The ongoing investigation into the alleged meddling by Russian operatives to destabilize the American democratic process has been rocked by a bombshell revelation by Donald Trump Jr., the firstborn son of the most controversial President the United States has ever seen.
Even the Watergate-Nixon and Iran-Contra-Reagan political scandals cannot approximate the sordid levels being witnessed by American voters in July 2017. It all started on July 10 with a report published by The New York Times about a 2016 meeting between Trump Jr. and a Russian attorney who promised information that would be detrimental to the Hillary Clinton campaign and helpful to Donald Trump.
The meeting was facilitated by Robert Goldstone, an entertainment promoter who met the Trumps in 2013 when the Miss Universe pageant, which was once owned by Donald Trump, was held in Moscow. It is interesting to note that Trump sold off the beauty pageant shortly after he entered the US presidential race following low ratings due to pejorative and insulting comments he made against the people of Mexico. One of Goldstone’s clients is Emin Agalarov, a talented and successful Russian pop singer whose family has business ties to the Trump family as well as to the Kremlin.
Agalarov and Goldstone learned about information could have been potentially damaging to the Clinton campaign. The source of the information was a lawyer who has done work for the Kremlin. Trump Jr. jumped at the chance and agreed to the meeting, which was attended by campaign manager Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law and current White House official.
Prior to The New York Times initial article, Trump Jr. admitted to another American news bureau that he agreed to the meeting because he believed that political opposition research would be discussed. On July 11, however, Trump Jr. actually published the entire email chain between himself and Goldstone on this matter. Just like his father would have done, Trump Jr. took to Twitter to incriminate himself and admit that he was excited to learn about Russian information collected as part of the Kremlin’s support for the Trump campaign.
Although the Trumps have long denied having any connections to Russia, various investigations by The New York Times and The Washington Post have suggested otherwise. Thus far, all the individuals suspected to have had suspicious or inappropriate contact with Russians connected to the Kremlin have denied the accusations; the Trump Jr. revelation is only the latest in this regard, but it has also been the clumsiest.
Donald Trump Jr. has offered to provide testimony under oath about the aforementioned incident, which is something that Congressional committees handling this sordid state of affairs are very interested in. There is a chance that Trump Jr. may get in trouble, but things are looking worse for his father, Kushner and Manafort, to say the least. Retired General Michael Flynn is also implicated in this scandal, and his case is not being helped by this latest revelation.
As expected, news media outlets are receiving plenty of anonymous tips and leaks from inside the White House, and an image of deep consternation is emerging. There is a good chance that the FBI is paying very close attention to all of this since the agency is conducting a criminal investigation. At this point, anything is possible.
One question in the minds of many Americans is related to what their President may do now that two family members could possibly face criminal charges; certainly Kushner, and to a lesser extent his firstborn son. Will President Trump try to steer the investigation to himself so that his son and son-in-law do not have to face harsh punishment? It remains to be seen how this saga will continue to unfold in the coming weeks.