Donald Trump Jr.

Did Donald Trump Jr. Break the Law?

Norm Eisen and Richard Painter: “The defense that this was a routine meeting to hear about opposition research is nonsense. As ethics lawyers, we have worked on political campaigns for decades and have never heard of an offer like this one. If we had, we would have insisted upon immediate notification of the F.B.I., and so would any normal campaign lawyer, official or even senior volunteer.”

“That is because of the enormous potential legal liability, both individually and for the campaign. The potential offenses committed by Donald Jr., his colleagues and brother-in-law who attended the meeting, and the campaign itself, include criminal or civil violations of campaign finance laws. These laws prohibit accepting anything of value from a foreign government or a foreign national. The promised Russian ‘documents and information’ would have been an illegal campaign contribution from a foreign government — and a priceless one.”

Trump Jr. Has Deeper Ties to Russia

Politico: “While President Donald Trump’s handful of trips to Russia have been meticulously scrutinized, a review of his son’s public statements spanning several years, as well as social media posts and interviews with Russia experts, shows that Donald Jr. spent far more time in the country than his father did, and developed personal ties there that continued beyond the November election.”

“That might help to explain why Trump Jr. was so receptive to an approach last summer by a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton which, as an intermediary told him in an email, was part of a Kremlin effort to assist his father’s campaign.”

Kushner Lawyers Discovered Trump Jr. Emails

New York Times: “While Donald Trump Jr. has been the main focus of the controversy because he set up the meeting, Mr. Kushner faces potential trouble because he currently works in the White House and neglected to mention the encounter on forms he filled out for a background check to obtain a security clearance. The emails were discovered in recent weeks by Mr. Kushner’s legal team as it reviewed documents, and they amended his clearance forms to disclose it, according to people briefed on the developments, who like others declined to be identified because of the sensitive political and legal issues involved.”

“Similarly, Mr. Manafort recently mentioned the meeting to congressional investigators looking into possible collusion, according to the people briefed on the matter.”

A White House Under Siege

Washington Post: “The White House has been thrust into chaos after days of ever-worsening revelations about a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a lawyer characterized as representing the Russian government, as the president fumes against his enemies and senior aides circle each other with suspicion, according to top White House officials and outside advisers.”

“President Trump — who has been hidden from public view since returning last weekend from a divisive international summit — is enraged that the Russia cloud still hangs over his presidency and is exasperated that his oldest son and namesake has become engulfed by it, said people who have spoken with him this week.”

New York Times: “Advisers said the president was annoyed not so much by his son as by the headlines. But three people close to the legal team said he had also trained his ire on Marc E. Kasowitz, his longtime lawyer, who is leading the team of private lawyers representing him. Mr. Trump, who often vents about advisers in times of trouble, has grown disillusioned by Mr. Kasowitz’s strategy.”

Trump Son Says He Wishes He Did Things Differently

Donald Trump Jr. acknowledged in an interview with Fox News that he “probably would have done things a little differently” when he met with a Russian attorney during his father’s presidential campaign in June 2016.

However, the president’s eldest son also described the meeting as “a nothing.”

He added: “I wouldn’t have even remembered it until you started scouring through this stuff. It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame.”

Axios has highlights of the interview.

Mueller Didn’t Know of Donald Trump Jr. Emails

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators “plan to examine the meeting and email exchanges disclosed by Donald Trump Jr. as part of the broader Russian-meddling investigation,” CNN reports.

“The details of the interactions between Trump Jr., Goldstone and Veselnitskaya weren’t fully known to federal investigators until recently… Now, Mueller’s probe will look at the meeting and email exchanges that Trump Jr. disclosed as part of its investigation.”

Trump Jr. Emails Suggest He Broke the Law

Rick Hasen: “Just to recap where we are: It is illegal for a person to solicit a contribution to a campaign from a foreign individual or entity.”

“Looking at the emails, it seems pretty serious…. Hard to see how there is not a serious case here of solicitation. Trump Jr. appears to have knowledge of the foreign source and is asking to see it.”

“It is also possible other laws were broken, such as the laws against coordinating with a foreign entity on an expenditure.  There could also be related obstruction, racketeering, or conspiracy charges, but these are really outside my area of specialization and I cannot say. But there’s a lot for prosecutors to sink their teeth into.”

Bush Lawyer Suggests Trump Son Committed Treason

Bush ethics lawyer Richard Painter blasted Donald Trump Jr. for meeting with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have compromising information on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during the campaign, saying it “borders on treason,” The Hill reports.

Said Painter: “This was an effort to get opposition research on an opponent in an American political campaign from the Russians, who were known to be engaged in spying inside the United States.”

He added: “We do not get our opposition research from spies, we do not collaborate with Russian spies, unless we want to be accused of treason.”

Donald Trump Jr. for Governor?

Donald Trump Jr. “wants to run for political office, telling members of an elite gun club that he could set his sights on becoming governor of New York,” the New York Post reports.

Said one guest: “Don Jr. said he is interested in running for office, such as governor of New York, but the position of mayor of New York would be less interesting to him.”

Trump himself reportedly said: “Going back to doing deals is boring after 18 months. The politics bug bit me.”