I still treat the New York Times story about Donald Trump, Jr. with great skepticism. It is true that Trump, Jr. confirmed the meeting took place. But there are lots of other details he and the Trump team dispute up against a newspaper that has had several related stories disputed by even the FBI.
But assume, for the sake of argument, that Donald Trump, Jr. met with Russians knowing the Russians had information they hoped to use against Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign. Where is the illegality in that?
You may not like it. But that’s sleazy politics. It is not illegal. If it was foreign interference in an American election, so too was the British spy circulating a dossier of information to ruin President Trump’s campaign.
It is unclear whether Mr. Goldstone had direct knowledge of the origin of the damaging material. One person who was briefed on the emails said it appeared that he was passing along information that had been passed through several others.
So the guy who sent the email may not have had direct knowledge? He might have been engaged in what amounts to a game of telephone?
You may not think it was smart of Trump, Jr. to do — and it was absolutely a stupid thing to do that may bring down his father’s administration — but it was not illegal. And yes, a legal act can bring down an administration. The left is trying to taint Trump’s win as best they can and Donald Trump, Jr., by taking this meeting, helps them.
Again, though, there is no crime here. Sleazy politics is not criminal. It is what the Democratic Party does. It is well short of Senator Edward Kennedy actively trying to get the Russians to help defeat Ronald Reagan’s re-election. It is akin to Barack Obama using party loyalist connections to unseal the private divorce records of his Republican opponent for the Senate in Illinois. It is a akin to a foreign spy funneling potentially damaging information about a Presidential candidate named Donald Trump. And Democrats were fine with all those things.
I think Donald Trump, Jr. will be thrown under the bus and deservedly so if the allegations are true. The “if true” remains a big if even with confirmation by Trump, Jr. of his meeting. Lots of the basic details of these sorts of stories have been proven true only to have the salacious and scandalous parts retracted.
But there is no crime here. There is just a candidate’s son using the tactics of the Democratic Party to beat a Democrat. And that is why there is so much outrage.