As Jerry Seinfeld might say, “what’s the deal with Charles Krauthammer?” Yesterday, we noted that Krauthammer defended the hospital—and socialized medicine—in Britain’s “Charlie Gard” case, in which Donald Trump is on the other side, relating to the terminally ill baby. Now the conservative Fox News contributor has come out against “Junior.”
It’s in a New York Post story.
The Russia scandal has entered a new phase and there’s no going back.
For six months, the White House claimed that this scandal was nothing more than innuendo about Trump campaign collusion with Russia in meddling in the 2016 election. Innuendo for which no concrete evidence had been produced.
Yes, there were several meetings with Russian officials, some only belatedly disclosed. But that is circumstantial evidence at best. Meetings tell you nothing unless you know what happened in them. We didn’t. Some of these were casual encounters in large groups like the famous July 2016 Kislyak-Sessions exchange of pleasantries at the Republican National Convention. Big deal.
I was puzzled. Lots of cover-up, but where was the crime? Not even a third-rate burglary. For six months, smoke without fire. Yes, President Trump himself was acting very defensively, as if he were hiding something. But no one ever produced the something.
My view was: Collusion? I just don’t see it. But I’m open to empirical evidence. Show me.
That has been the conservative stance. Most are clinging to the view that there’s “no there, there.” But not Krauthammer.
The evidence is now shown. This is not hearsay, not fake news, not unsourced leaks. This is an email chain released by Donald Trump Jr. himself. . .
Donald Jr. emails back. “I love it.” Fatal words. Once you’ve said “I’m in,” it makes no difference that the meeting was a bust, that the intermediary brought no such goods. . .
“It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame,” Donald Jr. told Sean Hannity.
A shame? On the contrary, a stroke of luck. Had the lawyer real stuff to deliver, Donald Jr. and the others would be in far deeper legal trouble. It turned out to be incompetent collusion, amateur collusion, comically failed collusion. That does not erase the fact that three top Trump campaign officials were ready to play.
I have said elsewhere that Donald Trump is too slick to be caught. He says little to nothing of substance, and when he does, it’s couched in such weaselly language that it’s not actionable. Not so with Junior. He released the whole damning chain of emails.
One might say that it was smart—getting out ahead of the New York Times report. But it’s just the opposite. If Junior had remained silent, people would have questioned if the emails were fake, if they were doctored, how the Times got them, and a lot of other questions that would have muddied the issue.
Instead, Junior hands over the actual emails, in which he says ,”I love it,” after he’s told there’s “a Russian government effort to help Trump Sr. win the election, and as part of that effort he proposes a meeting with a ‘Russian government attorney’ possessing damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Moreover, the Kremlin is willing to share troves of incriminating documents from the. . .[Russian] State Prosecutor.”
Krauthammer goes on to criticize his compatriots.
It’s rather pathetic to hear Trump apologists protesting that it’s no big deal because we Americans are always intervening in other people’s elections, and they in ours. . .
This defense is pathetic for two reasons. First, have the Trumpites not been telling us for six months that no collusion ever happened? And now they say: Sure it happened. So what? Everyone does it.
What’s left of your credibility when you make such a casual about-face?
Second, no, not everyone does it. It’s one thing to be open to opposition research dug up in Indiana. But not dirt from Russia, a hostile foreign power.
Of course, Democrats are stupid, too. They’re jumping on the issue of the Russian meeting with fervor, according to the Washington Examiner.
Democratic politicians and bloggers, who haven’t given up on dreams of somehow ousting Trump from office and who are eager as always to delegitimize his presidency. . .have argued that attendance at the meeting violates a federal criminal statute prohibiting foreigners from giving “money or other things of value” to a federal or state campaign. . .
Senator Tim Kaine, D-Va., who until the evening of last November 8 had reason to believe he would soon be vice president, goes farther. “We’re now beyond obstruction of justice in terms of what’s being investigated. This is moving into perjury, false statements, and even potentially treason,” he said this week.
This overeagerness to find a smoking gun ignores the fact that the Constitution’s standard for impeachment and removal from office is not the criminal code but “high crimes and misdemeanors” — breaches of the public trust serious enough that two-thirds of senators feel justified in overriding the results of a presidential election.
And that’s where Dems have gone wrong. The Trump Administration seems almost bent on destroying itself, in its pompous belief that they are untouchable. And there’s a Special Counsel who will be looking into every corner, to investigate possible wrongdoing. If Dems were smart, they would take the high road, shake their heads, and say, “dear, dear, dear, poor Donald.”
Instead, they are being shrill and hysterical. Obviously, they have no memory. It was less than two decades ago that the GOP made the same mistake. Their “holier than thou” attitude turned off the public, and not only did Bill Clinton avoid being removed from office, his popularity soared.
Democrats are also being stupid if they think impeachment would be good for them. If it occurs, we won’t get a gentle, peace-loving Gerald Ford-type president. We’ll get the Spiro Agnew-type Dems were able to avoid in 1974. Instead of the bumbling “gosh, we don’t know how things work” Trump Administration, they’ll be faced with a clever and zealous President Pence, who will not be caught up in craziness, but instead, will single-mindedly drive Congress to do everything Dems would hate to see—with no check or balance of any kind to protect them.