DC once again is consumed with debating whether President Trump should be executed for treason, impeached or just be allowed to resign in disgrace. Standard stuff by now but joining the chorus is columnist Charles Krauthammer. Dr. Krauthammer’s analysis of the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer is uncharacteristically leftist nonsense. His unfavorable attitude toward all things Trump is no excuse for falling into the mindset that any contact with a Russian is evil. Krauthammer indicated that Donald Jr. meeting with a Russian lawyer is not illegal but is evidence that undermines the White House narrative. The narrative was never about not speaking with Russians or not being receptive to “opposition research”. The White House has consistently denied doing anything illegal in their dealings with the Russians. That’s the narrative. But Krauthammer says the emails and the meeting prove some sort of collusion. There was a “collusion”, if you would like to call it that, between an informant and a candidate’s son to get information to defeat an opponent, not to do anything illegal, something with which Krauthammer and constitutional scholars agree. Until Donald Trump became President, getting dirt from any legal source on an opponent was always the way campaigns were run. But it’s claimed to be different in this case because the informant is a foreign national. Since when is information acquired from a foreign source unlawful? It’s not, but this source was Russian, and therefore it had to be a violation of “The Russian Source Exclusionary Act”. Except there is no such act. But wait even without a violation of a specific law, everyone knows Russia is guilty of something, so talking with a Russian is obviously an unlawful collusion. Wrong. As has been pointed out by numerous legal scholars, there is no such thing as illegal collusion except with respect to antitrust laws. I repeat, the White House narrative is simply that accusations of illegality are without merit, or in the words of the president, “a witch hunt.” That narrative is still valid notwithstanding any meeting held by Donald Jr. It is surprising that Krauthammer has fallen into the trap of building an imaginary case based on unproven violations of non-existing laws. One would expect that of left-wing ideologues and the “never Trump” gang, not a respected columnist.
To understand the hypocrisy of what is now claimed as proof of the Trump campaign’s violation of the Constitution, campaign laws, criminal statutes and perhaps laws against humanity, we need to step back and apply some basic logic. Suppose a candidate for public office is approached by a former operative for a foreign government, for example, England. And that operative claims to have some damaging information on the candidate’s opponent. If the candidate agrees to a discussion with the British operative, is that treason? Illegal collusion? Of course not. England is a friend. But should the fact that the operative was from England, as opposed to Russia be relevant? Russia is only important because of the claims about Russian meddling being the reason Clinton lost the election. None of which have turned out to be true. If Russia did meddle, nothing happened. They have been meddling for decades and Congress people, presidents, just about everyone in government talked to Russians and met with Russians without being suspect. The U.S. is not at war with Russia nor is there any legal impediment to talking to or doing business with a Russian. Incidentally, the Clinton campaign not only discussed “opposition research” with a former British MI6 agent they in fact paid for a now discredited dossier critical of Donald Trump. Treason? Illegal collusion? Was England meddling? Undoubtedly Krauthammer knows of the dossier and its origins but saw no treason or even a smoking gun, or at least he didn’t write a column about Clinton “collusion”. The assumption therefore is that he either didn’t mind a foreign entity, England, meddling in our election or he didn’t think it was meddling. In either case, Krauthammer should use the same standard concerning Donald Jr.’s meeting. To reach a conclusion about a meeting to obtain opposition research from a former Russian state prosecutor, with “ties” to the Kremlin, that is different than the conclusion about a meeting to obtain opposition research from a former British intelligence officer, with ties to the British intelligence community represents a lapse in journalistic integrity.