That’s the million dollar question of the year. Since November 9, 2016, suspicions of a connection between Russian meddling and the Trump campaign/administration have abounded (because there’s simply no other explanation for Trump winning the election). On Tuesday, Donald Trump, Jr. revealed an interesting email chain that described a meeting between himself, Paul Manafort (then –campaign manager), and Jared Kushner (son-in-law and current advisor to the President) with Natalia Veselnitskaya. Veselnitiskaya is a lawyer with unsubstantiated links to the Kremlin, and it is believed that she was sharing, or at least offering to share, “incriminating” evidence about Hillary Clinton. The reality is that even if this meeting did occur, the meeting in it of itself is not incriminating, since Veselnitiskaya has insisted that she was not working on the Russian goverment’s behalf and has no ties to the Kremlin. This is hardly the first meeting to ever take place between “frenemies” looking to take down the same political opponent.
However, Trump opponents are insisting that Federal Election Law was violated since information about a political opponent has an inherent “monetary” value, although no money actually changed hands. This meeting will be investigated by the Department of Justice Special Counsel tasked with investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.
It is clear by now that Russia meddled in the election, although the extent of its involvement is currently unknown, and there is much doubt that any of the meddling was done at the behest of Trump’s campaign team. This foreign involvement is something that should be acknowledged and addressed regardless of which side of the aisle you sit on; it should not only be used as a club with which to attack the president. It’s time to quiet the noise of impeachment talks and take a serious look at how Russia violated the integrity of our election, and what we’re going to do about it.
For more background on Donald Jr.’s emails and a great opinion piece, check out this Washington Examiner article.