Very early on in the Donald Trump Jr. Russian story, a former reporter of mine asked me if there was anything to his meeting with a Russian lady lawyer. I replied “I don’t think so. It seems like normal checking for dirt on the other party.”
Boy, was I wrong.
At that point, she was just a lawyer who happened to be Russian, offering information on possible misdeeds by HRC and the DNC.
But soon it turned out the info she offered allegedly came from “official” Russian government sources. Whoa! It is against the law for foreign governments to meddle in our elections. (Even though the US has officially meddled in many elections in other countries - in at least one case, Chile, causing the death of a democratically elected president.) Thus, Jr. should have informed the FBI of this approach. He did not. (Even though he said the material she offered was not verified, several election watch dog groups have filed complaints that this amounted to an illegal election contribution. We shall have to watch to see how this turns out.)
BUT, when the news stories began about his meeting that’s when the FIT hit the SHAN.
One, he should have reported it.
Two, when he did, he didn’t tell all...especially as to how many attended. Since some of these turned out to be high ranking officials of the Trump campaign (One later fired for not disclosing HIS Russian connections) suspicions began piling up.
Three, his remarkable release of e-mails not only confirm his possible law violation, but other items which could be illegal, immoral, or fattening.
Four, Jr. then appeared on Fox and in his interview said he had told all, there was nothing more not revealed.
Others. not previously listed, had attended the meeting, including a former Russian army man who may, or may not have been connected to Soviet intelligence...and at the minimum appears to have violated US rules for lobbying for a foreign government.
This is EXACTLY what caused Gen. Mattis to be fired from his impending security post, what got Paul Manafort fired as campaign chairman, what got Atty-Gen. Sessions to recuse himself from the FBI situation, etc. etc. etc.
(BTW, son in law Jared Kushner, who does hold an official government position—as Jr. does not—also “failed to reveal” his many, many Soviet contacts, which was required on his security clearance form and may cause Pres. Trump even more trouble in the end.
If I heard a PBS news report correctly, there have now been over 100 Russian contacts by various Trump administration people that were NOT revealed, contrary to law, until reporters ferreted them out. (So much for the press and its role in trying to keep government honest and the people informed.)
Out in the “heartland” of America this means zilch, if a CBS report is to be believed...Trump supporters are much more concerned about jobs and don’t think Jr.’s (and son-in-law’s) misbehavior amounts to much.)
We shall see.
It is fair to say...at this point in this whole unsavory business, it seems to hold much greater potential for impeachment than at the same time in Whitewater (remember that?) where impeachment was threatened against Pres. Clinton and the Lewinsky affair, where it actually happened. It is also far more serious---the election of a President versus sex among consenting adults or an unproven possible land fraud.
As fabled NYC Mayor LaGuardia once said..”I don’t often make a mistake, but when I do, it’s a beaut!”
I'm just sayin'