Legal Creep and Moral Fortitude (Part 1)

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The Russian collusion investigation has moved into a serious phase with the release of Donald Trump Jr.’s emails. All of the emails Donald Trump Jr. released so far can be found here. Let’s get caught up on the details.

The Trump Administration’s Original Story 

A meeting took place in June of 2016 that piqued the interest of journalists. CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Donald Trump Jr. about Russia trying to help his father’s campaign:

JAKE TAPPER: So, I don’t know if you were hearing earlier, but Robby Mook, the campaign manager for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I asked him about the DNC leak. And he suggested that experts are saying that Russians were behind both the leak — the hacking of the DNC emails and their release. He seemed to be suggesting that this is part of a plot to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. Your response?

TRUMP JR.: Well, it just goes to show you their exact moral compass. I mean, they will say anything to be able to win this. I mean, this is time and time again, lie after lie. You notice he won’t say, “Well, I say this.” We hear “experts.”

You know, ‘His house cat at home once said that this is what’s happening with the Russians.’ It’s disgusting. It’s so phony. I watched him bumble through the interview, I was able to hear it on audio a little bit. I mean, I can’t think of bigger lies, but that exactly goes to show you what the DNC and what the Clinton camp will do. They will lie and do anything to win.

You hear it with the DNC where they’re leaking emails about Bernie Sanders and his Jewish heritage, to be able to try to destroy him in the South. It’s a rigged system. It’s disgusting and the people who should be fed up because when I heard it I certainly was.

One can counter by saying Donald Trump Jr. is not an official member of the administration.

Here is what Kellyanne Conway, the White House counselor, said December 18, 2016 when questioned by John Dickerson on CBS’s Face the Nation:

JOHN DICKERSON: “Did anyone involved…in the Trump campaign have any contact with Russians trying to meddle with the election?”

CONWAY: Absolutely not, and I discussed that with the president-elect just last night. Those conversations never happened. I hear people saying it like it’s a fact on television. That is just not only inaccurate and false but it’s dangerous.

CONWAY: And it does undermine our democracy.

Is the claim that Russia hacked our elections in an effort to help Donald Trump win the presidency a “lie?” Is it a “phony” claim? Should the American people be disgusted by the claim? Was Kellyanne Conway right when she said “the only people who had information about Russia meddling, in say, summer of 2016 did not work in the Trump campaign, they worked in the Obama White House”? Is it true that there was “absolutely” no contact between Russians who were trying to meddle with the election and members of the Trump administration?

Let’s see if their statements are supported by the facts.

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