Donald Trump, Jr., son of Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, speaks during the second day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Story is True. No Crime, But No Excuse.

I have written now, for several days, that I distrusted the New York Times story about Donald Trump, Jr. and the implications of it because of the media’s track record on this story and how perfect the story it. It just seems too tidy.

But with the release of Trump, Jr.’s own email thread, it is true.

I think what is not true is that a crime has been committed. I have not seen that yet. But there are plenty of things that are perfectly legal, yet remain perfectly wrong, see e.g. Batman vs. Superman.

What Donald Trump, Jr. did was unethical, sleazy, and shows extremely poor judgment. In trying to help his father, he has distracted his father’s administration and confirmed for many people that this entire administration exists because of Russian theft. I still think that is not true. And I still contend that many Democrats are most upset because Hillary Clinton is now denied the Presidency and they prefer to hang their hat on this than admit how terrible a candidate she was.

But there really cannot be and should not be an excuse for Donald Trump, Jr.’s behavior. There are no whataboutisms or they-did-it-toos that justify seeking out Russian government information to sabotage an American Presidential campaign.

I know the GOP will now go all whataboutism and there is a lot there. I myself have brought up Ted Kennedy, which despite PolitiFact’s “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” dismissal of the story still remains true.

There is no crime here. It seems like a perfect set up. It seems to me Russia has played this whole thing masterfully, learning just how to play both American political parties and the press off each other. It seems to me the Russians recognized what amateur dupes it could use to undermine American democracy.

None of that would have happened had Donald Trump, Jr. shown better judgment.

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Erick Erickson

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