David Corn at Mother Jones writes—Why the Bombshell Trump Letter Could Be a Big Problem for Donald Trump Jr.
On Saturday afternoon, the New York Times revealed a 20-page private letter that President Donald Trump’s lawyers had sent special counsel Robert Mueller in January in which they contended that it was impossible for Trump to commit obstruction of justice because he, as president, has authority over all federal investigations and the power to do whatever he wants with them. The letter is a brazen declaration of executive power, and legal experts immediately challenged its premises and assertions. The missive also raised a possible problem for Donald Trump Jr.: it suggested he had not told Congress the whole truth—and might have even misled the body—regarding the cover story he put out when it was revealed that during the campaign he, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort had met with a Russian emissary after being told she would share with them dirt on Hillary Clinton, as part of a Kremlin operation to help Trump.
At issue is the statement that Trump Jr. released, when news broke last July of that June 9, 2016, meeting in Trump Tower between the senior Trump advisers and Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer supposedly dispatched by a Kremlin official. Trump Jr.’s first statement claimed the meeting had been about Russian adoption policy. (American adoptions of Russian children had been curtailed by Moscow in response to the implementation of the Magnitsky Act, which imposed sanctions on Russian officials suspected of human rights abuses.) That statement did not mention that the meeting had been set up by the Trump campaign in the expectation it would receive from Moscow negative information on Clinton. And Mueller’s investigation has been looking at the elder Trump’s involvement in concocting that cover story. Earlier this year, the Times reported that Trump had supervised the writing of the statement and had insisted that it claim that the meeting only was about Russian adoptions.
This is the first time Trump and his lawyers have conceded that he is responsible for this statement.
The letter from Trump’s lawyers goes further than the Times’s account—and confirms an earlier Washington Post report pegging Trump as the author of the statement. It states, “the President dictated a short but accurate response to the New York Times article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump, Jr.” Dictated—that means Trump devised that misleading statement. This is the first time Trump and his lawyers have conceded that he is responsible for the statement. The Times notes that previously “Trump’s advisers have tried to muddy this point, suggesting several people were involved, so the clarity of the sentence is striking.”
The sentence is also striking in that it undercuts the veracity of Trump Jr.’s testimony to Congress. […]
Speaking of delicious ironies, here’s another entry for that file. It looks like Clinton v. Jones might haunt the Republicans. You remember Clinton, right? That’s the Supreme Court decision that forced Pres. Clinton to testify under oath and in public in Paula Jones’ sexual harrassment case against him.
Well, now we learn that Veep Cheney’s Halliburton was engaged in financial shenanigans, improperly reporting over $100 million in profits while he was the company’s CEO. All under the watchful eye of Arthur Andersen.
Halliburton’s stock price has plummeted over the last year, and took another dive on this latest news. As is wont to happen in these cases, shareholders get together and sue the crap out of the company’s officers. And if Halliburton investors follow the rule, it looks like Cheney will have to testify in open court, under oath.