Donald Trump Jr has gotten himself into legal trouble in so many different ways in his father’s Russia scandal, you’d need a flowchart to remember them all. Most famously, he met with Russian government representatives during the election in the hope of illegally acquiring dirt on Hillary Clinton. But most of Junior’s troubles have centered around his ongoing communications with Russian-controlled cyberterrorist group WikiLeaks during the election. Now he just dug himself an even deeper hole.
Junior rang in the new year by tweeting a link to a pro-Trump propaganda article titled “WikiLeaks Drops Proof That NYTimes Colluded With Hillary Clinton.” Not a word of the article is true of course, but he added his own commentary: “The double standard never ends. Every day Donald Trump’s win is that much more impressive when you realize all he was actually up against.” It’s not illegal to post fake news on Twitter. But he just made his own WikiLeaks problem much bigger in a legal sense.
Trump Jr’s attorneys will ultimately try to mount a legal defense around the idea that he wasn’t nearly as closely associated with WikiLeaks as the evidence says he was. Considering that he’s been caught red handed playing an active and aggressive role in a treasonous plot that will send dozens of people to prison, he’ll have no other option but to plead naivety and hope the jury concludes he’s too stupid to have understood he was committing treason.
For that to stick, Donald Trump Jr’s attorney would have to sell the idea that once he found out groups like WikiLeaks were indeed working with foreign enemies to try to rig the election, he conscientiously backed away from those bad elements. Instead he’s going right on quoting WikiLeaks as if it weren’t a terrorist organization he’s previously conspired with. It would be like mounting a legal defense that you didn’t know you were working with ISIS, even while continuing to quote ISIS.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report