Robert Mueller’s special counsel is supposedly set to wrap up. The counsel (and FBI counterintelligence investigation that preceded it) has resulted in convictions, but not a single one of them relates to “Russian collusion.” Now, sources are speculating that Donald Trump Jr. could be indicted.
According to Vanity Fair:
In recent days, according to three sources, Don Jr. has been telling friends he is worried about being indicted as early as this week. One person close to Don Jr. speculated that Mueller could indict him for making false statements to Congress and the F.B.I. about whether he had told his father about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians to gather “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. This source had heard that the case could revolve around Trump’s former deputy campaign chairman, Rick Gates, who’s cooperating with Mueller and who was deeply involved in the campaign at the time of the meeting.
The Trump Tower setup is at the heart of the worry
The Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya was a setup to give the appearance of Russian collusion. Veselnitskaya was working with Fusion GPS (the firm behind the anti-Trump dossier) at the time of her meeting with Trump Jr. In other words, Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer, was working with the firm trying to “prove” Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, by setting up a meeting with Donald Trump’s son. Seem suspicious? Additionally, Veselnitskaya met with Fusion’s co-founder Glenn Simpson the day of, and the day after the Trump Tower meeting. What could they have possibly discussed, if not trying to entrap Trump Jr.?
Veselnitskaya was accompanied to the meeting with a few men, one of whom was translator Rinat Akhmetshion, a former Russian spy who also worked for the Clinton State Department. While Veselnitskaya promised dirt on Hillary Clinton, she didn’t provide any, and Trump Jr. didn’t inquire further and ended their meeting early.
What would Trump Jr. be charged with?
While Trump Jr.’s lawyer denies the rumors, if Trump Jr. were to be charged with making false statements, he wouldn’t be the only one. Two of the Trump campaign members that were indicted by Mueller or the FBI (George Papadapoulos and Michael Flynn) weren’t actually indicted for collusion, they were indicted by making false statements to investigators about non-existent collusion.
And in this case, it’s not clear that Trump Jr. did make any false statements. If there was something illegal about the meeting itself, Trump Jr. would’ve found himself in trouble long ago.
Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2018
Worst case scenario, I think it can safely be predicted that Trump Jr. would receive a Presidential pardon if convicted regardless.