EDITOR’S NOTE: Special Counsel Robert Mueller might not have found criminal activity connected to Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign or his two-plus years as chief executive of our country, but his investigation did not cover the “Big Lies” uttered and promoted on a daily basis by the current occupant of the White House. During the run-up to the 2020 presidential sweepstakes — hopefully without any interference from Russian operatives promoting Trump’s re-election bid — The Shinbone Star will highlight past “whoppers” from Donald and his cronies and provide commentary on new “Big Lies” that hurt the working men and women of America.
Big Lies. Donald J. Trump spews them out at campaign rallies, during media briefings, in photo ops with foreign leaders and, of course, tweets them during early morning rants against enemies real and imagined.
One of the most troubling lies that remains bothersome to patriotic Americans — even after Special Counsel Robert Mueller last weekend closed his nearly two-year probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election — is what happened at the Trump Tower meeting in June 2016.
As part of his probe, Mueller surely examined this meeting and the Big Lies told by Junior and his father in an attempt to initially hide the true purpose of the gathering and then minimize any damage that knowledge about a secret meeting with Russian operatives intent on getting Trump into the White House.
Remember, this is the gathering where Donnie Junior, Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law/senior adviser Jared Kushner met with a Russian operative in the family’s New York office building, where they went over plans to trash talk Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
When the media reported about the meeting nearly a year later, with Trump by then firmly ensconced in the White House, the liar extraordinaire and his cohorts concocted a tall tale about how the meeting was held to discuss the adoption of Russian children by Americans.
That statement issued by Junior was drafted and approved by the liar in chief, Donald Senior, who claimed he had nothing to do with crafting the statement and that he knew nothing about the meeting, who attended it or the purpose of the get-together.
The lying didn’t stop there. When the media determined the meeting was political in nature, Junior — again with an assist from his parental mentor — acknowledged that he had agreed to the meeting with the promise he would receive information damaging to Clinton. It was simply opposition research, he told the press and all Americans.
Many Americans thought that Junior had come clean and that daddy Donald wasn’t involved. So what if it wasn’t about adoption but political in nature, Trump apologists opined. Nothing wrong with a little opposition research, right?
Well, the Big Lie continued. As it turned out, the gathering at Trump Tower wasn’t just opposition research. When Junior learned The New York Times was about to expose the lie he confessed that the person who set up the meeting for the Trumpsters had acknowledged in an e-mail to him that the Russian government was involved and that the purpose of the meeting was not only to get dirt on Clinton, but that the conversation would include discussion of a “Russian effort to aid the (Trump) campaign.”
As truth found the light of day at an agonizingly slow pace, The Donald continued to deny any knowledge of the meeting. He also continued to label as “fake news” media reports that he helped Junior draft the initial Big Lie about it.
In January 2018, with little fanfare and almost no media coverage, Trump’s lawyers acknowledged in a confidential letter to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, that Donald had in fact dictated the first statement put out about the meeting in Junior’s name, thus contradicting prior representations.
The Big Lie about Russians working with Trumpsters to get their man elected president? It seems obvious to an average observer of politics such as myself that this meeting and the attendant fallout should have warranted some action by Mueller and his team of prosecutors.
Sadly, nothing came of it. Why not? Only Mueller and his team can answer that question. If taking a meeting with agents of a sworn enemy of our country in order to influence the outcome of a presidential election and then lying to cover up the purpose of that meeting is not enough to bring about criminal charges then something is wrong with the laws governing our electoral process.
The grade on this Big Lie:
Make that an A for Anti-American