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It Just Keeps Getting Worse for Don Jr.

Two powers

Two powers

Via the NYT:  Trump Jr. Was Told in Email of Russian Effort to Aid Campaign

Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy, according to three people with knowledge of the email.

The email to the younger Mr. Trump was sent by Rob Goldstone, a publicist and former British tabloid reporter who helped broker the June 2016 meeting. In a statement on Sunday, Mr. Trump acknowledged that he was interested in receiving damaging information about Mrs. Clinton, but gave no indication that he thought the lawyer might have been a Kremlin proxy.

Mr. Goldstone’s message, as described to The New York Times by the three people, indicates that the Russian government was the source of the potentially damaging information. It does not elaborate on the wider effort by Moscow to help the Trump campaign. There is no evidence to suggest that the promised damaging information was related to Russian government computer hacking that led to the release of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails.

Clearly, we are still in process.  Defenders will state that this is anonymously sourced, although regular consumers of news will note that the Times is going with three sources, not just two.  Those who have followed this story since it broke on Saturday will likely not be surprised at new revelations given that Trump Jr.’s story evolved from one day to the next as new information was reported on.  Indeed, Don’s defense seems to amount to some version of since the contact had no dirt on Clinton, no harm, no foul.

The term “useful idiot” keeps coming to mind.

 

Related Posts:

About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    We know it was you, Fredo.

    ReplyReply

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

  2. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    The idea that Manafort, Jr., and Kuschner were in this meeting and Snowflake didn’t know about it is laughable.
    – or –
    Snowflake is the most incompetent man in Washington.
    Either one is damning…

    ReplyReply

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 3

  3. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @CSK:
    The Fredo thing is flawed…it presumes a Godfather…in this White House they are all resplendent in their ignorance and ostentatiously incompetent.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  4. CSK says:

    Junior spouts whatever codswallop comes into his head at any given moment under the assumption that someone, somewhere, will believe one of the stories.

    Like father, like son.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  5. Kylopod says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: When you’re quibbling with these Godfather analogies, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the man has actual, bonafide mob ties.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  6. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I saw this the other day, and it summarizes the challenges that we face:

    https://i.imgflip.com/1kqsed.jpg

    It is my zen.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  7. michael reynolds says:

    Don’t forget that Jared and Manafort were in that meeting, too. That’s three insiders who all lied about the same meeting with a Russian mob lawyer who was offering to exchange illegally-obtained goods useful for stealing an election in exchange for relaxing sanctions on thugs.

    ReplyReply

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 2

  8. Lit3Bolt says:

    @michael reynolds:

    But still, according to Dr. James Joyner, this is more of the unelected “DEEP STATE” meddling in one duly elected Donald J. Trump, whom we have to follow, whether we like it or not.

    No, I am never, ever going to let that go.

    ReplyReply

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 7

  9. michael reynolds says:

    @Lit3Bolt:
    James is very quiet lately. I wonder why.

    ReplyReply

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

  10. de stijl says:

    Look at the sourcing for the initial NYT story. Those are White House sources.

    Junior is being conditionally scapegoated.

    The lede clearly indicated that the meeting is collusion and the solicitation of collusion.

    Donald Jr. is being offered up as a neophyte unschooled in this realm, who may have inadvertently committed treason because of his ignorance not malice.

    Because of the sourcing, it is more likely than not an effort to save Kushner.

    The Manafort angle is interesting: he is not being sacrificed which means that he is bulletproof. He should be the sacrificial lamb, but he is a footnote. They see him as a potential threat. He knows more than they would like to see be made public.

    Junior is being sacrificed to save Kushner.

    ReplyReply

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  11. de stijl says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Kushner must be saved and Manafort probably has evidence of collusion. (Probably direct evidence as he was the initiator of the changes to the Republican platform about Ukraine.)

    If Kushner is implicated all is lost. If Manafort is forced to choose between prison and testifying, he will testify.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  12. de stijl says:

    There were, as have been discovered so far, twenty meetings between the Trump team that were not disclosed during congressional testimony or in security clearance documents.

    ReplyReply

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  13. de stijl says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    Perhaps the “Deep State” desires that a traitor should not be President who trades sanction easing for salvation from over-extended finances.

    Trump fears being disclosed as a failed businessman more than he fears being known as a traitor.

    ReplyReply

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  14. de stijl says:

    The SF86 ommisions have doomed Kushner. It will take a bit, but the die is cast. It’s all over but the shouting. (h/t Paul Westerberg)

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. de stijl says:

    By all means, let’s partner with Putin in establishing a cybersecurity partnership.

    Oh, wait. Let’s reverse that decision. Screw Mnuchin’s defense of that decision.

    What would Rs say if Obama had done the same?

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  16. Hal_10000 says:

    If true, this is very very bad for Don, Jr. Based on discussions, it’s not clear to me that a crime was committed (I’ve seen opinions both ways). But the lies around this meeting are thick and numerous.

    Reminder: during the 2000 campaign, someone gave the Gore campaign Bush’s debate tape and 100 pages of prep. They responded by … calling the FBI.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  17. de stijl says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Don Jr. received an email before the meeting that the topic would be information that could be used against Hillary Clinton from a hostile foreign power.

    That is not a lie.

    Hand-waving about how complex it is when it is directly straight-forward is disingenuous at best. Please look at that jackalope! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

    I, also, have seen opinions “both ways” and can understand that you are obfuscating.

    Any campaign would vet such an approach. No campaign would approve this meeting. The lawyers, if consulted, were utterly ignored.

    ReplyReply

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  18. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    This morning Sarah Sanders probably wishes she could be a coal-miner, or some equally glamorous job, instead of Snowflakes propoganda minister.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  19. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    There no collusion here…nothing to see…keep moving.
    This meeting with Jr. took place on June 9th, 2016.
    June 14th: the DNC announces it has been hacked.
    All thru June and July Sessions, Flynn, Kyshner, st al keep running into Russians…but it’s all innocent!!!
    July 22: Wikileaks posts emails from DNC hack.
    July 27, 2016:

    “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said during a news conference here in an apparent reference to Mrs. Clinton’s deleted emails. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  20. de stijl says:

    Don Jr. will not garner much alt-right support. He is obviously a beta. He has a weak chin. QED.

    He will be cut loose.

    My prediction is that Don Jr. is going to be the sacrifice.

    The play will be that he was uneducated as to the wicked ways of Washington, an innocent lamb preyed upon by Russian bears.

    Not his fault. He was wronged, but he did no wrong because he is essentially a fool and a naif.

    A father gutting his son is just another day. No biggie. Please move along. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will likely find a a biblical anecdote to chastise the WH press corps about how un-American they are.

    The fatted calf or something. Literally, any excuse will do.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  21. Turgid Jacobian says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:
    Miguel de Unamuno is supposed to have said that in Spain, everyone is Catholic–even the atheists. pace de Unamuno, in Trumpland, everyone is Fredo–even the Michaels.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  22. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @de stijl:

    My prediction is that Don Jr. is going to be the sacrifice

    I don’t think Mueller is looking for a sacrificial lamb.
    It may be like Scooter and Cheney, where Scooter was settled for because Cheney was protected.
    But these clowns aren’t as smart as Scooter and Cheney.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  23. Jen says:

    The level of schadenfreude if this ends up hinging on Junior’s emails, of all things, is just too remarkable for me to even allow myself to even consider.

    ReplyReply

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  24. MarkedMan says:

    I’m just pondering what it means that three sources had knowledge of lil’ Donnie’s email. What else do they have? Where did they get it?

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  25. de stijl says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    I was not going for Mueller in my prediction, but rather Trump’s attempt at goosing public opinion.

    Mueller will see through the Don Jr. gambit because it’s stone obvious.

    Junior as a bumbling Fredo is for public consumption peddled by the White House as a distraction. Look here, don’t look over there.

    Junior accepted and went to that meeting, Kushner and Manafort went as a favor. They were unaware of the e-mail. Junior is thus responsible and only he can be implicated. Pay no attention to the traitor behind the curtain.

    That will be the line. Mueller won’t buy it. But that’s the PR play. The legal strategy will be way more subtle, because lawyers.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  26. SC_Birdflyte says:

    The mantra of Trump’s defenders so far has been, “No evidence of collusion!” Wonder what it will be next week?

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  27. de stijl says:

    @MarkedMan:

    The sourcing of the NYT story is fascinating. It is clearly from inside the WH. From which camp? To what intent?

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  28. Hal_10000 says:

    @de stijl:

    I, also, have seen opinions “both ways” and can understand that you are obfuscating.

    See Orin Kerr’s twitter feed, where he’s been talking about this. Kerr is hardly a master of obfuscation. He links both to people who think it’s a crime and his reasons why he disagrees. Something can be unethical, slimy and disgusting while not being illegal.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  29. Hal_10000 says:

    Note: AP is reporting that the lawyer in this case is saying she was summoned to Trump Tower and asked about information. Keeps getting worse for Little Don.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  30. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Hal_10000:
    Yeah…she said they were “longing” for this information.

    “I never had any damaging or sensitive information about Hillary Clinton. It was never my intention to have that,” Natalia Veselnitskaya told NBC News.
    “It’s quite possible that maybe they were longing for such an information. They wanted it so badly that they could only hear the thought that they wanted,” she added when asked why Trump Jr. thought she had damaging info on Democrats.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  31. MarkedMan says:

    Why did these sources have the email to show the NYTimes? Did Lil’ Donny use campaign email and it turns out that various campaign officials routinely read what everyone had to say? Was it Jared and Lil’ Donny forwarded the email to him? Or perhaps Paul Manafort has already rolled?

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  32. de stijl says:

    Dude lawyered up a day too late. Oops.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  33. de stijl says:

    WH staffer / neo-nazi Sebastian Gorka is on MSNBC defending Junior. Fantastic optics, Team Trump!

    How is Gorka still there?

    Google him.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  34. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    I’ve grown a little tired of saying this but; imagine if Obama, or the Clintons, had pulled something like this???

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  35. Moosebreath says:

    “The term “useful idiot” keeps coming to mind.”

    Saying that he is useful assumes facts not in evidence.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  36. de stijl says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Manafort should be the obvious fall guy.

    He was fired before the election, apparently on the outs, yet his attendance at this meeting is barely mentioned. They should have tried to lay this all on him.

    You don’t sacrifice a bishop when you could a pawn. Manafort has leverage.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  37. @michael reynolds:

    James is very quiet lately. I wonder why.

    Nothing nefarious: he has been on a road trip the last week.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  38. drj says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    I’ve grown a little tired of saying this, but imagine if Obama, or the Clintons, had pulled something like this

    This can’t be stressed enough.

    The double standard is absolutely staggering.

    Moreover, it is something that perfectly fits the conservative mindset (which, ironically, has been adopted by the so-called “liberal media” to a fault): people are not judged by their actions, but by who they (supposedly) are.

    And that’s why Republicans, who are supposed to be tough, serious, and patriotic, ALWAYS get a pass; and also why Democrats, who are supposed to lack both seriousness and morals, get raked over the coals – even when there is nothing, or almost nothing going on.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  39. Hal_10000 says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    I’ve grown a little tired of saying this but; imagine if Obama, or the Clintons, had pulled something like this???

    Yep. We heard a huge shower of nonsense about the uranium “deal”. If it had come out that, say, Malia had met with an Iranian official to get dirty info on Romney, the GOP would be screaming.

    In fairness, though … partisanship is a strong drug. Denial is an even stronger one. Right now, it’s so strong, many Trump supporters have a high opinion of Putin. I suspect the Trump loyalists will hold out for a little while longer, but the facade is starting to crack. At some point, a mass Brownie Moment will send Trump’s approval ratings into the teens.

    ReplyReply

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  40. @Hal_10000:

    Denial is an even stronger one. Right now, it’s so strong, many Trump supporters have a high opinion of Putin

    Yup.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  41. Hal_10000 says:

    Jeet Heer pointed out that Mueller runs a tight ship on leaks. Almost all of this is coming from the White House and other sources. Can you imagine what Mueller is turning up?

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  42. CSK says:

    @de stijl:

    Gorka is Bannon’s man. He was the “national security expert” for Breitbart.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  43. Stormy Dragon says:

    The Idiot Grandson Theory strikes again!

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. MarkedMan says:

    @Hal_10000: Makes you wonder doesn’t it? Josh Marshall originally speculated that this was leaked by the WH in attempt to get in front of it. Of course, given how completely unprepared they appear to be (Ha! That’s unusual!) he has now defaulted to his “Trump’s Razor” rule of thumb: when looking for a motivation for something by one of the Trumpistas, assume the stupidest.

    I’m just so fascinated by this: why is someone deliberately taking down Lil’ Donny? Someone within or very well connected to the White House? What can be gained? Or is it just some kind of revenge. But with 5 people willing to confirm the story it seems pretty widespread…

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  45. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:

    If Donny Jr. was as overbearing, vindictive, demanding, bullying, and punitive as he was purported to have been during the campaign, it could be revenge on the part of any number pf people

    ReplyReply

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  46. de stijl says:

    @CSK:

    I get that Gorka is Bannon’s boy, but how can someone with Gorka’s baggage remain there?

    My theory is that in a normal administration this would be front page news, but this isn’t anywhere near normal.

    This is a stain on the nation and it is barely reported.

    ReplyReply

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  47. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Hal_10000:

    At some point, a mass Brownie Moment will send Trump’s approval ratings into the teens.

    It will be interesting to watch.
    It’s pretty clear that there are plenty of sycophants that won’t drop their support no matter what. Guarneri, Gavrillo, John 430, Jack, J-E-N-O-S, bill, Bandit, etc.
    FWIW…Nixon’s approval never dropped below 24%.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  48. gVOR08 says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Snowflake didn’t know about it is laughable.
    – or –
    Snowflake is the most incompetent man in Washington.

    False dichotomy.

    ReplyReply

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  49. Slugger says:

    One rule for success in business is to never hire someone you can’t fire. Your kids are people you can’t fire. Putting a son, daughter, or son in law in important spots is asking for trouble. This is an important reason that eighteenth century people from patricians to sans-cullotes rebelled against monarchy. Mr. Trump, you are not a Bourbon; learn from their mistakes.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  50. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds: Another way to phrase that is that the three of them solicited a thing of value to the campaign from a foreign government. Which is a crime.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  51. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    I wish I had time to put together a comprehensive time-line…unfortunately that’s not what my clients pay me for.
    It would include:
    Meetings, clandestine and otherwise.
    Hacks, leaks by Wikileaks, etc.
    Statements of denial. Reversals of those statements. Recusals.
    The firing of Comey, of course.
    And efforts by this administration to help Russia; whether by easing sanctions, or in other ways.
    And other contextual information.
    Maybe I should develop an app?

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  52. SenyorDave says:

    @Hal_10000: At some point, a mass Brownie Moment will send Trump’s approval ratings into the teens.

    Trump’s supporters will stay with him forever. The worse it gets, the more they will stay with him. Whatever Trump says will be their new norm. If Trump appeared on TV in a nazi uniform, the next day Amazon would sell out of their German WW2 reproductions (I checked on Amazon, and you can get German military outfits, but the swastikas seem to be a no-no).

    Some of the small percentage of sane Republicans have already abandoned Trump, but if you are still with him now what would convince you to dump him at a future point?

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  53. al-Alameda says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Those who have followed this story since it broke on Saturday will likely not be surprised at new revelations given that Trump Jr.’s story evolved from one day to the next as new information was reported on. Indeed, Don’s defense seems to amount to some version of since the contact had no dirt on Clinton, no harm, no foul.

    The term “useful idiot” keeps coming to mind.

    Interesting that most of the main players here – Kushner, Manafort, Sessions, Flynn, Trump Jr., Trump himself – have either dissembled, or flat out lied, concerning the nature of their Russian contacts and connections during the 2016 campaign season.

    This is fascinating stuff.

    ReplyReply

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  54. CSK says:

    @de stijl:

    Gorka probably swore eternal fealty to Trump. That’s all the qualification needed by Mangolini.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  55. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I’m just pondering what it means that three sources had knowledge of lil’ Donnie’s email. What else do they have? Where did they get it?

    I worry about three “independent” sources. I don’t know how NYT can verify the three aren’t coordinating.

    On the other hand, if NYT has this, what do you suppose Mueller, with a large staff and subpoena powers, has?

    ReplyReply

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  56. gVOR08 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    The Idiot Grandson Theory strikes again!

    True. But Jr. is fourth generation. Sr. is the grandson of the German immigrant brothel keeper and his wife who started the family business.

    ReplyReply

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  57. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK:

    it could be revenge on the part of any number pf people

    Read more: http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/it-just-keeps-getting-worse-for-don-jr/#ixzz4mXERx8qu

    I get that. But this is like shooting holes in the bottom of the life boat because you can’t stand to see the other guy dry. This could potentially take down the whole administration, yet it seems to be coming from the inside.

    Mr. Reynolds has mentioned a few times he suspects an overall pattern, that a story is being told, not just in this immediate example but overall. That the leaks and revelations seem very deliberate and calculated. (Which doesn’t imply wrong doing. A prosecutor who is 100% certain of guilt still makes their best cast to the jury.)

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  58. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: There’s been a bunch of “what does this all mean?” speculations over at Raw Story. The one I thought the cutest is this is all being arranged by Putin and his minions to convince Trump to, in fact, play ball with him and bring down those damn sanctions.

    The other theory that’s floating around is Trump Jr. is being thrown over the sled to the galloping wolves in order to protect Jared. Daddy Dearest is more interested in protecting his son-in-law (who seems to have at least half a brain) rather than The Idiot Sons, Uday and Qsay.

    Can you imagine having Trump as a father? Ugh!

    ReplyReply

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  59. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:

    It could be one faction trying to take out the other. That faction may be doing it wrong, in terms of their own self-interest, but they could be doing it.

    This administration could be best characterized as “incompetently malevolent.” We may be looking for rational explanations where none obtain.

    ReplyReply

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  60. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I don’t know how bright Jared is (not very, I suspect, since he screwed up a lot of his own endeavors before emerging as the new Cardinal Richelieu wannabe), but he may have a certain shrewdness about saving his own skin that the The Brothers Trump are too dumb to possess.

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  61. de stijl says:

    Mueller has Kushner dead to rights on his ommissions (aka lies) on his security clearance. That will be the lever that yanks this thing open. Kushner is a dead duck. He will stonewall until he receives some disheartening news from his personal lawyer.

    Then, it’s decision time.

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  62. Jen says:

    The New York Times now says it is in possession of the email in question.

    And Junior is sticking with “relax, this happens in campaigns” defense. This is a pretty solid example as to why experience matters. I know that everyone thinks campaigns are dirty, but there are actually certain lines you don’t cross, the biggest one of which–it shouldn’t even need to be said–is when foreign governments (the email specifically says, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump”) shop information to you.

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  63. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    What do you want to bet that Kushner gave the Times Donny Jr.’s emails?

    This is like a low-rent House of Atreus.

    ReplyReply

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  64. wr says:

    @Jen: The Trumpies keep claiming there is no crime here, even if they did collude with the Russians. But Adam Schiff took the big step this morning on MSNBC to move away from “collusion” to the other C-word — conspiracy. He said that if the Trumps conspired with the Russians to use stolen information against HRC, then that in itself is a crime.

    I’m surprised the pardons haven’t started coming yet. Oh, except for one thing — once a conspirator has been pardoned there is no further jeopardy if he or she testifies, and thus no more fifth amendment right to refuse… Wonder if the Donald has gamed this one out yet?

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  65. grumpy realist says:

    @Jen: I wonder whether Don Jr. decided to deal with this on his little lonesome when the original email landed on his desk, thinking that he would dredge up some lovely stinkin’ mess on Hillary and show it to his father, whereupon Dearest Daddy would pat him on the head and say “Good Boy! You’re my favorite child!” So he charges off with two of his father’s consiglieri….

    ….and steps into a Russian honey-trap….

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  66. MarkedMan says:

    And… Lil’ Donny just tweeted the whole email chain, confirming the latest NY Times story. It was explicitly stated that this came from and was at the behest of the Kremlin. Donny of the slicked back hair replied “I love it, especially for later in the summer”. This is just what he’s admitted too. Which is rich, since I just watched a bunch of toadies (not just ol’ KellyAnn) explain carefully to various pundits that litltle lord Fauntleroy had no idea that this was Russian government info or even opposition research (some of these pathetic mewlings were more than 24 hours old so Donny had not yet copped to that).

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  67. MarkedMan says:

    @wr: once a conspirator has been pardoned there is no further jeopardy if he or she testifies,

    Read more: http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/it-just-keeps-getting-worse-for-don-jr/#ixzz4mXS4CSopOne watershed that may yet come is if Mueller can make it clear to all of Orange Donnie’s past associates that any non-disclosure agreements are superseded by this probe, and they suddenly feel it is in their best interest to tell all.

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  68. de stijl says:

    @MarkedMan:
    @CSK:
    @grumpy realist:

    Hanlon’s Razor says we should not infer malice when stupidity could apply.

    In this case Hanlon is likely incorrect.

    This is Game of Thrones trial by champion politics. This in-fighting has malice written all over it.

    Jared as Cercei.

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  69. Lit3Bolt says:

    Where’s #TeamTreason?

    Shouldn’t they be defending their boy?

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  70. Facebones says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: It’s been well established by the Crazification Theory that the bottom of support is going to be right around 27%.

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  71. Facebones says:

    @MarkedMan: You gotta wonder… Did Li’l Donnie just listen to 24 hours of right wing spin about how he was naive and stupid and couldn’t possibly have know what he was doing and then get pissed off and say “I’LL SHOW THEM HOW STUPID I AM! I KNEW EXACTLY WHAT I WAS DOING!!!”

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  72. MarkedMan says:

    I’m still processing all this. So Lil’ Donnie decided that tweeting the whole email chain was the best course of action. Did a lawyer tell him that? Or (and this is 3 dimensional chess here) was it Jared or Bannon, who Junior doesn’t know is the one who’s been leaking the information in the first place.

    Hey lawyers! Is there any conceivable way that an attorney (Donnie the Minor’s is a mob lawyer if that makes a difference) would advise him to tweet this out?

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  73. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    The emails have been released and are more damning than the NYTimes story without the emails.
    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/07/11/us/politics/trump-russia-email-clinton.html?_r=0&referer=https://www.vox.com/world/2017/7/11/15953188/donald-trump-jr-russia-emails
    Collusion is no longer a question.
    The only question now is what are the Banana Republicans going to do about it?
    And what is Sarah Sanders going to say about her blanket claim of no collusion she made yesterday.

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  74. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @MarkedMan:
    He released them to get ahead of the NYTimes (fake news) releasing them.

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  75. CSK says:

    @Facebones:

    Well, that’s exactly what his father would do, so….

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  76. de stijl says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Baghdad Sarah will say anything. Literally anything.

    I remember when shame used to be a deterrent against immoral and unprofessional behavior. But I’m old.

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  77. grumpy realist says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: I’m wondering if Lil’ Don is trying to set up for a pullback: “oops, no, those aren’t the emails I got, sorry.” after the media has barked themselves hoarse over all of them.

    On the other hand, it is quite possible that Lil’ Don is in fact stupid enough to shove the emails out there without realizing how bad a position they put him in.

    He may be thinking of doing a reversal down the pipeline, but law doesn’t work that way…

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  78. MarkedMan says:

    Okay, I’m spending way too much time playing 3 dimensional chess here, but could there have been a statement more explicitly inviting collusion with a foreign government to influence an election than the following:

    “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

    I mean, could this have been a trap?

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  79. MarkedMan says:

    Hmmm. I’m waiting for the NYTimes to confirm these are the same emails they saw. Is there something more damaging that Baby Doll Trump removed?

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  80. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    I gotta say again…what if this email had been found in Clintons emails???

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  81. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @de stijl:

    Trump fears being disclosed as a failed businessman more than he fears being known as a traitor.

    I think you’ve hit on something here. He probably fears the former more because his supporters would understand and empathize with the latter better.

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  82. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: Sarah Huckabee Sanders has neither the character of person or the common sense to wish she was not Trump’s propaganda minister. Apples don’t fall that far from trees. Particularly apples that have been training to be political hacks from when they were grade school.

    Her father described her childhood, saying, “I always say that when most kids are seven or eight years old out jumping rope, she was sitting at the kitchen table listening to political commentators analyze poll results.”[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Huckabee_Sanders

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  83. de stijl says:

    @Slugger:

    I took two semesters of French. Beyond Frere Jacques, I recollect that “sans cullotes” should mean something like people who are not wearing knee-length short pants.

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  84. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl: From wiki:

    The sans-culottes (French: [sɑ̃kylɔt], literally “without breeches”) were the common people of the lower classes in late 18th century France, a great many of whom became radical and militant partisans of the French Revolution in response to their poor quality of life under the Ancien Régime.

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  85. Moosebreath says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    “I gotta say again…what if this email had been found in Clintons emails???”

    Ezra Klein has you covered:

    “Imagine Chelsea Clinton had taken Bill Clinton and campaign chair John Podesta to a meeting set up by a Chinese government intermediary who claimed to have damaging information about Donald Trump’s tax returns and said over email they were willing to share the information in a bid to defeat Trump. Imagine emails emerged in which Chelsea, Bill and Podesta were all told the meeting was with a lawyer for the Chinese government and “is part of China and its government’s support for Ms. Clinton.”

    Imagine this information came out mere weeks after stories revealing a major Democratic funder, acting on the behest of prospective National Security Adviser Susan Rice, had been trying to work with Chinese hackers to steal copies of Trump’s tax returns.

    Imagine, during all of this, that Hillary Clinton herself had gotten on a stage and begged the Chinese government to release Trump’s tax returns. “China, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the tax returns,” Clinton said in Florida. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

    Imagine that these stories were not isolated. They came alongside dozens of strange meetings between Clinton campaign aides and Chinese staffers — contacts left off security clearance forms and “forgotten” during sworn congressional testimony — and were buttressed by Clinton herself lurching toward a strangely pro-China policy and an unusual, and repeatedly articulated, affection for China’s leader.

    And imagine that in a crucial stretch of the campaign, hackers backed by the Chinese government really did break into the Trump family’s systems and release a bevy of damaging financial documents in a successful effort to elect Clinton.”

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  86. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @de stijl:

    The sourcing of the NYT story is fascinating. It is clearly from inside the WH.

    Wow! The Obama Shadow Administration has plants in the Trump White House? I wonder if Trump realizes this. Maybe Dr. Joyner was right about all that “Deep State” stuff.

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  87. wr says:

    @MarkedMan: “once a conspirator has been pardoned there is no further jeopardy if he or she testifies,”

    No jeopardy for the pardoned person. Plenty of jeopardy for their former boss.

    Because there’s no such thing as a pardon-in-advance. Which means that they can go to jail if they perjure themselves. Which means that they are personally safe if they roll over on the big guy and in jeopardy if they lie to protect him. Of course they can refuse to testify, but the pardon doesn’t protect them from contempt charges, either.

    Even Donald Trump must understand this.

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  88. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @drj:

    This can’t be stressed enough.

    The double standard is absolutely staggering.

    Can’t repeat this enough. There is no double standard. The GOP and conservatives in general use the moral compass–or lack thereof–that Trump uses. To wit: Everything that benefits me is good. Anything that doesn’t benefit me is undesirable. Trump is not an abberation; he is who the GOP are. The conservatives of whom you are thinking are not hypocrites; they are sociopaths.

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  89. de stijl says:

    @MarkedMan:

    In the mid 80s, there was a Dockers ad where the protagonist dissed his antagonist who was wearing off-brand chinos with this dismissive line:

    “You’re just wearing pants.”

    I use that quote to this day. It amuses me.

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  90. MarkedMan says:

    OK. Now I’m processing the fact that Slick Back Donny discussed this in an email trail, discoverable by just about anyone. That no one seems to have replied to him and told him to knock it off. And that was at the highest levels of the Trump’s campaign and, now that Jared is Trump’s Superboy, at the highest levels of our government. So no one is bright enough to realize how devastating an email campaign could be even while endlessly hawking an email “scandal” against their political opposition. The level of stupidity there is just staggering. And I would assume that, if they didn’t have it already, this opens up all of Jared’s and Manafort’s emails for discovery as well as Mighty Hunter Donny’s. Given the level of basic incompetence just demonstrated, what are the odds that much, much more is there to be found, about all kinds of stuff?

    Never bet on stupid.

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  91. MarkedMan says:

    In light of the “leaks are coming from inside the White House” thread, i’m going to break my rule and post a link to a picture. Name that movie!

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  92. Pete S says:

    Is it possible that at least one of the White House sources is Priebus, and another is Pence? This week the Senate is working on a 6 year Republican dream of taking away health care from millions of people to send the money to the rich and I can pretty much guarantee nobody is asking about it now. Either one of these guys could also look at Trump and tell him “You sign whatever comes across your desk from Congress or you are next”.

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  93. MarkedMan says:

    September 26th, 2016: At first presidential debate, Donald Trump casts doubt on Russian role in hacking campaign: “It could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.”

    So, how much does Lil’ Donny weigh?

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  94. de stijl says:

    @MarkedMan:

    “It’s coming from inside the house!”

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  95. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl: And here’s the 9 second video version Complete with really overdramatic music

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  96. Hal_10000 says:

    My God. We’ve been waiting for a smoking gun and then Jr up and fricking tweets it out!

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  97. slimslowslider says:

    And if you read the American Conservative, you wouldn’t know about any of this… but there is Dreher’s hot take on David Brooks fake story about some sandwich.

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  98. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Hey lawyers! Is there any conceivable way that an attorney (Donnie the Minor’s is a mob lawyer if that makes a difference) would advise him to tweet this out?

    Never in a million years. Any competent attorney would have told him to absolutely, definitely and completely STFU – don’t say another word, period.

    FWIW – this, exactly this sort of seat of the pants inexplicable stupidity is the Trump Organization that I’m familiar with.

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  99. de stijl says:

    @slimslowslider:

    Dreher has been a roll lately. He has gone total Chicken Little. The “West” by which I think he means Christendom is doomed. SJWs and the enlightenment are to blame. DOOMED!

    He takes 3000 words to get there, but apparently we’re doomed and liberals are causing it and they like it.

    The guy who cycled through three different faith traditions in 15 years castigates modernism and spiritial seekers.

    BTW, I just saved you a half hour reading time.

    He is is also sliding towards White Nationalism.

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  100. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK:

    I don’t know how bright Jared is (not very, I suspect, since he screwed up a lot of his own endeavors…

    The Intercept has a story that Jared has lost his whole half billion investment on 666 Fifth Ave. The only way he can recover is to tear it down and build a bigger, more valuable building on the site, a multi-billion dollar deal. He had a Chinese investor interested in loaning most of the money and a billionaire ex-PM of Qatar on the line for 500M. The Chinese got cold feet over potential scrutiny of the conflicts of interest and the Qatari pulled out as his loan was contingent on Jared getting the rest of the funding.

    Now Trump is encouraging the other Gulf states to dump on Qatar, apparently urged on by Jared. Unclear who’s trying to lean on who, but the idea that our Qatar policy isn’t influenced by Jared’s deal does seem to beg coincidence.

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  101. gVOR08 says:

    @wr:

    Even Donald Trump must understand this.

    That’s not a compelling argument.

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  102. gVOR08 says:

    @wr:

    Even Donald Trump must understand this.

    That’s not a compelling argument.

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  103. pylon says:

    @Moosebreath:

    I’d love some enterprising journalist to do a focus group with Trump supporters, tell them a story along the lines of Klein’s piece and get their reactions. And then proceed to tell them the truth and see what happens.

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  104. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: My question is–is this stupidity generating from Uday Trump’s lawyer, or is it a case of Uday just totally refusing to listen to legal advice?

    (I still remember Rod Blagojevich’s first lawyer quitting with the comment: “I don’t insist my clients take my advice, but I at least want them to LISTEN to it!”)

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  105. wr says:

    Odd how all the resident Trumpists around here have gone so completely silent.

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  106. JohnSF says:

    @gVOR08:
    *giggles*
    666 5th Avenue?

    Oh come ON!
    :)

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  107. 1 says:

    @de stijl: That article is nothing like you describe it. It’s a worthwhile read.

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  108. JohnSF says:

    Context for@JohnSF:
    Context for my amusement: a Brit previously unaware ramifications of the Trumpian businesses.

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  109. Jen says:

    Axios is reporting that the current WH strategy under discussion is to “turn this into a conversation about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and how they handled sensitive intelligence.”

    This ship of fools has lost its sails, rudder, and is taking on water, and they want to blame Clinton and Obama. For Junior’s mess. I’ve seen toddlers who accept responsibility for their own actions more quickly than this crew.

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  110. Neil Hudelson says:

    Has anyone seen MBunge around? He’s been conspicuously quiet. Odd. Hope he’s ok.

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  111. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @1: I wouldn’t go so far as to say “worthwhile,” but it was more intelligent than either slim or de stijl presented it to be. I suspect the original Brooks article was a fairly good read, too. Seemed better than either one’s usual output.

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  112. rachel says:

    @Jen: Maybe someday, Dolt 45 will come to accept the results of the 2016 election, but today is not that day.

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  113. de stijl says:

    @1:

    I was not referencing that particular post by Dreher, but rather his recent ouevre in total.

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  114. restlessness says:

    @Jen:

    I’m wondering how the links between the DNC and Fusion GPS will be spun (Rachel Maddow’s comments tonight sent me a’googling)

    Wikipedia

    The Independent

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  115. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    Re: 666

    Satan would certainly choose a better vessel than Trump. He is way too obvious a choice.

    It is a really funny photo though. Trump property with 666 over the entrance.

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  116. Jen says:

    @restlessness: According to that Independent piece, there is no “link” between the group and the DNC, only that it was “paid by Democratic financial supporters of Ms Clinton.”

    Sounds to me like Fusion did research for one of the other Republican primary candidates, and one of two things happened: either that candidate ran out of money and couldn’t pay Fusion, or the primary ended before the research was completed. Fusion then decided well, we’ve done the work and this is worth something, so they tried to figure out who to sell it to, and reached out to a handful of Clinton’s donors for payment. This is different than what Junior has basically admitted to doing, which is working directly with a foreign government to influence a campaign.

    Fusion is staffed by two former WSJ reporters.

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  117. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @de stijl: How are the mighty fallen! Back in the day (1975), there was a restaurant there (Top of the Sixes) where I took my mother to dinner when she came to town for a visit.

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  118. teve tory says:

    @de stijl:

    There was a huge article in a recent new yorker about dreher.

    I skipped it. Life’s too short.

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  119. Janis Gore says:

    How to build a “Nothingburger”:

    https://twitter.com/funnyordie/status/884970578632884224

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