Of everything I’ve seen and heard over the last few months related to Donald Trump and Russia, Sunday’s stunning report revealing that his oldest son, son-in-law, and campaign manager Paul Manafort met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer — in Trump Tower, no less — on June 6, 2016 is the most damning (at least thus far).
While there’s clearly much more that needs to be known about what, exactly, went on, I don’t see how this doesn’t constitute treason and almost certainly proves collusion.
Regardless of what Trump Jr. says was or wasn’t discussed (as if he’s someone who can actually be trusted to be honest about such things, seeing as he’s already changed his story once), the bottom line is, these three men met with a Russian operative, in Trump Tower, believing that this Russian lawyer had dirt they could use against Hillary Clinton.
It doesn’t matter what information they were or weren’t given. This was a Kremlin-backed lawyer — someone representing an enemy of the United States — who they met with hoping to get dirt on an American politician (presumably collected through unethical means considering this is Russia we’re talking about) with the intent of using it to influence the outcome of a U.S. election.
Keep in mind that after this meeting occurred, just a few weeks later, Manafort abruptly resigned from his position as Trump’s campaign manager after news broke that he had worked with pro-Russian groups that were trying to undermine U.S. policy in Europe.
Oh, and this meeting just happened to take place on a day where Trump sent out a tweet referencing Clinton’s emails and really began trying to pander to some of Bernie Sanders’ supporters. Which is rather interesting considering many of the emails WikiLeaks would soon begin dumping shortly after this meeting were aimed at trying to turn Sanders’ supporters against Clinton.
I’m sure that’s all just a big “coincidence,” right?
Sort of like how it was a “coincidence” that WikiLeaks began releasing John Podesta’s emails within hours of the video being released where Trump admits to sexually assaulting women.
And don’t even try to tell me that Trump’s oldest son, son-in-law, and campaign manager set this meeting up in Trump Tower without “The Donald” knowing about it. If there’s one thing I know about Trump, it’s that the people around him damn sure know not to act independently of him without somehow making sure he’s signed off on something that could impact him.
Is there proof that Donald Trump knew of this meeting? Not yet. But you have to be an idiot to believe such a meeting took place at Trump Tower and good ol’ Donny didn’t know anything about it. Though that’s an entirely different subject altogether.
It seems Trump Jr.’s “defense” for this scandal is claiming that the information this lawyer offered wasn’t what they said it was. Again, while I wouldn’t believe anything he says, it’s not what this lawyer did or didn’t have that tells me this was treason — it’s the intent of the three men who allowed the meeting to take place.
Just because they supposedly didn’t get the “dirt” they were hoping for doesn’t change the fact that they were hoping to obtain information from a foreign enemy operative to use against an American politician to affect the outcome of a U.S. election.
In what delusional world is it acceptable to meet with a foreign agent promising dirt against an American that they almost certainly obtained illegally?
This isn’t an ally like England, Japan, Germany, or France sharing intelligence with us they feel is important to our national security. This is an enemy to the United States, a foreign adversary that had just launched a cyber attack against us, contacting close associates and family members of the Republican nominee for president offering information they were hoping to use to impact the outcome of last year’s election.
And this meeting just so happened to occur around the same time Trump began really going after Clinton’s emails and pathetically pandering to some Sanders supporters.
However, even if nothing of significance was exchanged during that June 9th meeting, how does this not essentially prove that Trump’s campaign was clearly more than willing to collude with Russians during last year’s election? What’s the difference between being willing to meet with a Kremlin-backed lawyer to get dirt on Clinton and using back-channel means of communication to contact Russian hackers feeding you dirt on Clinton?
Such as long-time Trump confidant Roger Stone who’s not only admitted having contact with a Russian hacker, but also having lines of communication with Wikileaks. The same Roger Stone who, weeks before anyone knew WikiLeaks had Podesta’s emails, sent out a tweet that literally said “Podesta’s time in the barrel” would come “soon.”
While there’s definitely much… much more to this timeline, here’s a very brief synopsis of what took place in the weeks following the controversial meeting:
- Trump’s oldest son, son-in-law, and campaign manager meet with a Kremlin-backed lawyer on June 9, 2016.
- The same day of that meeting, Trump tweets about Clinton’s deleted emails.
- Also shortly after this meeting, Trump begins publicly trying to pander to disgruntled Sanders supporters.
- During the GOP’s presidential convention, Trump’s campaign worked to eliminate from the Republican Party’s platform a call to give weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel troops.
- Just before the Democrat’s presidential convention, WikiLeaks begins dumping thousands of emails aimed at trying to pull Sanders supporters from possibly supporting Clinton.
- On August 18th, Paul Manafort, the campaign manager who attended the June 9th meeting, abruptly resigns after a report from the AP links him to working for pro-Russian groups trying to undermine U.S. policy in Europe.
- On August 21st, close Trump ally, Roger Stone, tweets out a direct threat at John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, warning him that “soon” it would be his “time in the barrel” — weeks before anyone knew his emails had been stolen.
- Within hours of The Washington Post releasing a video from Access Hollywood where Trump bragged about trying to cheat on his current wife Melania, as well as boasting about sexually assaulting women, WikiLeaks began dumping Podesta’s emails.
But tell me more how thinking Trump’s campaign possibly colluded with Russian agents is “fake news.”
For me, it goes back to the intent of those three men on June 9th. Whether anything was or wasn’t shared with them, in my opinion, is moot. They’re clearly not going to be honest about what was truly discussed, so until intelligence officials look into this more, there’s no way to know, for certain, what may or may not have been talked about or agreed upon.
To summarize all of this bluntly: Trump’s son, son-in-law, and then-campaign manager agreed to a secret meeting with a foreign agent, working for an enemy to the United States — in Trump Tower — under the guise of obtaining damaging information against an American political opponent that, at the time, they had no way of knowing, or seemingly any regard, for how it was obtained.
I’m sorry folks, but the way I read Article III, Section 3 of the United States Constitution:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
That June 9th meeting sure seems to constitute treason.
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