Right and Left React to the Donald Trump Jr. Email Scandal

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David French in National Review:

“This isn’t the smoking gun that proves actual ‘collusion’ with Russia, but rather evidence that Trump Jr., Manafort, and Kushner tried to collude with Russia.”

Mr. French maintains that he always needed more information when it came to Russia’s connection to the Trump administration, citing his skepticism of anonymous sources in the media. Now that the emails to Donald Trump Jr. have been made public, he feels comfortable calling the Russia investigation a “national necessity.” Read more »

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John Podhoretz in The New York Post:

“There is too much focus on the criminal aspect of this event, which might or might not be significant. There is not enough focus on the moral aspect of this event, which is far more significant.”

Unless the people involved in the meeting are lying — and Mr. Podhoretz allows that this might be the case — this is not the smoking gun signaling collusion. Instead, Mr. Podhoretz urges his readers to focus on Donald Trump Jr.’s morality, writing that his willingness to disrupt the election by working with a foreign power defines the word “disgraceful.” The Editorial Board of The New York Post has a less flattering characterization of the president’s son: In this op-ed, the editors call him an “idiot.” Read more »

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From the Left

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Protesters gathered in front of the White House on Tuesday. Credit Pete Marovich for The New York Times

Yochi Dreazen in Vox:

“The other shoe has finally fallen, and the Trump presidency may fall with it.”

Typically, Mr. Dreazen writes, comparing political scandals to Watergate is “a very dangerous thing to do.” But if there’s evidence that the president knew about his son’s meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer, this scandal may rise to that level. And while we may not be at impeachment just yet, “we’re getting much closer.” Read more »

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David A. Graham in The Atlantic:

“If Trump really knew nothing about the June 9 meeting, one wonders what it was that he was so eager to suppress in his calls to the intel chiefs and his firing of James Comey.”

In light of how absolute the Trump administration’s denials have been against allegations of collusion, and in light of recent revelations that contradict these denials, Mr. Graham wonders “which of the other allegations are true, too?” Read more »

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Joan Walsh in The Nation:

“This is unlikely to end well for Republicans, though we may not be close to the end.”

The only thing that is certain, according to Ms. Walsh, is that Donald Trump Jr. is a “liar.” What we don’t know yet, she writes, is whether his actions crossed the line into criminality. That will be for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, to decide. Read more »

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And Finally, From the Center:

Perry Bacon Jr. in Five Thirty Eight:

“It is the Republican reaction — and especially the congressional Republican reaction — to Russia stories that really matters most.”

For this latest scandal to really stick, Mr. Bacon argues, Republican leaders must take a public stand, and so far, there’s no evidence that they have the will to do so. Read more »

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Bob Bauer in Just Security:

“Under campaign finance regulations, the meeting could without question be considered a solicitation.”

Is accepting information, or opposition research, tantamount to accepting money from a foreign government? It seems that this might be the central question in determining the legality of Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Ms. Veselnitskaya. Mr. Bauer, a former counsel to President Barack Obama, explains how the younger Trump’s actions may have implicated the larger Trump campaign in violating campaign finance laws. Read more »

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