Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Don Jr. and the Russian lawyer

This story is obviously a big hunking deal. Here's Cenk Uygur's report on it, OOPS! Did Donald Trump Jr. Accidentally Admit To Russia Collusion? The Young Turks 07/10/2017:

Bob Dreyfuss talks about the Don Jr. story in Smoke Gives Way to Fire in the Trump-Russia Saga Rolling Stone 07/10/2017, "Until this weekend, there'd been lots of smoke, but little actual fire with regard to the Trump-Russia story. Now, the Trump administration is ablaze."

Charlie Pierce gives his take, What Do the Russians 'Have' on the Trump Family? Fear. Esquire Politics Blog 07/10/2017:

This, then, is Junior's official explanation: I thought we were colluding to ratfck the Democratic candidate, and the presidential election in general, but then she started talking about getting the mobsters' money back. Bitch set me up.

This is not an argument I would bring to court.
Josh Marshall today writes (The Puzzle Comes Into View TPM 07/11/2017):

With last night’s report in the Times, I think we are officially past the point of the ‘was there collusion’ question. There was. The President’s son now has the barest argument that he tried to get damaging information about Hillary Clinton which he was told came from a Russian government campaign to help his father become president, only to find it was insufficient.

To me this seems like a generally meaningless and highly implausible distinction and claim. We are now into the territory not of ‘was there collusion or contact’ but how substantial was it. Given the circumstantial evidence, it’s always seemed probable to me that there were contacts or perhaps winks and nods somewhere. There were just too many points of contact between Trumpland and people tied to the Russian government for their not to be. But was it mere encouragement and heads ups, or did it go deeper. Was there – to use that word everyone resists – an actual conspiracy involving members of the Trump entourage and members of the Russian government?
Josh also indulges in some journalistic speculation about what the sourcing of the Don Jr. leaks in The Sunday Afternoon of the Long Knives? TPM 07/10/2017.

And in this morning's surprising turn: David Smith, Donald Trump Jr posts emails of Russian offer to provide material on Clinton Guardian 07/11/2017:

The emails show music promoter Rob Goldstone telling the future US president’s son that “the crown prosecutor of Russia” had offered “to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton] and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father”.

Goldstone adds: “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump”.

“If it’s what you say I love it,” replies Donald Trump Jr.

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