The views expressed in this opinion piece do not necessarily reflect the views of PalmettoTimes.
Opinion – As a rule of thumb, you do not leave a paper trail when you are engaging in a conspiracy. This is even more relevant when you are colluding with a hostile foreign government to win an election. But it seems that Donald Trump Junior wasn’t paying attention in conspiracy 101. At least, that is what we can guess from the shocking revelation that he met with a Russian government attorney to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.
All this came to light when Trump Junior released information about an email exchange he had with Rob Goldstone. The content of the email exchange was about setting up a meeting with a Russian attorney to help them win the election.
The fact that Donald Junior released the information himself is not to his credit. This is because he knew the New York Times was going to publish it anyway, after they asked for his side of the story. On the other hand, the New York Times got the information from five unnamed sources in the Trump administration, which obviously points to disharmony in the Trump administration.
It is also futile to argue that Donald Trump Junior didn’t have an idea that the person they were to meet was working for the Russian government. In the initial email from Goldstone, he said:
The Crown Prosecutor of Russia…offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hilary…This is obviously high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump.
On receiving this email, we would expect all the alarm bells in Trump Junior’s head to start ringing. His line of action should have been to reject the help of the Russian government in the US elections, and report to the FBI. Instead what we get from Trump Junior is a delightful, “I love it”.
It is clear that setting up a meeting with a person in the Russian government with high level information on your opponent is collusion. This is what the whole Russia saga has been about – trying to prove that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to try to influence the elections.
The saga is not about whether or not the collusion was successful, it is about whether or not there was actual collusion. There is clearly no better proof of collusion than the present discovered emails from Trump Junior.
This present discovery is in a different league compared to the other issues that have pointed to Russian connection in the Trump campaign. The first issue we had was Paul Manafort’s departure from the Trump campaign because of his links with Russian backed Ukrainian politicians. There was also the issue of Michael Flynn’s meeting with Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.
These past two events only point to possible intention to collude with Russia. The best we can get from them are conjectures on collusion. On the other hand, Donald Junior’s email scandal show a clear intention to collude with the Russian government. Considering the fact that two earlier events saw either the resignation or firing of the actors, one can only try to guess what President Trump would do about his son.
This glaring revelation raises some issues. Would it be the final straw that would make President Trump’s support base desert him? It seems that this is very unlikely.
Republicans Congressmen have had to go through the indignity of supporting Mr. Trump through each of his scandals. The problem is made worse by the fact that President Trump was an outsider candidate that was foisted on them by the mass of republican voters.
On the other hand, President Trump’s mass of republican voters won’t have much of an issue with this latest scandal. They have stood by him through tougher times, and they are not likely to stop at this point. President Trump’s supporters have been with him through woman groping allegations and various clear-cut lies, the latest event is just an addition to the numerous scenarios where they would stick with him.
In the end, Donald Trump Junior’s email is definitely not going to be the last straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back.