This week’s scoop by The New York Times that Donald Jr. was responding to emails with the subject line “Russia – Clinton – private and confidential” was devastating for him. After all, Donald Jr. was offered “high level and sensitive information” that would “incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia” as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Then he forwarded that email chain to Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, then they all took that meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was described in the emails as “the Russian government attorney.” Plus, Donald Jr. lied about the whole thing.
But on Friday morning, NBC broke the news that a former Soviet spy was also in the meeting with Donald Jr. According to NBC, this man, who is a Russian-American lobbyist, “is suspected by some U.S. officials of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence.” Alan Futerfas, Donald Jr.’s attorney, claims that Donald Jr. didn’t know at the time that the man he was meeting was a former spy, but even after they learned that he was, Futerfas had “absolutely no concerns.” Donald Jr.’s lawyer supposedly asked the man the Hard Questions, such as if he was working for the Russian government. The former Soviet spy said no, so it’s no big deal.
Perhaps even more incriminating for Donald Jr. is the fact that he did not disclose that this man was at the meeting, even after he and his father spent the whole week claiming Donald Jr. was acting in the interests of transparency. If meeting with a former Soviet spy was no big deal, then why hide it? Who else are we going to learn was in the meeting—Putin himself, wearing a jean jacket emblazoned with the words “GOT THAT SWEET, SWEET KOMPROMAT”?
Donald Jr. and the White House have been changing their story ever since it broke—no collusion! a little bit of collusion? collusion, but it’s ok! They have done everything they can to obfuscate the truth, albeit in a very incompetent way. Which means that we should expect a dozen more shoes to drop.