Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian operative last year needs to be investigated.
Had the brief, unproductive meeting happened in a vacuum, it wouldn’t even be grist for news, much less grain for investigation. But considering allegations of Trump administration chumminess with Russia – and the administration’s penchant for leaving crumbs to feed its critics – there’s no choice but to take the incident seriously.
Moreover, it was a plainly dumb move of a political newcomer – to have accepted a meeting with a foreign national, particularly that of our chief geopolitical foil, on the pretense of getting dirt on the other candidate during a U.S. presidential election.
By the same token, the meeting appears to have been a nonstarter – a “nothingburger” in today’s parlance. The woman had nothing to share.
It will be up to former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel looking into alleged Russian meddling in the election, to determine whether the meeting rises to the level of collusion or illegality or neither.
Even as many times as the Trump people have tripped over their own feet in this matter, you have to wonder whether the scandal-plagued Hillary Clinton would’ve survived to election day under this amount of media scrutiny.
In her case, as opposed to the Trumps’, we don’t have to guess whether she acted inappropriately or even criminally. Former FBI Director James Comey admitted as much, though he bizarrely declined to seek her prosecution.
As former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., noted of the breathless media coverage of Trump Jr.’s meeting, compared with the known scandals on the part of Democrats, “They rush past a bank robbery and grab one of us (Republicans) for jaywalking.”
Certainly Democrats and their media lapdogs seem to be barking much louder than the circumstance would call for. Some have even suggested Trump Jr. might be guilty of treason for accepting the meeting with the Russian. Good grief. Could we at least look into the matter before weaving the noose?
Again, the younger Trump admits sitting down with the Russian, even briefly, was a mistake. But as he also notes, it was in the manic madness of a historic presidential campaign, and no one knew what a big deal the Russia connection would become.
Except perhaps the Obama administration, which knew full well about the Russian attempts to meddle in the election but neither said nor did a thing about it. And reports indicate the Obama administration went out of its way to allow the Russian, Natalia Veselnitskaya, to stay in the U.S. without a current visa. Why?
The White House also alleges that the Democratic National Committee actually did collude against the Trump campaign with officials from Ukraine.
All these things need to be investigated thoroughly – and not just allegations against the Trump camp.
And observers and partisans should be more measured in their judgments about it all.