Donald Trump Jr finally testified before Congress today about his role in his father’s Russian election collusion scandal. In the process, it became clear why he had been stalling and trying to avoid testifying: in order to avoid committing a crime by lying today, he would have to admit that he’d been lying all along. Afterward, a U.S. Senator dropped a big hint that Junior may indeed have been nailed by his own testimony.
Trump Jr’s testimony today was behind closed doors. But based on the portions released to the media, he’s taken the position that he met with representatives from the Russian government to determine Hillary Clinton’s “fitness” to serve as President. That’s all but an admission of guilt when it comes to election collusion, as he’s now acknowledging that he tried to get dirt about his father’s opponent from a hostile foreign government. But Senator Chris Coons is now signaling that Junior may still be lying.
Shortly after Donald Trump Jr testified today, Senator Coons sent out a copy of the statute on giving false statements to Congress (link). Although Coons offered no specifics, he left no doubt about what he was referring to, as recipients are listed as “Interested parties” and the subject is “Donald Trump Jr testimony today.” So what’s he hinting at?
If Coons had been looking to warn Donald Trump Jr not to lie under oath, he’d have sent this out just before today’s testimony. Instead, by sending it shortly afterwards, he appears to be signaling that he caught Junior lying during his testimony. That’s a crime, and a prosecutable one at that – which would mean he’s been nailed. It’s the kind of leverage that can be used against Junior to force him to come back and offer more revealing details about his father’s criminal antics. And if Donald Trump is forced to pardon his own son, his presidency won’t survive the backlash.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report