Trump. Jr and the Russia e-mails
Case closed, good night, see you later. That’s what the majority were thinking to themselves this week as Donald Trump, Jr. posted an entire e-mail thread with a Russian lawyer, agreeing to meet her to accept potentially damaging and highly sensitive information about his father’s electoral nemesis Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton, we may all remember, lost the November 2016 election after facing repeated calls to have her ‘locked up’ for failing to securely protect her e-mail server. With this in mind, I remind you of the definitions of Irony:
> The expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous effect
> A state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result.
> A literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character's words or actions is clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character.
Thankfully as the Trump-Russia saga rumbles on we’re presented with seemingly endless examples of the irony that Trump appears desperate to become famous for.
Let’s briefly recap the situation as it stands today. Summarised very well by Amy Zegart of The Atlantic, line by ugly line. Donald J. Trump Jr.’s emails with British-born former tabloid reporter and Russian intermediary Rob Goldstone are now plastered on The New York Times website. They reveal an astounding set of communications. Goldstone promises incriminating information about Hillary Clinton that could be used in the campaign—with the Kremlin’s backing. Junior’s response should have been to speed dial the FBI. Instead, he writes three little words with big, big consequences: “I love it.”
Having spent the best part of two years slandering the Clinton’s for apparent illicit connections, poor e-mail security and collusion with foreign powers there could hardly be a more perfect way for the Trump administration to show themselves up as hypocrites.
Having had the meeting set up by Goldstone, Trump, JR., Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign manager Paul Manafort all agreed to meet Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who claimed that she had incriminating evidence about Hillary Clinton, with the support of the Russian Government.
Now, as a citizen with a mental capacity that exceeds that of a toddler, you may well wonder to yourself who, in their right mind, would meet with an aggressive foreign power on American soil in order to solicit information which could jeopardise national security (Clinton was the serving Secretary of State covering foreign affairs). You would be sensible to do so, and you would also be sensible to wonder how the world’s most powerful country is seemingly in the hands of people who do not possess a mental capacity above that of a toddler.
As it currently stands, the New Yorker and other reputable outlets don’t believe that Trump. JR., appears to have done anything obviously illegal. “Collusion”, they say, is not a legal term in this context, nor is it a crime. Neither is listening to outlandish tales, even from foreigners. But Trump, Jr.,’s e-mails do raise questions of possible criminal behaviour, starting with violations of campaign-finance laws. Federal law prohibits American campaign officials from soliciting from foreign governments “anything of value . . . in connection with” an election.
In total, they say, the newly disclosed Trump, Jr., e-mails do not prove that any crimes were committed, but they make The FBI’s to-do list even longer.
It is not clear whether these new revelations will cause the downfall of Trump’s administration as Trump has so far managed to cling on to the lifeless corpse of his presidency with some admirable determination so far. The evidence suggests that Trump is not a man to listen to reason and logic as Nixon did under similar circumstances.
The smart money would be on this train wreck rumbling on down the tracks in flames for quite a bit more distance before it eventually hits a highly populated urban area only to explode into an impressively damaging mushroom cloud, potentially enveloping all of Washington. Our only hope can be that the ensuing disaster takes only casualties from the increasingly despicable and cowardly Republican Party.