Presidential son and Sigma Chi Fall 2017 Rush Chair Donald Trump Jr. testified Thursday to the Senate Judiciary Committee in its investigation of possible collusion between his father’s presidential campaign and the Russian government.
The testimony was behind closed doors, but someone leaked to The New York Times the opening statement he planned to read to the committee. In it, the president’s son made all sorts of excuses for what he was trying to accomplish when he agreed to meet with Russians bearing the gift of oppo research on Hillary Clinton at Trump Tower in June 2016:
In his statement, Mr. Trump said he had some reservations about the June 2016 proposal from the meeting’s facilitator, Rob Goldstone, whom he described as a “colorful” music promoter he had come to know through the son of a Russian oligarch. Mr. Goldstone asked Mr. Trump to take a meeting that would include potentially damaging information about Mrs. Clinton.
“Since I had no additional information to validate what Rob was saying, I did not quite know what to make of his email. I had no way to gauge the reliability, credibility or accuracy of any of the things he was saying,” he said.
Well, what better way to vet this info than by meeting in person in your campaign headquarters with shady Russians promising dirt on your father’s opponent.
Also, despite his enthusiastic “I love it” response to Goldstone’s offer, Trump Jr. swears he was really “conflicted” about the whole thing and that he planned on seeking advice from his lawyers before doing anything with any dirt he got from the Russians, really, pinky-swear, cross his heart and so on.
As the Times points out, Trump Jr. has given conflicting accounts before:
Mr. Trump has given differing accounts of his contacts last year with Russians. He told the Times in March that he never met with Russians on behalf of the campaign, a statement his lawyer has since said was meant to refer to Russian government officials. In July, he described the Trump Tower meeting as primarily focused on the issue of Russian adoptions, before eventually acknowledging that he took the meeting because he was told Ms. Veselnitskaya had damaging information about Mrs. Clinton.
Nothing like the possibility of committing a felony by lying to Congress to focus the mind. Also, having your lawyers vet your statement to within an inch of its life probably helps.
Whatever. Call us when the special counsel decides on indictments.