in the broader scope of Robert Mueller's investigation.

jerrye92002 said...

Hmmmm, the conclusion seems rather obvious. She did not get what she was seeking from Trump, Jr., and was looking for another way to do it. Basically a lobbyist with no official ties to the government, making a false claim to get access to someone with influence.

Bike Bubba said...

OK, some on Mueller's team have committed very real crimes, felonies, by leaking confidential and even classified information to the press, and they somehow have moral standing to prosecute "process crimes"? Really?

If Mueller does catch somebody for this, I dare suggest the defense ought to make a BIG issue out of it. Staff the office significantly with partisan Democrats, feloniously leak information, and then you're telling me to trust you when you say they lied to investigators? Not.A.Chance.