Yesterday we learned that when Donald Trump Jr held a meeting at Trump Tower to illegally conspire with the Russians to alter the outcome of the election, he wasn’t merely meeting with a Russian government lawyer; he was meeting with a self-admitted Russian government spy. Forget about Junior merely getting charged with transactional crimes like attempting to receive stolen property. This means he’s facing charges of either treason or conspiracy against the United States. Now he has a whole new problem.
What could be even worse than realizing you’re going to face the kind of criminal charges that can put you in prison for the rest of your life? In the case of Donald Trump Jr, what’s worse is that he doesn’t appear to have a defense. Whenever Junior is accused of anything, he’s routinely quick to tweet out a rebuttal. But more than a day after Natalia Veselnitskaya admitted to NBC News that she was a Russian government “informant” (read: spy), Junior hasn’t said a word about it. Why does this matter?
Since yesterday, Donald Trump Jr has posted nineteen tweets and retweets, nearly all of them pushing back against the latest reporting on his scandals and his father’s scandals. Many of his tweets are misleading or outright lies. He has no trouble dishonestly pushing back against honest reporting. So what makes this different? In this instance Junior can’t lie on Twitter. He’s already testified before Congress about his Trump Tower meeting.
If Donald Trump Jr tweets something now about the Trump Tower meeting which refutes his own prior testimony, he’ll incriminate himself on perjury. If he tweets a lie now about the meeting, it can be construed as obstruction of justice, because he knows he’s under investigation for that matter. Junior has such a legal problem here, he can’t even afford to try to defend himself in the court of public opinion.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report