The Washington Post and CNN have both reported that President Trump has privately been expressing increasing fears that his son Donald Trump Jr. may be in legal trouble. They say that Trump’s desperate posts on Twitter recently have been caused by these fears that the special counsel’s investigation may soon ensnare his namesake.
The president stepped up his social media attacks on Mueller last week and on Wednesday sent a tweet saying that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop the Mueller investigation “right now.” On Friday he sent over 20 unhinged tweets, reflecting his increased desperation.
The Post reported Saturday that Trump has told some of his advisers that he doesn’t believe his son broke any laws intentionally, but said he could have broken them accidentally.
“The president does not believe his son purposefully broke the law, but is fearful nonetheless that Trump Jr. inadvertently may have wandered into legal jeopardy,” the Post article said.
Don Jr. is in trouble partly because he set up the infamous Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin attorney in June 2016, specifically for the purpose of getting damaging information about Hillary Clinton to help his father win the presidency.
He admitted this to the Senate Judiciary Committee, but then he also lied under oath and told the committee that his father didn’t know anything about the meeting ahead of time. (Note: he may have told other lies to the committee also.)
Since the president’s former attorney Michael Cohen is now willing to tell Mueller that Trump did in fact know about the meeting in advance, and since there is reportedly another witness who will say the same thing, it seems that prosecutors will probably be able to prove in court that the president’s son lied under oath. He may have committed other crimes also, such as conspiracy and election law violations, which of course increases his chances of going to jail.
According to CNN fears that the Russia probe could put members of the Trump family in legal jeopardy has consumed the president “for months.” He is said to be especially fearful about the fates of both son in law Jared Kushner and Don Jr..
Concerning the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, Mueller has in evidence an email sent by music publicist Rob Goldstone to Trump Jr. saying that the Russians were offering damaging information on Hillary Clinton as part of their package of support for candidate Trump.
In another email Trump Jr. replied to Goldstone, “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
Trump and others, including Trump Jr., have asserted numerous times that the president did not know about the meeting until it was first reported in the media last July. Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said after the CNN report that the president did not know about the meeting, calling Cohen’s claims “flat out untrue.”
These denials, however, may not hold up in court if witnesses such as Michael Cohen and Rick Gates are able to testify credibly that the president was told about the meeting by his son.
A former Trump Organization executive said that the claims of the president and his allies that Trump didn’t know about the meeting are not credible. She said it was “impossible” for him to have been kept in the dark about such an important event, because Don Jr. told him everything.
“Impossible, in my opinion, based on my experience working with Trump and everybody that worked with Trump, that he wasn’t informed.” Barbara Res told CNN. “Something major, something newsworthy, something press-worthy would always go before Trump,” she said.
Only the president knows for sure what the truth is, and this may be what has him worried. He may know very well that Mueller can prove that Don Jr. lied under oath, and that he himself has lied about it and obstructed justice.
Whenever we see Donald Trump going more on Twitter than usual it is because something is really worrying him. And the prospect of seeing his son convicted of criminal charges may be just the thing that sets him off.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.