Trump’s legal team admits that the President authored his son’s false statement concerning the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russian operatives promising stolen “dirt” on Hillary Clinton

Yesterday, the New York Times released a 20-page memo that was sent from Donal Trump’s legal team this past January to special counsel Robert Mueller. The document was, it would appear, an attempt on the part of the Trump team to argue that, as the President of the United States, their client could not technically obstruct justice. [“He, by definition, is justice, and therefore could not possibly obstruct justice,” they essentially argued.] While I’d love to spend time getting into their argument as to why Trump can neither be questioned under oath, or found guilty of obstruction, I’d like to focus for the time being on a specific excerpt from the memo concerning Trump having written his son’s preemptive response to a New York Times article that would be coming out the following day about a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Russians promising illegally acquired “dirt” on Hillary Clinton and senior members of the Trump campaign… Here it is.

This, of course, isn’t exactly breaking news, as people have expected for some time that Trump authored the letter, but this is the first time the administration has conceded as much. The following comes from New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman.

This is the first time that representatives of Mr. Trump concede that he dictated a “short but accurate” statement issued by his son to The New York Times about a meeting in June 2016 the younger Mr. Trump had with a Russian lawyer who an intermediary claimed had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump’s advisers have tried to muddy this point, suggesting several people were involved, so the clarity of the sentence is striking. The response about the statement from Mr. Trump’s lawyers also quickly shifts to Mr. Trump’s son, saying he soon after made a “full public disclosure” about how the meeting was arranged.

As for this not being exactly surprise, here’s something that I posted this past January, shortly after Michael Wolff’s book, Fire and Fury, came out. My post was titled “It looks as though Trump really did ghostwrite Don Jr.’s laughably pathetic letter attempting to explain his Trump Tower meeting with Russians as having been about international adoption policy.”

…I just want to focus on one specific story from the Wolff book – the story of how it was decided that, when it became known that the New York Times was about to release their story concerning Kushner, Trump Jr. and Manafort taking a meeting with Russian agents at Trump Tower during the election, the President himself decided that they should try to play it all off like the three people running the campaign just decided to take some time away from the race to discuss the plight of Russian orphans.

Before we get to that, though, I just want to say that obstruction of justice is something we’ve already seen from Donald Trump multiple times. Trump himself told Lester Holt on network television that he fired FBI Director Jim Comey because he wouldn’t stop the Russia investigation. And, the day after firing Comey, in a secret meeting that the press wasn’t made aware of, Trump pretty much said the same thing to the Russian ambassador at the White House. Then, of course, there was the time when he pretty much admitted to not coming forward and telling the Department of Justice when he knew that his national security advisor, Michael Flynn, had been lying to investigators about his communications with the Russians. And, thanks to the reporting of the New York Times this past week, we know that Trump also tried to interfere and stop Sessions from recusing himself from all things Russia-related, as he wanted an Attorney General who could stop the investigation. [Trump, accounting to multiple New York Times sources, sent White House counsel Don McGahn to stop Sessions from recusing himself.] So the story I’m about to share shouldn’t shock you. We know that Trump is guilty of obstruction already. This is just one more example, although, perhaps, a more interesting one, as it involves Ivanka drugging herself to avoid participation… Here, from the Fire and Fury, is the story of how it came to be that Donald Trump Jr. issued his statement telling everyone that, while it was true that he, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner – the three top members of the Trump 2016 campaign – had taken a meeting with Russians at Trump Tower prior to the election, they only did so out of concern for Russian orphans.

So, if we’re to believe Wolff, as I do in this instance, everyone on Air Force One fought to get as far as possible away from the President, as he, Hope Hicks, and possibly Jared Kushner, came up with a plan to lie about the purpose of the July 2016 meeting in Trump Tower, in spite of the fact that they knew damn well that the Times already had the email chain which proceeded the meeting, in which the Russians promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. Ivanka, knowing what was going down, made it a point to tell everyone that she was taking a sleeping pill and leaving. And the President’s other most trusted advisors went off to watch the movie Fargo, which, ironically, is about a poorly-conceived-of crime perpetrated by stupid people who are eventually caught.

And, as Wolf says later in the book, not only does the President’s former advisor, Steve Bannon, think the Trump Tower meeting was in itself “treasonous,” but, for what it’s worth, he thinks Trump Jr. probably brought the lawyer from the Russian mob and her associates upstairs to meet with Donald Trump himself. “The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these Jumos up to his father’s office of the 26th floor is zero,” Bannon apparently told Wolff.

Will this be enough to make a difference? Almost surely not. The Republicans know that Trump is guilty of obstruction, and yet they’ve chosen to do nothing…

So, in the words of Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, “First, we’re told there were no meetings with Russians. Then, we’re told Trump had no part in drafting the false Trump Tower statement. Then, we’re told he weighed in. Now, we’re told he dictated it. Not a word can be trusted of Trump or his staff on Russia, or perhaps anything.

Which brings us to this morning, when Trump sent his new attorney Rudy Giuliani out to make the rounds, telling everyone that it’s really, really difficult to keep your stories straight about things like this, and how, if four out of five of their stories aren’t incriminating, we should disregard the fifth.

For every one these things he did, we can write out five reasons why he did it. Four of them are completely innocent, and one of them is your assumption that it’s a guilty motive, which the president would deny.” -Rudy Giuliani

Again, this won’t change anything, as we have a complicit Republican Congress in control of our government, but I think it’s safe to say that, at any other point in American history, had the President of the United States done what Donald Trump has done, he would have been driven from office in disgrace.

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  1. anonymous
    Posted June 4, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Rudy Giuliani also told HuffPost yesterday that he believes the president’s powers are so broad that Trump could have “shot James Comey” in the Oval Office to end the Russia probe and still not be prosecuted for it.

  2. M
    Posted June 4, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Donald Trump just now: “As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself.”

  3. John Brown
    Posted June 4, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    They’re “joking” about getting away with shooting political rivals and the Dems aren’t organizing mass street protests and strikes yet? If Mueller gets sabotaged by Republicans, get ready for street battles. The people will have the final say, and it won’t be in support of fascist morons.

  4. Iron Lung 2
    Posted June 4, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    “The people will have the final say, and it won’t be in support of fascist morons.”

    The people already support fascist morons.

  5. Jean Henry
    Posted June 4, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    According to organizational psychology, in almost any movement, there are 10% passionate supporters who are passionate enough to be ready to sacrifice their own safety and well being to bring about the necessary change. There may be 30 to even 60% who agree with the proposed change at least in part, but those 10% who scold and yell (and I’m often among them) actually turn off the other supporters. They push them away from mobilizing action because people don’t want to get behind a movement that says things they don’t believe– like e ;get ready for street battles.’

    The argument for saving the institutions of our Republic will unlikely happen in violence. The argument for equity and justice often happens at least partly in violence and largely in the streets but there needs to be enough institutional integrity preserved in that process to make the change stick. OR history shows us things quickly devolve in the other direction.

    There are a lot of selfish assholes out there. Not all of them are Trump supporters. Neither side is better than the other. Even if Trump is the worst president ever. Some good people support him because they don’t know better and they sure as shit are tired if us trying to tell them better.

    We need to offer something more than taking out Trump. And soon. And I don’t think we have to be protectionist bigots to do that. I don’t think hating Trump supporters is the way to win them over to our side. My 12 year old kid knows that. And even though I really hate politics I’m not so stupid as to think we don’t need to be better at politics on the left. We could start by being less condescending to those who are not among the most passionate 10% of Trump supporters. But the gloves are off when it comes to people like EOS and HW. They are among the 10% special exception category.

    It’s the economy Stupid.

  6. John Brown
    Posted June 5, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Do those made up pseudo-science numbers include data from societies wracked by internal conflict where its no longer safe to conduct research surveys? Doubt it.

    And are you arguing that the problem is my condescension with your ultra condescending “12 yr old maternalistic bit”?

    Hell, sweet little Robert Reich ( is about ready to join me in the militant wing.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] by Donald Trump Jr. was actually authored by his father. And, a few days ago, as we all now know, this fact was finally confirmed by way of a leaked memo from the President’s legal team. Well, today, while Trump hid somewhere, White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders went […]

  2. […] to author the ridiculous explanation, not because the “fake media” told us, but because the President’s own legal team admitted as much. And we knew, long before today, that the “adoption” explanation was bullshit, because […]

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