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Reflections on The Donald Trump Jr. Treason and Russian Collusion Story

On 19 July 2017, Al Gore warned against accusing Donald Trump Jr. of treason prior to an investigation into the matter. However, some are calling for the arrest and prosecution of Donald Trump Jr., who is said to have willfully engaged in a treasonous act against our country by colluding with the Russians in an attempt to destabilize the democratic process and help his father win the 2016 presidential election.

That’s the story that has emanated to millions of people, and polls now show dissatisfaction with the Trump administration is at a historic low of 70%. So, it seems that people are dissatisfied with an administration that colludes with the Russians. End of story.

Typical News Cycle

Short news cycles don’t typically allow for more in-depth analysis of stories. The typical lifespan of a story is about 3 to 5 days with about 7 days as the maximum.

  • Day 1. Story breaks.
  • Day 2 – 4. Story is discussed.
  • Day 5 – 7. Conclusions are made and the story winds down.

Sot it is with the Donald Trump Jr. treason claims. The surface details of the story, and calls for his arrest are what people will remember.

News Cycles and Retractions

For most stories like this, news cycles tend to last a few days or a week at most. At least that’s the peak opportunity to get a message out while public attention is high. Further revelations or retractions days later are typically not noticed. For example, we all know that Donald Trump kicked a baby out of one of his rallies. We saw the video. We read the news reports. That’s what happened. Well, actually that’s not what happened. It’s just the version of the story we remember. What really happened was published in a later retraction by the Washington Post (6 Aug 2016).

Questions Remain

I’m not attempting to choose sides in the discussion, other than choosing the side of rational common sense thinking. With that in mind, I still have a few questions about the Donald Trump Jr. Russian collusion story.

  • Limited Exchange. The ‘evidence’ that we have of what some are saying is a demonstrated intention to commit treason is limited to a dozen email exchanges over 5 days and then a brief meeting. From what we know, the set of emails are complete as provided by Trump Jr. and other sources. Were there to be previous emails, or subsequent emails and meetings, it would seem this would be the time that they would come to light. Any substantive treasonous conspiracy would be sufficiently elaborate that it would span over months and include many people.
  • Saving Incriminating Evidence. If someone commits treason, a crime punishable by death, it’s seems odd that they would use their personal email account to do it, and leave the email exchange in their inbox, still sitting there a year later. The common practice for politicians is to cover their tracks, erase servers, and destroy mobile devices. Not, “Oh, I think I’ll just keep those right here in my inbox.”
  • Sharing Incriminating Evidence. If someone commits treason, it seems unlikely they would send the incriminating evidence to the New York Times to be part of the public record. Donald Trump Jr. shared his emails with the New York Times. He was able to do so because he’d not erased his servers.
  • Street Value of a Clinton Scandal. Why would someone risk their life to obtain a story about some new Clinton scandal at a time when Clinton was on CSPAN and mainstream U.S. media outlets creating sufficient problems of her own. If you were to try and sell a Clinton scandal on eBay it’s unlikely you’d get much more than the minimum bid of 1 penny.
  • Suspicious Connections of Lawyer. The lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. (Natalia Veselnitskaya) is purported to have ties to the Kremlin. Yet, further research reveals that the lawyer actually has ties to Fusion GPS, a group used by the Democratic Party for opposition research against Republicans. She was let into the country by Democrats. She met with Democrats and Republicans prior to her meeting with Trump Jr. and her primary interest revolves around the Magnitsky Act.

Lawyer was Anti-Putin and Anti-Trump

This lawyer who was purportedly going to help Trump, has a personal Facebook page with numerous anti-Trump images posted such as the one below from January 2017. Her Facebook page is absent of any pro-Trump posts.

On 6 June 2016, days before her meeting with Trump Jr. she posted a story stating “Trump University is a Straight Up Fraud Case.”

In another post from April 2016, she’s featuring the book Red Notice by Bill Browder.

It’s a book that criticizes Putin and the Russian government for the death of Sergei Magnitsky. In the interview below, Browder states: “The Magnitsky story is emblematic of everything that is bad about Russia, and I think it’s really important for the world to know.” The story is partly conveyed in the 2009 documentary Hermitage Reveals Russian Police Fraud.

What Are We To Conclude?

The lawyer in question seems to be anti-Putin, anti-Trump, and connected to the Democratic Party. So, it seems unlikely that she’d be working with the Kremlin on a pro-Trump initiative, as we’ve been told.

Timeline of Treason

It’s certainly possible that the Trump campaign had colluded with ‘the Russians’ and engaged in a massive international espionage conspiracy with the intention of achieving their stated goal of Making America Great Again. However, the problem with this particular conspiracy theory is that we’re lacking longitudinal data. Anyone with an academic, scientific, or legal mind (or common sense mind) will be desiring proof of additional communications, meetings, and actions that would support such a claim. We’d need more than just a dozen emails over five days and a single meeting.

On July 18, Keith Olbermann, one of the most vocal critics, provided what he calls a Timeline of Treason (below) which is the most comprehensive effort so far to build a case for treason.

Central to claims of treason is the Donald Trump Jr. email exchange with Rob Goldstone who the New York Times reports is “a British-born former tabloid reporter and entertainment publicist.” That email exchange happened over five days in June and was immediately followed by the meeting. We know of no other emails, meetings, or communications.

If we’re to believe that the June emails are the first contact, then it’s kind of late in the election process. By then, multiple substantial Hillary scandals reported in mainstream media had caused her to struggle in her own party’s primary campaign against a poorly funded little-known socialist from Vermont. Polls out of the Wisconsin primaries had about 30% of Democrats expressing concern or fear about a Hillary Clinton presidency. (Source: CBS News) Even among those who voted for Clinton, 12% expressed concern about her as president.

News about Hillary’s erased emails, destroyed mobile devices, and erased servers were not fake news created by the Russians. News about Democrat collusion with the media and efforts to smear other candidates were not fake news. Hillary’s popularity was at a historic low. She remains at a historic low, continuing to be even more unpopular than Donald Trump even after months of non-stop wide-scale attacks on Trump, his family, and his administration. For further reading:

So, if the timeline begins in June 2016, Trump had already won the Republican primary so that was not part of the collusion. To the extent ‘the Russians’ helped discredit Hillary, the most damaging stories were those that she and the FBI confirmed. Not fake news. Even the stories bolstered by the DNC hacked emails were confirmed by other sources.

So, at the most we have what was stated to be a news story about Hillary to be possibly released late in the summer. One story. No mention of fake news or tampering. Most of the revelations about DNC corruption and collusion were a service to the American people, correcting a breakdown in democracy rather than attacking democracy.

The only collusion taking place in the 2016 election was Hillary Clinton colluding with herself to lose the election.

Part of a Larger Political Operation?

In a Politico article from 11 Jan 2017, we read:

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia. But they were far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.

So, it’s possible that the lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. had been part of a similar campaign to entrap and implicate members of the Trump campaign.

Minority Report

There’s a common practice in many traditions to preserve and respect the prevailing minority opinion on various matters. So, in the spirit of that tradition, the following minority viewpoints are offered. Perhaps they are 90% false, unsubstantiated claims. Yet this leaves one wondering about the 10% truth that’s there. Some valid questions are at least raised by them. It’s sometimes difficult to sit and listen to people, especially if we disagree with what they are saying, but it’s an important practice that sometimes helps us learn something beyond our current scope of knowledge.

Hannity: Real collusion is between Democrats and the media

Total Proof Donald Trump Jr. Was Set Up By Democrats

Donald Trump Jr Was Setup


Author’s Note (18 July 2017): As additional revelations about this story surface, they will be included above and will hopefully represent a balance of differing opinions. This article, as with the other content on this site, is not intended to advance any particular agenda or opinions. It’s simply intended to offer a variety of viewpoints to inspire people toward further personal understanding. Other viewpoints are welcome and when respectful and reasonable, they will be included above. Thanks for taking time to read this article.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com

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