Why that Trump Tower meeting now looks like conspiracy with the Kremlin
This afternoon’s New York Times scoop makes the meeting between Russian spies and members of the Trump presidential campaign — Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul J. Manafort, and possibly Donald Trump himself in person or by phone — well, there are two takeaways, the first being that the meeting looks increasingly conspiratorial and felonious.
Natalia V. Veselnitskaya arrived at a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 hoping to interest top Trump campaign officials in the contents of a memo she believed contained information damaging to the Democratic Party and, by extension, Hillary Clinton. The material was the fruit of her research as a private lawyer, she has repeatedly said, and any suggestion that she was acting at the Kremlin’s behest that day is anti-Russia “hysteria.”
But interviews and records show that in the months before the meeting, Ms. Veselnitskaya had discussed the allegations with one of Russia’s most powerful officials, the prosecutor general, Yuri Y. Chaika. And the memo she brought with her closely followed a document that Mr. Chaika’s office had given to an American congressman two months earlier, incorporating some paragraphs verbatim. The coordination between the Trump Tower visitor and the Russian prosecutor general … suggests that emails from an intermediary to the younger Mr. Trump promising that Ms. Veselnitskaya would arrive with information from Russian prosecutors were rooted at least partly in fact — not mere “puffery,” as the president’s son later said.
Veselnitskaya denied in a television interview on July 11th that she had any connection with the Russians.
The second takeaway? Consider these factors:
- The sudden announcement of “investigations” into Hillary Clinton being pitched in the media this week by the likes of Trump ally Devin Nunes and pro-Trump stooge Trey Gowdy are both big nothingburgers. The “e-mail” and “uranium” distractions have been a dud — except among Trump’s deplorable true believers.
- Several pundits and journos are getting a strong impression that Robert Mueller is preparing to make a big prosecutorial move before Thanksgiving. And his shop has been locked down when it comes to leaks.
The source for the Times scoop is either a highly-placed member of the intelligence community or a surrogate for same. And since Trump has occupied the Oval Office, these sort of “big boom” stories have preceded big Russiagate developments that have not been good news for Trump, his family, or his sycophants. So there is the second takeaway: a big move by Mueller is coming soon.
It may or may not coincide precisely with the failure of Congress to pass anything resembling “tax reform” (i.e. another huge, deficit-exploding tax giveback to the rich) — but once both of those happen, it is likely that you will see a large number of Republicans on Capitol Hill turn on Trump, dividing their caucus and possibly forcing Trump from office.