Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Donald Trump Jr. Releases Emails Proving Russian Collusion

Wow! I guess I was wrong, huh?

As it turns out, there really is something to this whole Russian collusion thing. The proof is in the pudding, and the apparently foolish, and only somewhat young Donald Trump Jr. fully released emails that prove that, indeed, there was not only contact between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, but they actively worked together to discredit and cripple Hillary Clinton and her campaign for the White House. 

Now, again, I will reiterate a few things. First of all, this was not Russia hacking the election results, which is not a minor point. They got involved, and really, more than they should have done. That much is true. 

However, there are a couple of points on that. They did not hack the actual election, did not somehow get in the computers and give Trump more votes, or Clinton less votes, than either of those candidates actually received. The perception that a lot of people had was that the Russians had actually actively somehow gotten into the actual poll stations, or counting the votes, and that never happened.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, this is not the reason that Hillary Clinton lost, no matter what mainstream Democrats and their sympathizers say. Clinton was the most unpopular major party candidate nominated for the presidency in history. Not second most unpopular (which is most likely Trump himself), and not third. She was the most disliked major party presidential candidate in history, and that really is saying something! Plus, none of that was a secret, or anything. The polls all told that story well ahead of Election Day in November. In fact, they revealed that from before Clinton even officially clinched the Democratic nomination. Bernie Sanders tried to warn the Democrats, and so did many others. But they did not listen, and they paid the price for it, and ever since, they have been trying to shirk their own role in losing that election. But the truth is that she lost because she is so despised and distrusted, and with good reason. Indeed, there may have been collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign, but Hillary Clinton would likely have lost anyway, because she had her own shady deals with major healthcare industry players and "too big to fail" Wall Street firms that clearly seemed to take precedence over any official campaign promises that she had.

Now, although I obviously have to admit that I was mistaken that there was really nothing to this story, I still maintain that Democrats really cannot use it as an excuse for Hillary's loss to Trump in November. That is exactly what they have been doing, as they also were conveniently pointing fingers anywhere and everywhere but themselves ever since. They have blamed the Russians, and they have blamed James Comey, despite championing his cause moments after Trump fired him earlier this year. They have blamed Bernie Sanders and his supporters, and they have blamed Jill Stein and her supporters. They have blamed racism and misogyny in the United States today, for that matter.

But during all of that time when they were pointing fingers elsewhere, at no time did they stop to think about taking responsibility, and blaming themselves for forcing Clinton on all of us as their official nominee. At no point did they apologize or even acknowledge the possibility that she was disliked and distrusted with good reason, and that more generally, the Democrats are equally despised and distrusted, having lost their former roots as advocates for the working class in the United States.

So, while I acknowledge that Russia clearly was interfering with the 2016 American presidential election, I still maintain that Russia was not the reason for Clinton's loss. Furthermore, I would remind Americans that the United States itself has interfered numerous times in elections and, more generally, in the affairs of other sovereign nations, and never held themselves to task, never owned up to their own negative role. In other words, stop whining! It is not becoming of the "great nation" status that Americans always relentlessly claim.

With all of that said, the release of these emails has provided proof positive that, indeed, the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the election, which means that Russia did indeed interfere with this past election.

To his credit, Donald Trump Jr. released these voluntarily (and it is about the only thing that I know of where I can credit Donald Trump Jr. of anything). In a statement, he said that he was releasing every email regarding a meeting held between himself and two other top Trump campaign figures, including Rob Goldstone and a Russian attorney, Emin Agalarov, at Trump Tower in Manhattan:

“To everyone, in order to be totally transparent, I am releasing the entire email chain of my emails. I first wanted to just have a phone call but when that didn’t work out, they said the woman would be in New York and asked if I would meet.”

Trump expresses some mild regret, admitting to FOX News's Sean Hannity in an interview that “in retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently.”

Was it perhaps not so bad after all?

Well, it was pretty damning, actually.

According to Mr. Goldstone, Russian officials made clear that these documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.”

Mr. Goldstone added:

“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

Mr. Goldstone made it abundantly clear that not only would these documents be extremely valuable in compromising Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, but that they were from Russia, specifically. Mr. Goldstone wrote in the email to Trump Jr.:

“Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting. The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.”

Mr. Goldstone then asked Trump Jr. through an email:

“What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?”

Within minutes of receiving the possibility of receiving all of this incriminating information , Trump Jr. replied:

“If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”

Not much later, Trump Jr. wrote another note to Mr. Goldstone, thanking him:

“Rob thanks for the help. D.”  

The next day, Mr. Goldstone sent a follow-up email:

“Don Hope all is well Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and The Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday. I believe you are aware of this meeting — and so wondered if 3pm or later on Thursday works for you?”

And shortly after that, he got a response from a "Russian government attorney."

This Russian attorney was sitting with very high ranking members of the Trump campaign at Trump Tower in Manhattan, the de facto campaign headquarters of the Trump campaign.

So, who is Emin Agalarov, the man that these top Trump campaign officials met with? He is a real estate tycoon who has at times been known as the Donald Trump of Russia. A recent article in The New York Times summed him up, and his significance to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign quite well (see link below):

The elder Mr. Agalarov boasts close ties to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia: His company has won several large state building contracts, and Mr. Putin awarded him the Order of Honor of the Russian Federation.  

Mr. Agalarov joined with the elder Mr. Trump to bring the Miss Universe contest to Moscow in 2013, and the Trump and Agalarov families grew relatively close.

So, there you have it. Trump Jr. is, of course, denying the significance of all of this, suggesting that it really is no big deal.

However, it is a bigger deal than anyone in the Trump administration, or prominent members of the Trump campaign, will obviously admit to. It is indeed proof that there was indeed collusion, and makes Trump's firings of people in position to investigate him and members of his campaign and administration earlier this year seem very suspicious indeed.

It is indeed incriminating. The question is, though, will Republicans hold Trump to task for all of this? We know that Democrats want heads to roll in all of this, that they want Trump and whoever else was involved to pay, and pay dearly. But the questions remain as to whether all of this can truly lead to impeachment and, furthermore, will Republicans take any of this seriously?

As this case shifts from looking for the smoking gun to finding more evidence, those are the questions that will remain unanswerable until time reveals them, much like time revealed that there was indeed collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, despite denials on both sides.

Let's see what happens next.

All of the quotes and specifics of this story were taken from this New York Times article, which I recommend anyone interested to take a closer look at:

Russian Dirt on Clinton? ‘I Love It,’ Donald Trump Jr. Said by JO BECKER, ADAM GOLDMAN and MATT APUZZOJULY 11, 2017:

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