I just finished reading this morning's tweetstorm from Donald Trump Jr, and my immediate reaction was not about what he said, but rather...that he said anything at all.
I know he just hired a lawyer yesterday, no doubt to help try to keep him out of prison, and one has to figure that the first thing on the lawyer's To Do list was -- tell client not to tweet. If it wasn't, then Junior should find a new lawyer. If it was and he did say, "STOP TWEETING," then Mr. Trump Junior should start measuring himself for an orange jumpsuit.
Then again, maybe he just believes he can say whatever he wants because his dad will pardon him before he gets any prison time.
As for his tweets themselves, they're sort of...bizarre. This includes him posting the long email chain of his discussions about setting up the now-infamous meeting with the Russian lawyer. And then commenting about it all. The best I can figure is that his lawyer said, "Get out in front of this now because they're going to subpoena it later." But it's damning. And his comments are...well, idiotic.
For instance, he explains that his email buddy, Rob Goldstone, is saying publicly how there was absolutely no connection between this Russian lawyer and the Russian government, this is 100% contradicted in the emails when Goldstone refers to her as the "Russian government lawyer." Which sort of means we can pretty much disregard everything Mr. Goldstone says publicly. This includes when Trump Junior says that Rob thinks the whole story is inane. So inane, in fact, that he is agitated by how inane it is. In fairness, I can certainly understand why Rob Goldstone is agitated by the story... Just not because of inanity.
Junior also explains to us all how all he was doing was collecting "opo research" on a political opponent, something everyone does. But there in his emails, we see him going to meet with this Russian government lawyer about hopefully getting "incriminating evidence" about Hillary Clinton. It would be shocking to me that his own personal criminal lawyer hasn't explained to him the difference between doing opposition research and participating in a conspiracy with agents of a foreign government in an effort to affect an election.
Especially since the email change also explains -- before the meeting, mind you -- that this is all "part of Russia and its government support for Mr. Trump." But no, there is nooo connection between this Russian lawyer and the Russian government and just basic "opp research" and not a conspiracy with a foreign government to manipulate a U.S. election. No, not at all. (Sarcasm alert.) I am near-certain that the most die-hard Trump supporters will believe this twaddle. I am even more certain that the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller are not as easily convinced.
But Don Junior has it all there, and more.
He also keeps saying that there wasn't any incriminating evidence to be gotten, so instead they just talked about adoptions. It's again difficult to believe that his criminal lawyer hasn't sat him down and said, "Don Junior, you must understand that -- if you go into a bank with a gun to rob it, even if there is no money in the bank, you will be arrested and convicted of attempted armed robbery."
By the way, there are also several very basic questions that Donald Trump Junior should be asked, and I'm pretty sure will be.
The first is -- okay, so you say that there wasn't any incriminating evidence to give you. What if there was? If you had been given information about Hillary Clinton, what were you planning to do? Would you have immediately contacted the FBI and said an foreign government adversary was trying to manipulate the U.S. presidential election? Or would you have tried to figure out some way to use it, and keep the meeting from the FBI?
The second is -- Don Junior says his dad did not know about the meeting between the "Russian government lawyer" and his son, his son-in-law who is his top adviser, and his campaign manager. How do you know he doesn't know. Just because you didn't tell him doesn't mean he doesn't know? You could have told someone else, and it gotten to your dad that way. And given that you've admitted involving yourself in a criminal conspiracy with a foreign adversary, how do we know you didn't tell your dad. Further, given that after this meeting your dad had lunch with Paul Manafort, that campaign manager who was at the meeting with you and your brother-in-law Jared Kushner with the "Russian government lawyer," why on earth would you think the meeting wasn't talked about there? In the middle of a president campaign, why in the world would you think that the candidate and his campaign manager wouldn't bring up, "So, what's going on today? What have you been doing this morning?" -- and his campaign manager would avoid telling the candidate that he, "your son and your son-in-law" met with a Russian government lawyer to hopefully get incriminating evidence on Hillary Clinton. (And even this is being polite, since why should we not assume the campaign manager also said, "...as we discussed previously"?)
(I read a lot of commentary about how Trump the father is oddly not tweeting anything about Junior's troubles and in essence throwing him under the bus. To me, my sense is different. It seems to me like Trump isn't tweeting anything about it because he's caught right in the might, because it's near-impossible he didn't know. Especially given that his now-infamous comment about her 33,000 missing emails came later in the same day as the meeting with the Russian government lawyer. Which may also be evidence giving lie to Junior's insistence that the Russian government lawyer didn't have anything for them...)
And there is Don Junior tweeting his little heart out about all this. Tweeting away. Tweet, tweet, tweeting. Paving a Yellow Brick Road right to the Emerald City for the FBI and Robert Mueller to follow.
Tweet On, Young Master Trump! Tweet On!
Between Don Junior's Russia legal troubles, Ivanka's controversy sitting in for her dad at the G20 summit, and Eric's continuing white supremacist tweets, who would have guessed that Tiffany would be the one of the elder siblings coming out of this unscathed...?
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor