By now, the whole world knows that Donald Trump Jr., former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and Daddy Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner met with a shady Russian lawyer by the name of Natalia Veselnitskya during the 2016 presidential campaign. It is also now known that they took the meeting with the explicit purpose of soliciting dirt on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. As if these facts weren’t damning enough, it has now been discovered that a former Soviet intelligence officer was in that meeting as well.
NBC’s Kasie Hunt tweeted:
NBC EXCLUSIVE: Also in DJTJr mtg: “a former Soviet counter intel officer who is suspected . . . of having ongoing ties to Russian intel”
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) July 14, 2017
Now, the idea of any American meeting with someone with ties – be they current or former – to Russian Intelligence is deeply disturbing. It is also much more so in the context of clear attempts to fix an American presidential election, which is clearly what this is about. That also makes this meeting most likely illegal on its face. These revelations come on the heels of Trump Jr. being forced to release emails that show a chain of cartoonishly incriminating correspondence with someone who claimed to be working on behalf of the Russian government with the explicit goal of getting Donald Trump into the White House.
Now, we have someone else – someone with much more direct ties – be they current or former – to Russian spy agencies. At this point, there is no doubt that there was a serious willingness on the part of the Trump campaign to collude with the Russians to tip the odds in Trump’s favor.
I’m no lawyer, but I would think that something like this pretty much has to amount to some kind of federal crime. If this isn’t illegal collusion, I don’t know what is.
Watch a video via NBC News on this developing story below:
Featured image via John Moore/Getty Images