Back in May, some 8 men were arrested in Fairfax, VA on various charges of computer solicitation; ranging from “attempted indecent exposure” to “attempted indecent liberties.” The men logged on to their computers in the hopes of making sexual advances on children. At no point was there ever any chance of them actually succeeding.
No children were ever in danger, no children were even part of the operation as “bait.” Officers posing online as children documented the interaction. The mere attempts by the would-be child predators to schedule a meeting were enough for violation of the law. And no, it’s not entrapment or a “set up.”
The crime was in the intent, the solicitation. Being easily duped is not a mitigating factor.
Just weeks ago, an 18-year-old Tucson man was arrested on conspiracy charges to commit terrorism. He simply took steps toward committing the unlawful (and unconscionable) act. Nowhere does it say that a conspiracy or coordinated attempt to engage in unlawful behavior must be successful to be in fact, illegal.
The crime was in the intent. Being an idiot is not a mitigating factor. Keep the word “idiot” front of mind for later reference.
Last month, a man was arrested for among other things, “intent to sell” cocaine. He had neither tried, nor succeeded. Nonetheless, he was charged with “intent.”
Donald Trump Jr. arguing that his meeting with a Russian lawyer did not pan out with “dirt” promised is immaterial. It does not matter if he was duped or that Donald Trump Jr. is by most accounts an idiot for enthusiastically engaging the Russian lawyer last year and posting the emails yesterday.
The intent was clear and inarguable. His goal was to obtain “valuable” information from whom he believed was acting in concert with the Russian government.
Federal law makes it a crime for any person to “solicit, accept or receive” a contribution or “anything of value” from a foreign person for a U.S. political campaign or “for the purpose of influencing any election for federal office.”
“Solicit, accept or receive” “ANYTHING of value” “for the purpose of influencing ANY election for federal office.”
This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
If it’s what you say I love it,”
- Donald Trump Jr.’s emails dated June, 6, 2016
Federal election law violations of this nature are not dependent on the success or ignorance of the conspirator; only the intent, the solicitation. Let me cut to the chase. Donald Trump Jr. being an idiot is not a mitigating factor.
“the act of asking for or trying to obtain something from someone“
The solicitation is confirmed in the emails and consummated with the meeting which included Trump Jr., the campaign manager and the Digital Outreach manager/son-in-law of the candidate/president.
We’re supposed to believe that there was no illegal intent, but also no illegal exchanges of “Kompromat?” We’re supposed to believe that this meeting was important enough to include ALL of the aforementioned yet the candidate/president was NEVER looped in before, during or after, not even in passing?
Clearly Donald Trump Jr. was excited at the prospects and it was worth the time of arguably the three top advisers to Donald Trump Sr. We’re supposed to believe that this excitement never traveled outside the incompetent triumvirate of Mo, Jarry and Junior Trumpy?
You can, but I don’t. I won’t. This evidence is not only compelling, it is damning.
We’re supposed to believe that Donald Trump Jr. would not have told his own father, that Paul Manafort would not have had a single conversation with his boss and direct supervisor? They’re saying that Jared Kushner wouldn’t have mentioned this even in passing to his father-in-law and employer? He wouldn’t have mentioned it to wife and presidential stand-in for the G20?
I don’t, not even for a little bit. The emails are clear.
Nobody who has worked on a campaign or sat in on a daily campaign strategy session would believe this either.
And for the obligatory “But Hillary” response…let me offer a brief reminder. Hillary Clinton testified for 11 hours before Congress under oath. Hillary Clinton was interviewed by the FBI. Hillary Clinton as a result is not president.
Before any comparison is made to Clinton, be sure we’re at least on the other side of Donald Trump Sr. (not junior) having testified and interviewed under oath. Have him/them navigate those minefields and deal with the public and legal consequences of such before making direct comparisons.
Fair is fair. But I digress.
What saddens me most about the past few months is that our national discourse has gone from “there’s zero evidence of collusion” to “Well, collusion with Russia isn’t illegal.” We’ve gone from “this is a witch hunt” to “Well, black magic isn’t really all that bad when you think about it.”
“But Bill Clinton…”
Bill was impeached and he too was forced to testify under oath. Be careful with the careless comparisons, unless you believe the same President Trump who does not engage in press conferences won’t also wilt under direct examination.
We made this sliding-scale, grading on a curve transformation all while the Trump administration changed the story daily, without a hint of self-critique. From the President, to the Vice President, to his most senior advisors and cabinet members including the Attorney General; all lied about their level of contact with Russian dignitaries and operatives during the campaign season and subsequent confirmations.
FLASHBACK: Mike Pence January 2017.
Q: Did any Trump campaign member have contact with the Russians?
Pence: “Of course not.” pic.twitter.com/uSgQMkpydv
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 9, 2017
What saddens me most is that as of right now, way too many Americans are either okay with these truths and/or simply lack the political courage to do the right thing.
Do you think in the brazen, arrogance of Donald Trump, Jr. that this is the only solicitation on record to work in concert with the Russian government to assist the Trump campaign/administration?
Let me put it another way. When the rest of the corroborating information comes out, this country will have earned every bad consequence which comes from it. Donald Trump Jr. told us in no uncertain terms of his intentions to conspire with a foreign government for the express purpose of tilting a federal election in his father’s favor.
For as idiotic as it was to personally post the emails, it’s not half as idiotic as those who refuse to take him at his emailed word.