September 7, 2017

The NY Times is reporting that Donald Trump Jr., admitting to a meeting with Russian operatives in 2016 because he was curious to the "dirt" they had that could damage Hillary Clinton's fitness to be president.

That in itself is admitting to conspiring with a foreign government during a U.S. general election.

Paul Rosenzweig, a former deputy assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security told Politico, "If Donald Trump Jr. sought “dirt” on Hillary Clinton from the Russians, he might be charged with conspiring to violate the election laws of the United States, which prohibit foreign nationals from contributing any “thing of value” to an electoral campaign. The opposition dirt is at least plausibly a thing of value."

Rosenzweig continued, "And to the extent that the Trump campaign aided, abetted or advised the Russians (or any other hackers) about what would be most useful to steal from the Democrats or how best to enhance the impact of their release, they may well have violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act."

Didn't Junior just admit to that?

A copy of Don Jr's opening statement was obtained by the NY Times and in it he feigned ambivalence towards his own actions.

"The younger Mr. Trump said he was initially conflicted when he heard that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, might have damaging information about Mrs. Clinton. Despite his interest, he said, he always intended to consult with his own lawyers about the propriety of using any information that Ms. Veselnitskaya, who has ties to the Kremlin, gave him at the meeting."

Trump's son is making the case that he had a right to at least hear the Russians out and then consult counsel. Nice try.

When Don Jr emailed Mr. Goldstone and wrote that if the information about Mrs. Clinton was as advertised, “I love it.”

That destroys his now wavering motivations. He was gung-ho to get as much "dirt" on Hillary as possible.

Don Jr's recollection about this meeting and the email he received has been subject to change on a daily basis.

The Washington Post reported that Trump actually dictated his son's statement.

Finally, during a press briefing the president admitted to writing the initial statement to the press and tried to make believe he was acting as a concerned parent.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "The president weighed in as any father would based on the limited information that he had."

There's a lot more questions Don Jr., will have to answer in the coming months, including how it was that all of this colluding happened but his father allegedly knew nothing about it.

In the meantime, Politifact has a nice rundown on laws that prohibit colluding with a foreign government. Junior might want to review this.

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