Lock ‘em both up?
That’s the only choice the FBI will have if they choose to pursue charges against Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort for their meeting with a Russian lawyer last summer, because what they did is hardly any worse than what allies of the Hillary Clinton campaign did in their search for dirt on Donald Trump. The media is eager to brush away the comparisons, but we’re sorry: The facts are the facts. As anyone who lived through it knows, the 2016 election made the term “dirty politics” almost meaningless. It was a trip through the mud, around again, and back through it. So for anyone on the Clinton side to sit there and pretend like they wouldn’t have RACED to a meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised compromising DJT info is about as silly as it gets.
We’re not saying that Trump & Co. are in the clear. The optics are about as bad as they can be, and it’s still to be determined if the president’s son actually got any information out of Natalia Veselnitskaya. If the waters get any hotter, the story could change. But assuming we’ve already seen the worst of it, what Trump Jr. did is certainly not up to the level of foreign collusion we saw when Alexandra Chalupa teamed up with Ukraine officials last year.
Politico reported in January that Chalupa – a former Clinton White House operative – met with Ukrainian government officials and journalists in March of 2016 in an attempt to dig up dirt on Trump and Manafort. And unlike what we know about Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Russian lawyer, Chalupa’s fact-finding expedition bore fruit. In her meetings with the Ukrainian ambassador, she found out plenty of info on Manafort’s connections to pro-Russian entities within the country – information she took back home to share with the DNC and the Clinton campaign. We don’t recall either the Clintons nor Debbie Wasserman Schultz running to the FBI with this information. No, they seem to have put it into their oppo research file as if they’d done nothing wrong whatsoever.
And that’s fine. What else do we really expect? You didn’t see conservative media bouncing off the walls when this report came out in January because it’s nothing. To call it treason is to essentially make a mockery of the term. And the only reason that word is being bandied about when it comes to Trump is because the Russians hacked the DNC. But until they can come up with the slightest shred of evidence connecting Trump to the hack, the Democrats and the media would be wise to be careful with their phrasing. They might wind up casting the light of suspicion in some areas they would rather keep dark.