Donald Trump Jr. Releases Emails About Meeting With Russians, Sen. Tim Kaine Already Suggesting ‘Treason’

Donald Trump Jr. Releases Emails About Meeting With Russians, Sen. Tim Kaine Already Suggesting ‘Treason’

Tuesday morning Donald Trump Jr. posted to Twitter what he says are copies of emails between him and a British aquaintance who offered Trump information he claimed was from the Russian government and potentially damaging to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

CNN’s Brian Stelter says Trump released the information to pre-empt a negative New York Times article published this morning quoting snippets from the emails between Trump Jr., a music publicist, and a Russian musician whose billionaire father is reportedly friends with Vladimir Putin. The latter worked with the Trump family on the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, held in Moscow. The Times report sources its aquisition of these personal emails to three unnamed sources.

The New York Times reports that, on June 9 of last year, Trump Jr., Donald Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort subsequently met with the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, in Trump Tower. President Trump has claimed he didn’t know about this meeting, and the participants claim they discussed Russia’s ban on Americans adopting Russian orphans, not the presidential campaign or Hillary Clinton.

Nevertheless, Democrats have begun to smell blood on their long-train-coming Russia story. Sen. Tim Kaine, Clinton’s 2016 running mate, even raised the possibility of discovering “treason.”

“Nothing is proven yet,” Kaine told CNN. “We are now beyond obstruction of justice in terms of what’s being investigated. This is moving into perjury, false statements and even potentially treason.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Comittee, told MSNBC the existence of the meeting could have been used by Russians as essentially blackmail (“kompromat“)against the Trump administration and family.

“The most critical thing is do the Russians have any information that they can hold over the head of the administration to influence U.S. policy,” he told Yahoo’s Bianna Golodryga. “That could take the form of meetings they know took place, offers to give help they know took place, it could take the form of if they engaged in money laundering with the Trump organization, I’m not saying that happened, but if it did.”

The heightening reaction here oddly contrasts with limp reactions to Politico’s January story that the Clinton campaign held precisely parallel kinds of meetings with Ukranians offering opposition research on Trump and his associates, as Peter Hasson points out at The Daily Caller.

A veteran DNC operative who previously worked in the Clinton White House, Alexandra Chalupa, worked with Ukrainian government officials and journalists from both Ukraine and America to dig up Russia-related opposition research on Trump and Manafort. She also shared her anti-Trump research with both the DNC and the Clinton campaign, according to the Politico report.

Chalupa met with Ukrainian ambassador Valeriy Chaly and one of his aides, Oksara Shulyar, at the Ukrainian Embassy in March 2016 to talk about unearthing Paul Manafort’s Russian connections, Chalupa admitted to Politico.

If it wasn’t a horrific crime when the Democratic National Committee and former Clinton White House officials did this exact same thing with Ukraine, why is it a horrific crime now?

Photo screengrab/cnn
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