President Donald Trump offered a staunch defense of his eldest son, saying Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer was a standard session that any political operative would have taken.
"My son is a wonderful young man. He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer, not a government lawyer, but a Russian lawyer," Trump said alongside French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. "It was a short meeting. It was a meeting that went very, very quickly, very fast."
According to the emails released by Trump Jr., the lawyer -- Natalia Veselnitskaya -- was described to Trump's son in an email as a "Russian government lawyer" with information that was part of the country's effort to help elect his father.
"I think from a practical standpoint most people would have taken that meeting," Trump added. "Politics isn't the nicest business in the world, but it's very standard." Ref. CNN.
As much as the press and the Democrats want to turn this into treason it is not. It is definitely unethical, and I disagree with it with every fiber of my being, this isn't the kind of thing I spent 22 years in the Army to defend… but it seems the norm in politics nowadays. As long as it's politics it okay to be unethical is what seems to be the operating model.
Take for example Harry Reid and how he acted when Mitt Romney was running for President. He accused him of not paying taxes for ten years and said he had proof. Then, he never provided the proof. He did it at a time Romney was surging. It stopped his surge dead in the water. And the truth is, Romney ran such a bad campaign he probably would have lost anyway. But Reid lied. When asked about it years later he said he'd do it again… because it was simply politics. Destroying a man's good name is not simply politics.
As far as treason goes, it's treason if he shares information with our enemies about the US. It is not treason to take something from them that they collected. Hell, the Democrats do virtually the same thing. Both parties are so bad when it comes to their ethics that they are indistinguishable, and that is just too bad.
Special Counsel investigators are seeking information from the still-publicly unidentified eighth person who attended the June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr. At Trump Tower, this person's attorney Scott Balber says.
"The eighth person has been identified by prosecutors, and we are cooperating fully with prosecutors as a result of the investigation. To preserve the integrity of the investigation we are declining to identify him at this time," Balber told CNN.
Balber's comments offer a rare glimpse inside special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into allegations that Trump's campaign colluded with Russia.
Balber said the individual is a long-time US citizen who speaks fluent Russian and has "Never had any engagement with the Russian government in any capacity." Ref. CNN.
I still think this is lot of ado about nothing. I could be proven wrong. To me it sounds like it is unethical, but not illegal. And unethical seems to be what politics is all about any more. It's not enough to win, you have destroy your opponent, and reputation is definitely fair game.
He appears to have broken campaign finance law if nothing else. Accepting anything of value from a foreign power for the sake of winning an election, information included, is a fairly serious crime.
He can't be charged with treason though, as the US' legal definition for the term is incredibly narrow. And I'd bet just about anything that his lawyers can make the lesser charge disappear.
Edited: daishain on 19th Jul, 2017 - 2:09pm
He shouldn't be charged with treason. Treason would be if he provided them something of value, like intelligence. From what I understand, he wasn't provided anything of value. They offered, he assessed it, and it was worthless. My guess is when all is said and done the campaign may have to pay a penalty.
According to Trump Jr, he wasn't provided anything of value. He's hardly likely to indict himself. It remains worth looking into.
I don't know about him not being likely to indict himself. He released all those emails and they had a treasure trove of stuff in them I think he wishes wasn't. My guess is if he had it to do over he wouldn't have released them publicly, he'd have just given them to the Special Counsel.