Trump admits in a Tweet that his son colluded with the Russians

Trump admits in a Tweet that his son colluded with the Russians

Re: “the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere.”

I didn’t see this shocker coming. In this one Tweet, Trump basically admitted that he and Don Jr. committed several crimes:

  1. Trump Jr. intentionally met with people that he understood to represent the Russian government’s attempt to sway the American election. That would be a crime: conspiracy to break  52 U.S. Code § 30121
  2.  In this new Tweet, Trump himself has now admitted that he lied when he dictated the statement saying that the meeting was about adoptions. Moreover, he had previously lied when he said (through Jay Sekulow and Sarah Sanders) that he hadn’t dictated the statement at all! It is very possible that both instances (claiming he didn’t dictate the statement, and the actual contents of the statement) could constitute counts of obstruction of justice. In the earlier case, he can claim that Sarah Sanders misspoke and did not represent him accurately when she said he “certainly didn’t dictate,” but even that claim would lack credibility, inasmuch as he had plenty of chances to correct the statement, either by himself or through her, and did not.

Now here’s why all of this means nothing:

While Trump Jr is obviously guilty, he is also totally invulnerable. The crimes he committed are federal crimes, and can therefore be washed away by a Presidential pardon. Senior is clearly not going to let Junior go to jail, or even to trial. Senior can make Junior’s troubles go away at any time, in an instant, with just a wave of his hand, and there is no mechanism for appeal of a Presidential pardon.

While Trump Sr could be impeached by the House if it changes hands in the mid-terms, and probably will be, he will not be convicted by the Senate, and therefore will remain President until defeated in an election. Removing a president from office requires the vote of 67 members of the Senate. That’s not going to happen, no matter what Trump does. Within the gamut of realistic possibilities, I can conceive of no action which would persuade 67 Senators to vote for conviction.

So if you want The Donald out of the White House, vote, and get all your like-minded friends to vote, because it will not happen otherwise.

16 thoughts on “Trump admits in a Tweet that his son colluded with the Russians

  1. None of these things matter to Trump’s base. After all they either believe him when he says all of this is just lies by the “deep state” or is just “fake news” or they do not care that he is lying because he is giving them all of the policy decisions that they want.

    In the first case, they would not believe any charges against Trump even if there was an actual videotape released of Trump lying in a bed under a bunch of peeing Russian hookers talking on speakerphone with Putin about the best ways to work together.

    In the second case, they will ignore any improprieties up until the moment that all usefulness has been squeezed out of Trump and the moment that happens they will either suddenly become outraged by his actions (in order to maintain the facade that morality matters to them) or will just silently slink away.

    1. What you say is 100% true, DiffieHalman. That is why it is so important to outnumber the hell out of Trump’s base at the next election, and the one after that, and one after that, and so on into eternity.

  2. Some thoughts: Meeting is not conspiring. The code you cite is about contributions from foreign nationals, which Hillary took plenty of.

    1. 2 lies

      1.Hillary Clinton taking contributions from foreign nationals for her families charitable foundation is not the same as a campaign taking contributions. However, if that is illegal, then so is Donald Trump and his families’ ongoing businesses taking money from foreign nationals.

      2.If this alone does not meet the test of conspiracy, certainly any offer of a quid pro quo would meet the test. So, a meeting certainly can be a conspiracy depending on what was discussed.

      But, hey, nice try to spread lies.

    2. Actually meeting is conspiracy if the purpose of the meeting is to plan to commit a criminal act. In fact, that is PRECISELY what conspiracy is.

      And of course, accepting a campaign contribution from a foreign national is an illegal act. The statute is NOT limited to cash contributions. It forbids accepting anything of value.

      And the statute is about accepting something of value specifically designed to influence an American election, which is exactly what the meeting was about (and has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton). Don Junior’s e-mails specify that he understood this in almost precisely those words. “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump.”

      Junior did not actually accept something of value from a foreign government to get his father elected (because there was nothing there to accept), but he conspired to. Junior thought the meeting was to be about getting dirt from the Russian government on Hillary’s dealings with Russia, but – and this is a point which many have missed – the Russians did not actually have any dirt on Hillary. That was merely a pretext to get them in the door. Let me repeat that point because, although it is a peripheral point, it is important – there was no actual dirt on Hillary!

      When he dictated the infamous public statement, Trump Senior was obviously aware that his son had done something bad, since if he thought the meeting was perfectly legal, he could have just told the whole truth.

      What makes matters supremely bad is that Trump Junior understood that the contribution to Trump’s campaign was to come not just from some foreign nationals, but from the Russian government, based on its desire to see Senior elected! (Whether it was true or not, that’s what Junior thought.)

      1. Actually, just meeting would not constitute conspiracy. Conspiracy requires an agreement by two or more people to violate a law and an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy. If that statute does forbid accepting information from a foreign government designed to influence an election then I think to constitute conspiracy it would require an agreement to accept the information. Since there was no information I don’t see how there could be an agreement.

        I have no idea if the statute actually forbids accepting information. Often statutes are interpreted such that a thing of value must be tangible. But if not, it may be possible to charge attempt to violate the statute.

        1. ” Since there was no information I don’t see how there could be an agreement.”

          Conspiracy to commit a crime is a completely separate crime of its own, independent of whether the planned crime ever occurred. Junior, Kushner and Manafort intended to accept something of value from a foreign power in order to influence an American election. The three of them agreed to accept the information by agreeing to the meeting with that understanding. By showing up for the meeting they made on overt act in furtherance of that end.

          The fact that they were hornswoggled is, I think, irrelevant. For example, one can be guilty of conspiracy to assassinate the President even if no attempt is ever made, or even if the attempt could not possibly be made (if, for example, the hit man you tried to hire turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.)

          1. You are right, I hadn’t considered agreement between members of the Trump team and Kushner. That would be enough to satisfy the agreement requirement. But I think there is evidence lacking that they had agreed to “accept” information. All they have admitted so far (to the best of my knowledge) is to agreeing to listen. Not that I believe for a second that they would have turned down anything damaging to HRC. Granted, that is a hyper technical legalistic distinction that might matter in court, but would be nigh irrelevant in an impeachment proceeding.

            You are potentially incorrect with your assasination example. I remember my criminal law professor emphasizing that at least two members of a conspiracy must intend for the crime to actually happen. The specific example he gave was that an undercover police officer (or in your case FBI agent) cannot satisfy the second person requirement. But if you and I agreed to hire someone to kill someone and ended up hiring an undercover agent, it would be conspiracy. Your example would at least constitute solicitation of murder. I’m reasonably sure Kushner has no exposure on that charge. Reasonably sure…

  3. Just to really brighten everyone’s day, we haven’t NOT re-elected the incumbent president since Daddy Bush. Hope we can manage to remember how.

    Oh and no, it’s Kornelia “K-Spice” Conway.

  4. Sorry, it’s too late to look for an exit. Every member of the Cabinet who stayed on to this point along with everyone else who abased their integrity for quick political profit (McConnell, Ryan, et al) need to be permanently tainted with the the stench.

    Also, I think it’s Ginger Conway.

  5. I think it matters that the President has admitted to conspiring with enemies of the United States. I wonder if his admission will force the Republicans in Congress to vote for his impeachment, in a desperate effort at self-preservation?

    I think we can see that it matters by Ivanka Trump and Mary Anne Conway saying that they do not think that journalists are an enemy of the public. This shows that Trump’s inner circle is beginning to look for the exits. They are beginning to think of the future, after Trump is President. And being associated with all of his positions in the future does not look good to them.

  6. When Don Jr is pardoned it will be the final sign that every institution of government accountability has failed and that people need to take matters into their own hands if this crumbling democracy is to be saved. I’m not talking about voting. Voting in a rigged system isn’t worth shit. It also begins with V though and Viggo Mortensen has a history of it….

    1. You are worried about Trump causing the democracy (which we are not, by the way) to crumble after going through 8 years of Obummer, who used the Constitution of this great nation as a doormat?

      What a maroon!

      1. Oh, yes, Captain Obvious, you really scored big points by nitpicking about the difference between a democracy and a republic. And then you just knocked it out of the park with “Obummer”! Yep, no one can fail to be convinced of the total correctness of your position.

        BTW, if Obummer is the one with the crimes, why is Donald Trump’s crew pleading guilty all over the place, and why is Trump the one who needs to worry about indictment? Just asking.

      2. Captain Obvious: do you literally fart with your brain, with all the shit in your head?

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