Tuesday Reads: Break Out the Popcorn. The Trump Crime Family is Going Down.

Good Morning!!

You’ve most likely seen the New York Times story that broke late last night. This morning another shoe dropped. Last night’s breaking news:

Trump Jr. Was Told in Email of Russian Effort to Aid Campaign.

WASHINGTON — Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy, according to three people with knowledge of the email.

The email to the younger Mr. Trump was sent by Rob Goldstone, a publicist and former British tabloid reporter who helped broker the June 2016 meeting. In a statement on Sunday, Mr. Trump acknowledged that he was interested in receiving damaging information about Mrs. Clinton, but gave no indication that he thought the lawyer might have been a Kremlin proxy.

Mr. Goldstone’s message, as described to The New York Times by the three people, indicates that the Russian government was the source of the potentially damaging information. It does not elaborate on the wider effort by Moscow to help the Trump campaign.

This morning’s update: The NYT now has the email, and it’s as bad as we suspected:

Russian Dirt on Clinton? ‘I Love It,’ Donald Trump Jr. Said.

The June 3, 2016, email sent to Donald Trump Jr. could hardly have been more explicit: One of his father’s former Russian business partners had been contacted by a senior Russian government official and was offering to provide the Trump campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” read the email, written by a trusted intermediary, who added, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

If the future president’s elder son was surprised or disturbed by the provenance of the promised material — or the notion that it was part of an ongoing effort by the Russian government to aid his father’s campaign — he gave no indication.

He replied within minutes: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”

Four days later, after a flurry of emails, the intermediary wrote back, proposing a meeting in New York on Thursday with a “Russian government attorney.”

Donald Trump Jr. agreed, adding that he would likely bring along “Paul Manafort (campaign boss)” and “my brother-in-law,” Jared Kushner, now one of the president’s closest White House advisers.

Read the rest at the NYT link above.

If this isn’t the smoking gun, what would be?

Two more stories to check out at the Times:

How a Pageant Led to a Trump Son’s Meeting With a Russian Lawyer.

How Trump’s ‘Miss Universe’ in Russia Became Ensnared in a Political Inquiry.

It’s amazing how many journalists and TV commentators are still questioning whether the Trump folks actually committed crimes. The Trump crime family is completely screwed. The only question is how long it will take for Mueller to take them down.

Some Twitter reactions:

On the legal issues:

 On the legal issues:

Politico: Donald Trump Jr. in legal danger for Russia meeting about Clinton dirt.

Democratic and Republican lawyers and political operatives alike say explanations about the June 2016 meeting from President Donald Trump’s oldest son are way out of step with common campaign practices when dealing with offers for opposition research.

But perhaps far more important, his statements put him potentially in legal cross hairs for violating federal criminal statutes prohibiting solicitation or acceptance of anything of value from a foreign national, as well as a conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Politically, by discussing such a sensitive topic that could prove embarrassing if revealed, Trump Jr. and the other Trump campaign officials in the room for the meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, including Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, may have also exposed themselves to future blackmail threats, the legal experts said.

Those potential troubles deepened Monday night with a fresh New York Times report alleging that Trump Jr. was sent an email before his meeting with Veselnitskaya indicating the information she had was part of a Russian plan to boost his father in the race against Clinton.

Don Jr. has lawyered up.

Trump Jr. has hired New York criminal defense attorney Alan Futerfas as his personal attorney for Russia-related matters, Futerfas told POLITICO. On Monday, the president’s son sought to quell the political firestorm by criticizing media coverage about it and insisting that what he did was not unusual for someone in the midst of a presidential campaign. He also emphasized that the meeting “went nowhere.”

On Monday night, Futerfas responded to the most recent report saying it was “much ado about nothing” and adding that “the bottom line” is that Trump Jr. did “nothing wrong.” ….

But legal experts of both political parties say his explanations may not fly if he’s questioned under oath by Congress or Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating potential Trump campaign collusion with Russia — and where perjury and making false statements carry legal consequences that don’t exist when engaging with reporters or on social media.

“I don’t think that is an out,” said Robert Bauer, a former White House counsel under President Barack Obama and the Democrat’s 2008 campaign attorney. “If they accept the meeting on the understanding that they will be offered something of value — the opposition research — they are sending a clear signal that they would like to have it.”

More legal opinions at the link.

The Washington Post: The latest Russia revelations lay the groundwork for a conspiracy case.

Collusion is usually defined as a secret agreement to do something improper. In the criminal-law world, we call that conspiracy. If unlawful collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian nationals did take place, criminal conspiracy would be one of the most likely charges.

A conspiracy is a partnership in crime. The federal conspiracy statute prohibits conspiracies to defraud the United States, which includes conspiracies to impede the lawful functions of the federal government — such as administering a presidential election.

Conspiracy also prohibits agreements to commit another federal crime. This would include an agreement to violate the laws against hacking into someone else’s computer, or to violate federal election laws.

Conspiracies, by their nature, take place in secret. To break through that secrecy, prosecutors often rely on circumstantial evidence. The classic trial lawyer’s metaphor is that each such piece of evidence is a brick. No single event standing alone may prove the case. But when assembled together, those individual bricks may build a wall — a big, beautiful wall — that excludes any reasonable doubt about what happened.

That’s why this latest news is a big deal. The meeting helps establish a few critical facts. The first is simply that contacts between Russians and campaign officials did take place. If you are seeking to prove a criminal partnership, evidence that the alleged partners had private meetings establishes the opportunity to reach an agreement.

Read more at the WaPo.

Also note that Congressional investigators know a lot more than what has been publicly released. The Hill: Top Intel Dem warns Trump Jr.: We have more intel than what public knows.

Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said the committee has much more information about the ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election than what has been reported publicly.

“There’s an awful lot more [intelligence] than that’s even in the public domain,” Schiff said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

One more and then I’m going to post this so we can use it as a live blog.

Joan McCarter at DailyKos: What did Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell know about Trump/Russia collusion and when did they know it?

While the clear evidence that the Trump campaign knowingly colluded with the Russian government to win the 2016 election unfolds, don’t forget that this did not happen in a vacuum. Don’t forget that congressional leadership knew in 2015 that Russia was trying to hack the Democratic party.

Don’t forget that the CIA was giving confidential briefings to leadership with information “indicating that Russia was working to help elect Donald J. Trump president, a finding that did not emerge publicly until after Mr. Trump’s victory months later, former government officials say.”

The classified briefings that the C.I.A. held in August and September for the so-called Gang of Eight—the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and the Senate and of the intelligence committees in each chamber—show deep concerns about the impact of the election meddling.In the briefings, the C.I.A. said there was intelligence indicating not only that the Russians were trying to get Mr. Trump elected but that they had gained computer access to multiple state and local election boards in the United States since 2014, officials said.

Here’s what CIA chief John Brennan told then Democratic leader Sen. Harry Reid in a private, classified briefing: “Russia’s hackings appeared aimed at helping Mr. Trump win the November election,” and that “unnamed advisers to Mr. Trump might be working with the Russians to interfere in the election.” It’s too incredible to believe that House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not get that same briefing, did not know that the CIA had solid enough intelligence that the Russians could possibly be in the Trump campaign, trying to influence the outcome of the election.

In September, intelligence officials had a secret meeting with the Gang of 12—including the House and Senate leaders and the chairmen and ranking members of both chambers’ committees on intelligence and homeland security. That meeting was intended to get leadership behind a “show of solidarity and bipartisan unity” publicly condemning Russia for interference.

As we all know, Mitch McConnell blocked the release of this damning information to the public.

What are you reading and hearing? Please update us in the comment thread, and keep lots of popcorn on hand!

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53 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: Break Out the Popcorn. The Trump Crime Family is Going Down.”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

    • Pat Johnson says:

      QUESTION: Who is the leaker? Has to be somebody with access to Oval Office since most of this stuff leads right back to all the principles.

      Either a “true patriot” or someone with a real axe to grind.

      • Pilgrim says:

        David Frum hinted that it could be Jared K, seeking to sabotage rival and putting a hole in his own life-boat in the process. They call Jr. “Fredo,” but the whole passel of them seem like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

        • NW Luna says:

          And they don’t care. They’re so used to be rich corporate thugs whose words are obeyed by lackeys that they can’t conceive of consequences for their actions.

          • dakinikat says:

            It’s like they’re flummoxed that their modus operandi is flying and they don’t understand why every one seems shocked by it.

      • bostonboomer says:

        It could be Bannon. He is supposedly still trying to bring Kushner down.

  2. NW Luna says:

    In the briefings, the C.I.A. said there was intelligence indicating not only that the Russians were trying to get Mr. Trump elected but that they had gained computer access to multiple state and local election boards in the United States since 2014

    Damn the GOP. And I’m not happy with the Dem leadership either. This should have been public. I’ll never believe it was a fair election.

    We. Were. Robbed.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Remember when Harry Reid tried to get it out by appealing to Comey? They can’t reveal top secret info that they hear in these briefings.

    • Fannie says:

      I was at the doctors yesterday and read Forbes: June 12, 1989:Cyber-Soviets article. Loaded with Brainpower, but no way to harness it. “Before Russia grew bold and sophisticated enough to hack a U.S. presidential election, the country’s affinity for computers was evident even amid the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the late 1980’s a growing group of entrepreneurial Russians ran computer focused cooperatives, the private enterprises introduced under perestroika. They resold used Western computers, distributed Microsoft software, and installed technology systems. They even wrote and marketed their own programs. Maxim Khomyakov, for instance, helped create an operating system called Chaos, a less than subtle poke at dysfunctional Soviet office life. It monitored the completions of paperwork and routine task and cost 50,000 rubles, or approximately $80,000 (roughly $160,000 in today’s money). “Computer hackers in the Western sense don’t exist in the Soviet Union. Yet there exists a sizeable but indeterminate community of free spirits, concluded Forbes’ Esther Dyson, daughter of noted English physicist Freeman Dyson, and editor of Release 1.0, an influential newsletter on the emerging computer industry. “While the Soviets may lack the ability to use computer technology effectively, they are rich in fundamental……intelligence.” Three decades later, it appears the hackers, not the entrepreneurs, reign supreme.

  3. dakinikat says:

    They are in a world of their own. Talk about inbred hillbillies!

  4. NW Luna says:

    Dynamite post, BB. Great job of laying out all the damaging info and its implications.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks.

      • Fannie says:

        Ditto, and I keep thinking about the guy from Australia who had recently pointed out how far the U.S.A. has fallen as the world leader! It’s struck me like a ton of bricks.

  5. NW Luna says:

    !!??!

  6. NW Luna says:

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Boston Globe:

    Iranian cancer researcher detained at Logan Airport.

    A prominent Iranian cancer researcher traveling to Massachusetts to work at Boston Children’s Hospital has been detained at Logan International Airport along with his wife and children, according to the hospital.

    The detention of Dr. Mohsen Dehnavi, who holds a visiting work visa that was issued in May, comes two weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration could largely enforce an executive order that would ban people from six Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, from entering the US. The court also ruled that the ban couldn’t apply to visitors who already held valid visas. STAT, a science publication of the Boston Globe, first reported the detention….

    Dehnavi was traveling to the United States on a J-1 visa, which is issued to researchers and other academics who are participating in visiting scholar programs, according to the STAT report. It’s not clear why Dehnavi and his family are being detained, the hospital said.

  8. NW Luna says:

    JJ, thinking of you and your mother today and sending love over thousands of miles.

    • quixote says:

      Me too. That’s why I’m actually here today. Hoping for good news about your Ma, JJ. All the gods there are give you strength. And her.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Me too.

        • Sweet Sue says:

          Right. I wonder if that failure is making Obama slightly nauseous like it did Comey.

          • NW Luna says:

            This will rank as his greatest failure.

          • Sweet Sue says:

            Clearly, this is where I meant to reply and I wasn’t even sipping my chardonnay!

          • NW Luna says:

            Sue, I just saw your comment and replied! Neither of us meant to nest comments here. Stress and excitement over more treason evidence has muddled our brains.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Thank you all. It was an exhausting day. After getting to the hospital and all ready for surgery…IV etc , the surgeon comes in to say that the hospital has not been able to locate any blood for my mom in the entire state of Georgia.

        I guess my mom has so many rare antibodies that she built up over the last time she got a blood transfusion…but he said that the benefits from the surgery did not outweigh the risk. He did not want to chance it…with her health history and liver issues. Also with her diminished blood making problems brought on by her bad reaction to the chemotherapy.

        If the surgery involved something like a blockage, that was immediately life threatening…then yes, the risk is warranted because she is going to die without the surgery. Dr said that there would be no reason to try again later on…my mom’s blood is so rare.

        Anyway, after all that, at 3am my dad had to take her to the ER at our local hospital because she was having such terrible pain. ER says she has a “pinched nerve” gave her some muscle relaxers and she is feeling much better.

        I don’t know. Let’s have one 24 hour period without a crisis….please. Lol

  9. quixote says:

    “The only question is how long it will take for Mueller to take them down.”

    Well, that and how much damage the First Crime Family will do while they still hold the reins of power while going down. These are the people who don’t care what gets crushed so long as they get something out of it.

    And this:
    “Mitch McConnell blocked the release of this damning information to the public.”

    I don’t think he has any actual veto power for that kind of thing, does he? He just said he’d call Obama nasty partisan names if Obama exercised his power to declassify the evidence. Or did I miss something? (Serious question. I easily could have.)

    • bostonboomer says:

      Right. Obama should have gone ahead and released it.

    • joanelle says:

      How much did McConnell and Ryan know, how deep does these treasonous acts go in the Republican Party?
      What can and will be done to right this train wreck?

  10. dakinikat says:

  11. dakinikat says:

    TRUMP JR.’S RESPONSE TO OFFER FOR RUSSIAN INFO ON CLINTON? “I LOVE IT”
    As the story changes, so does Trump’s.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/07/donald-trump-jr-russia-meeting

    lots of links and documents …

  12. RonStill4Hills says:

    I really think that Il Douchebag Jr got caught in a Vladimir Putin blackmail sting. Win or lose Putin would have evidence of the Trumps in a criminal conspiracy. The wording of the emails is so fcking awkward. It is obviously pulling them further and further out on a limb. They may as well say, “Would you be liking to crime with us, dah?” Super double bonus Putin’s interference put Trumpkin in office and he can blackmail him on sanctions, policy and abdication of world leadership AND also slowly destroy the government from the inside out by exposing the treason little by little. Master stroke by Vlad the Impeacher (at least I hope he earns that name). Putin has earned a spot on the Russian Mount Rushmore.

  13. Sweet Sue says:

    So, yesterday I watched “Morning Joe” for the first time and was pleased to see them go after the Trump Crime Family, although I’m fully aware of how much free air time the insufferable Scarborough Unfair and his mistress gave to the Orangutan.
    Well, today, they were all back to bashing Hillary as the “least effectual and worst candidate in modern history. Yeah, so ineffectual that she won the popular vote by three million ballots. And what is asshole Mike Barnicle’s problem?
    So, no more intern killer for me. When will I ever learn?

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’ve tried to watch them a few times lately. I just can’t stomach Scarborough.

    • Enheduanna says:

      Mika and Joe represent all the worst aspects of cable news – I never watch that show. MSNBC during the day is just Fox Lite. Apparently Joe has quit the Republican Party and is now an Independent! He’ll never wash away his part in ushering in this administration. Ever.

  14. joanelle says:

    I saw a brief article that asked how much trouble is Trump jr really in. It then went on to say: “Federal campaign finance law makes it a crime to “knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation … or other thing of value.” hmmm, well it appears that baby trump knowingly solicited, was willing to ‘accept and receive’ information that he perceived as valuable.
    Off to your own private 6×8 space, kiddo!

    • Enheduanna says:

      I’m skeptical they’ll bring any of these traitors to justice. Unless Congress wants – and they don’t.

  15. Minkoff Minx says:

    Love the popcorn visuals.

    Look at this find:

    And just who is Ivanka looking up at?

  16. joanelle says:

    How long are Republicans going to let the total destruction of their Party continue and when will the Democrats stand up and say ENOUGH!
    The Rs have no one who can be believed and clear thinking Americans have little to no trust in the three bodies of our government. How much more are they going to burden us with? How much more are we going to take?