Why should anyone give a rat’s ass?
Donald Trump Jr has been forced to release damning emails that reveal he eagerly embraced what he was told was a Russian government attempt to damage Hillary Clinton’s election campaign.
The stunning disclosure raised questions over whether campaign laws were broken and why senior Trump associates failed to report a hostile act by a foreign power.
The emails show music promoter Rob Goldstone telling the future US president’s son that “the crown prosecutor of Russia” had offered “to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father”.
Ho Hum. So what?
Deep Trouble but Not that Deep
Supposedly trouble runs deep but not deep. That’s creative headlining at its finest or worst, whichever you prefer. The answer depends on whether or not any laws were broken.
Has Donald Trump Jr broken the law? And what kind of legal trouble, exactly, might he or other Trumpworld figures be in, culminating with the president himself? Have we just gotten a step closer to impeachment? Or is that state of play basically unchanged?
Whatever you do, don’t call it “treason”, warned Fordham law school professor Jed Shugerman, author of the Shugerblog commentary site.
“As a legal matter, it’s irresponsible for anyone to be calling this ‘treason’,” he said. “These terms not only have legal meaning but they also can be part of overplaying a legal or rhetorical hand.”
“Treason” is unusually narrowly defined in the Constitution as aiding enemies in wartime, Shugerman said, with the framers, having just fought a revolution, working with acute awareness of the potential explosiveness of the charge.
Instead, the strongest case (currently) against Trump Jr appears to fall under federal campaign finance law, which prohibits campaigns from soliciting contributions from foreign entities. If you are running for office in the US, you are not supposed to seek or take help from non-Americans. Bernie Sanders knows this, which is why he hit Hillary Clinton over foreign donations to her family’s foundation.
Up for debate is whether “opposition research” potentially provided by Moscow to Trump Jr would qualify as a “thing of value” under campaign finance law, which explicitly prohibits “contributions, donations, expenditures, and disbursements”.
Actual Donations vs Non-News
The Clinton Foundation received actual monetary donations. Trump received useless information from Russians hoping to switch the conversation to something else. Even if the information was useful, so what? Why should anyone care?
The Democrats just will not give up. Under the federal anti-fraud statute, “it is a federal crime to conspire with anyone, including a foreign government, to ‘deprive another of the intangible right of honest services’.”
Of course, it is ridiculous to presume Trump sponsored hacking or “conspired” to deprive anyone of honest services.
Good grief, it’s amazing how flimsy these charges are.
Moreover, even if some claim can be made against certain individuals, they do not hit Trump unless he authorized them.
There is a far greater chance of conspiracy, perhaps even a likely chance of conspiracy in the illegal campaign donations, and coverups in the Hillary campaign.
Last week, Fox News dropped a bombshell report officially confirming, via anonymous FBI sources, what many had suspected for quite some time, that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich was the WikiLeaks source for leaks which proved that the DNC was intentionally undermining the campaign of Bernie Sanders.
In addition to exposing the corruption of the DNC, the leaks cost Debbie Wasserman Shcultz her job as Chairwoman.
Sick of Partisan Politics
I do not defend Trump lightly. I do not even like the man.
And if the charges were reversed, I would not be alleging Hillary committed treason or was guilty of anything at all by talking to the Russians.
All those attacking Trump on highly questionable grounds need to get a grip on reality. The charges against Hillary are not only worse, they are more warranted.
Unfortunately, this is the sad reality:
Mike “Mish” Shedlock