On Sunday, Donald Trump’s attorney took a tour de television networks, asserting that Don Jr. committed no crimes by meeting with a Russian lawyer during his father’s campaign. What a relief.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer hoping to procure damning information about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. And before that meeting, Trump Jr. purportedly learned of the Kremlin’s involvement in this transmission of information. To meet with someone tied to the Russian government for campaign assistance is, well, extremely illegal. But according to the Associated Press, attorney Jay Sekulow is adamant that nothing was amiss.
“Nothing in that meeting that would have taken place, even if it was about the topic of an opposition research paper from a Russian lawyer, is illegal or in violation of the law,” Sekulow told Fox News Sunday. He also emphasized that Trump himself had been unaware of the proceedings.
But as details of the meeting are unearthed, it sounds increasingly suspicious. We already know Jared Kushner and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort were in attendance. On Friday, Russian-American lobbyist and former Soviet military officer Rinat Akhmetskin told the AP that he, too, was there.
Meanwhile, Trump, with all the affection of Lucille Bluth, has claimed that his son is a “high quality person” who should be applauded for his “transparency.” He has also, of course, voiced his displeasure from his favorite sandbox, Twitter.
Certainly the Trumps have their advocates, but many on Capitol Hill remain concerned. On Sunday, Senate Intelligence Committee member Mark Warner (D-Va.) told CBS’s Face the Nation that every meeting attendee should appear before his committee. Warner and his colleagues comprise just one committee investigating Russia’s possible involvement with the 2016 presidential election, as well as their possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
“I want to hear from everyone in that meeting and get their version of the story,” said Warner. “I think we may find out there may have been other meetings as well. We don’t know that yet.”
On CNN’s State of the Union, Sekulow addressed the possibility of other meetings by claiming ignorance. If there were more, he doesn’t know about them. What’s more, “a lot of people meet with Russian people, so that’s not unusual,” he claimed. Reassuring, indeed.