It was early in July this year when the New York Times broke an incendiary story that exposed potentially damning communications between President Trump’s son, Donald Jr., and a Russian lawyer directly connected to the Kremlin.
Natalia Veselnitskaya is the Russian contact that claimed to have enough dirt on Donald Trump’s election opponent, Hillary Clinton, that could probably sink the Democratic Party nominee’s presidential bid.
The New York Times managed to obtain copies of the exchange and published Veselnitskaya’s emails that explained she had information that implicated Clinton in her own set of questionable dealings with Russia.
The dirt “would be very useful to your father,” Veselnitskaya wrote to Trump Jr.
“If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” the younger Donald replied.
As a countermeasure to the Times expose, Trump Jr. posted screengrabs of the emails on Twitter, adding that “in order to be totally transparent, I am releasing the entire email chain of my emails.”
Soon after, Trump’s eldest child told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that “in retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently.”
The following day, the president took to Twitter to defend his son.
“My son Donald did a good job last night. He was open, transparent and innocent. This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history. Sad!”
But now, the Washington Post has brought to public notice details of President Trump’s aid in creating a justifiable reason for Don Jr.’s meeting with Veselnitskaya. The president’s actions reportedly came at the behest of his advisors, who were concerned about legal jeopardy in light of the Russia meeting.
It appears Trump Jr.’s disclosure on Twitter was the initial strategy to preempt and prophylactically rebuff further allegations. But not long after, the president steered the plan of action in a different direction.
While traveling back from the G7 Summit in Hamburg aboard Air Force One, Trump senior ostensibly dictated the content of a statement that would be released to the public. The new disclosure, designed by Trump, claimed that his son’s 2016 meeting with the Russian lawyer was, by and large, to discuss “a program about the adoption of Russian children.”
The press release, printed in the New York Times, asserted that the now infamous meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.” But, in light of recent revelations, it seems that the communication was misleading.
In addition, despite the Times article, Trump Jr. later admitted that the main reason for the meeting was to acquire damaging “opposition research” on Hillary Clinton.
The president’s advisors are reportedly very concerned that the Commander in Chief’s intervention could now be viewed as direct involvement in the supposed cover up regarding any Russian collusion during last year’s presidential campaign.
If proved to be true, this information could place the president in dire legal peril.
Meanwhile, special counsel to the Russia investigation, Robert Mueller, is homing in on the degree to which the Trump family may have been implicated in the collusion scandal. According to unnamed sources within the president’s inner circle, Mueller now possibly has a strong lead to pursue that might prove Donald Trump committed an obstruction of justice felony.
“Now someone can claim he’s the one who attempted to mislead. Somebody can argue the president is saying he doesn’t want you to tell the whole truth,” said one of the anonymous sources.
Worryingly, advisors claim that the president is increasingly acting as his own lawyer and does not believe he is in any trouble at all. In fact, Trump has persistently maintained that the investigation is a witch hunt.
Donald Trump Jr.’s attorney, Alan Futerfas, said that he has “no evidence to support [the] theory” that the president directly intervened in matters regarding the alleged Russia-related misconduct.
The investigation’s deputy special prosecutor, Peter Zeidenberg, is particularly concerned about the “stupidity of involving the president” regarding collaboration with Russia.
“They are still treating this like a family-run business and they have a PR problem. What they don’t seem to understand is this is a criminal investigation involving all of them.”
[Featured Image by Rick Wilking/Getty Images]