The defense was organized Wednesday at the White House after the revelations of a meeting last year between the eldest son of Donald Trump and a lawyer whom he thought was an emissary of the Russian government able to provide information on Hillary Clinton.
The Democrats accuse Donald Trump Jr., co-director of the family business, of accepting in the middle of the presidential campaign in June 2016 what was presented to him as an offer of information from the Russian power to help the Republican candidate to the White House. This would amount to an attempt to coordinate with Russia – even though the lawyer apparently did not have the information expected, and said she has nothing to do with the Kremlin.
A lawyer for the US president, Jay Sekulow, toured the televisions to hammer the central argument: this appointment was not illegal, and Donald Trump was not in the loop anyway.
“The meeting itself and what happened there does not violate the law. The president was not aware,” summarized the lawyer on ABC.
But the question of the legality of the meeting is distinct from that of many congressmen, Democrats, and Republicans: should Don Jr. have informed the American authorities of the strange proposal emanating from Russia?
The question was posted on Wednesday by a Republican to the man named FBI by Donald Trump, Christopher Wray, who – coincidentally – testified at a hearing.
“Any threat or attempt to interfere in our elections by any state or non-state actor is the type of thing that the FBI would like to be aware of,” he said unequivocally.
The future director of the FBI has also politely marked his independence by stating that the investigation of special prosecutor Robert Mueller on a possible connivance was not a “witch hunt”, the term used by the American president who considers himself a victim.
Donald Trump’s lawyer and conservative supporters used the second line of defense: they recalled that in 2016 a consultant from the Democratic Party had been in contact with Ukrainian officials as part of her research on the Former campaign director of Donald Trump, Paul Manafort.
“Why not apply the same standards to the Democrats.” Look at what Hillary Clinton was able to escape. Has tweeted Donald Trump, who also defended his son, “open, transparent and innocent.”
Paranoia at the White House
There are signs that the current crisis is more severe than the previous ones.
According to countless anonymous sources who shed light on the New York Times or the Washington Post, Donald Trump is furious that the Russian affair is gaining enormity and exasperation against his collaborators, especially because of repeated leaks, which tenfold The internal paranoia.
While he remained invisible since his return from the G20 on Saturday, reporters reported that he spent a lot of time in front of his television.
“The MB (White House) works perfectly well, concentrating on health, tax cuts, and many other things. I have very little time to watch TV,” he said.
He will fly on Wednesday to Paris, where he will participate in the ceremonies on 14 July.
On the merits, the meeting between Trump Junior and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya represents the most explicit element pointing towards a possible attempt to collude between the Trump camp and Russia.
It will be up to the official investigations to decide on the reality of these allegations. One is led by Robert Mueller, former director of the FBI. The other two main ones are conducted by the Intelligence Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
According to the McClatchy agency on Wednesday, these investigations are also closely related to the Trump campaign’s digital team, led by Jared Kushner, the son-in-law, and the president’s adviser, to determine whether it assisted the alleged Russian The campaign of disinformation and piracy targeting Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.
Like Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner participated in the famous meeting with Russian lawyer, even if it was only for a few minutes, according to his brother-in-law.