Donald Trump Jr officially has a few weeks of oxygen left. By now we all know the general story of his role in trying to conspire with Russia to rig the election on his father’s behalf, but the full ugly details have remained under lock and key. Junior privately testified about the scandal months ago for the Senate Judiciary Committee, but never was willing to testify for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. That’s about to not matter, because Mueller is about to get his hands on Junior’s testimony anyway – and so are you.
The committee now says it’s just a few weeks away from releasing the transcript of Donald Trump Jr’s testimony. Although the committee is controlled by often-uncooperative Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, he’s acknowledging that the process for the vetting and release of the transcript is already underway (link). If you don’t trust Grassley, you don’t have to; the last time Grassley failed to make good on a promise to release a transcript, his Democratic counterpart Dianne Feinstein simply released it herself. So we’ll be seeing Junior’s testimony soon.
This is crucial, not only because it’s going to publicly embarrass him and make him look guilty in the court of public opinion, but also because it means Mueller will get to read the transcript. A few details have already leaked, and they’re fairly ugly. For instance Junior told the committee that he emailed Hope Hicks to let her know about his Russia meeting. Everyone knows that because Donald Trump doesn’t use email, the way to get a message to him is to email Hicks. It’s since been reported that Hicks told Trump that she would make sure Junior’s emails never saw the light of day.
But the bottom line is this: Donald Trump Jr has been afraid to speak to Robert Mueller for a reason. Now Mueller is about to get his testimony anyway. If Junior lied in that testimony, Mueller can charge and arrest him for it. If Junior confessed to obstruction in that testimony, Mueller can arrest him for that. Keep in mind that Mueller is now demanding an interview with Donald Trump, which means the obstruction investigation is nearing its end. The odds of Junior getting arrested just went way up.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report