Despite the contrasting manner in which they’re portrayed on Saturday Night Live, any real world measure of Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump reveals them to be equally stupid. The only difference is that Eric has been raised to believe he’s dumb, so he largely lays low, while Junior has been raised to believe he’s the smart one, so he arrogantly trips himself up on a regular basis. So when Junior sold out his own father during his congressional testimony yesterday, I initially assumed it was through sheer stupidity. Now I’m coming to believe otherwise.
I can see Donald Trump Jr being arrogantly stupid enough to try to invoke attorney-client privilege with regard to his conversations with his father, simply because one of them had an attorney in room at the time. He had no other possible excuse for refusing to reveal a conversation that could have incriminated himself and his father, so he went with whatever weak idea his attorneys came up for him. It’ll actually work in terms of buying him time, because the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee won’t hold him in contempt, even though Robert Mueller will eventually laugh him out of the building for it.
But here’s what I can’t get past. Donald Trump Jr voluntarily told the House Intel Committee that he informed Hope Hicks of his Russia meeting at Trump Tower. Even if Junior’s attorneys are as incompetent as those working for his father, they still would have explained to him beforehand that by incriminating Hicks, he was creating a direct path to incriminating his father. Mueller now knows that Junior told Hicks, and that Hicks told Senior. Mueller simply has to threaten Hicks with prison time, and she’ll flip on Senior. Then, voila, Mueller has proven that Donald Trump was in on the Russia conspiracy during the campaign.
I just can’t wrap my head around this having been a dumb mistake on Donald Trump Jr’s part. His attorneys had to have pointed out to him that he only had two choices. He could omit the part where he informed Hicks, and it would lead to him eventually being arrested for lying to investigators. Or he could tell the truth about having informed Hicks in order to protect himself legally, and give up his father in the process. Donald Trump Jr just sold out Donald Trump, and based on the logic involved, I don’t think it was by accident.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report