While most of middle America shrugs, the mainstream media, #NeverTrumpers, Democrat politicians and their mindless voters (and non-voters) are losing their collective minds over revelations that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian attorney hoping to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.
The wildest hopes and dreams of the #NeverTrumpers aside (MSM, GOPe and Democrats alike), Trump Jr. violated no laws. In fact, the meeting was most likely a setup by the Clinton campaign in order to try and entrap the Trump campaign in some sort of “Russian collusion” operation as the narrative for such a thing was beginning to take off. And there is still no evidence of collusion, attempted collusion or obstruction – the three charges anti-Trump forces continue to make ad nauseum.
As Constitutional lawyer Robert Barnes points out on Lawnewz.com:
The Code of Federal Regulations makes the law immunizing Trump Jr.’s actions precisely clear: any foreign national individual may volunteer personal services to a federal candidate or federal political committee without making a contribution. The law provides this volunteer “exemption” as long as the individual performing the service is not compensated by anyone on the campaign. See 11 CFR 100.74. For example, as the Federal Election Commission advises all, “an individual can provide volunteer services to a candidate or party without considering the value of those service a contribution to the candidate or party.” Section 30121 of Title 52 does not apply to voluntary activity or services. The thing “of value” must be actual money, or its transferable equivalent, not a volunteer of services or information. Otherwise, if volunteering information in coordination with a campaign constituted donations, everyone from John Harwood to Chuck Todd (and maybe all of CNN) made millions in donations to the Hillary campaign, as WikiLeaks emails disclosed.
Hence, legally, Donald Trump Jr. taking a meeting at the request of a family friend, to hear someone wanting to volunteer information about your Dad’s adversary, can legally be no crime.
But there have been times when American politicians actively sought and received campaign dirt and actual things of value from foreigners – including Russian and Chinese communists — in violation of American law.
As I outlined in December, Senator Ted Kennedy made overt overtures to the Soviet KGB through Senator John Tunney in order to acquire dirt to use against President Jimmy Carter. Tunney met with the KGB in Moscow on Kennedy’s behalf in order to undercut Carter’s claims that the Soviets were a threat and sought to expand their military in the Persian Gulf region. Kennedy offered to speak out against Carter’s Afghanistan policy. He began to do so as the campaign heated up.
Four years later, as Ronald Reagan’s reelection campaign got underway, Kennedy made an offer to work with KGB head Yuri Andropov (who, among his other crimes likely ordered the hit on Pope John Paul II in 1981) on behalf of the Soviets to thwart Reagan by using Andropov talking points to express concerns about Reagan’s policy toward the USSR. Kennedy offered to meet with Andropov to get the talking points from him for use in American speeches opposing Reagan and his Soviet policies. Kennedy also offered to help get Soviet views expressed through the U.S. media, mentioning specifically that he could sway Walter Cronkite, Barbara Walters and ABC’s then-chairman of the Board, Elton Rule.
What Kennedy proposed, according to a letter from KGB head Viktor Chebrikov to Andropov, was for the Soviet leader to use the American media to make an end run around Reagan and express the USSR’s peaceful intentions and to have lower-level Soviet officials, particularly military officials, give television interviews to American media to put a pretty face on Soviet policies.
During the 1996 presidential campaign, Johnny Chung funneled illegal campaign contributions to the Bill Clinton-Al Gore campaign that he obtained by asking friends and employees of his office technology firm to make donations for which they were later reimbursed. Chung was also charged with engaging in a similar “straw donor” scheme to assist the 1996 reelection bid of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.).
Chung later told investigators that:
Chinese army Lt. Col. Liu Chaoying, an executive with a state-owned aerospace company, gave him $300,000 to donate to the Democrats’ 1996 campaign. Chung’s allegation – hotly denied by Liu and the Chinese government – is the strongest evidence yet of a direct money trail from the Chinese government to Democratic campaign coffers.
In 1996, Liu and Chung attended a Los Angeles fund-raiser where Liu was photographed with Clinton.
Chung made at least 49 visits to the White House, despite the fact that a National Security Council official concluded that he was a “hustler” seeking to exploit his friendship with the Clintons to impress Chinese business associates.
During one visit to the White House, he handed a $50,000 check to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s chief of staff, Margaret A. Williams.
Williams accepted the check and passed it along to the DNC, even though federal law bars government employees from accepting campaign contributions on government property.
From 1994 to 1996, Chung made 12 personal or corporate donations to the DNC totaling $366,000. The DNC returned all of the money last year (1997, after Chung came under scrutiny and the campaign was over), stating that it had “insufficient information” about its origins.
In what was the most under-reported story of the year 1999, the Clinton administration committed high crimes and misdemeanors against the American people and nation, including treason for Red Chinese campaign cash, according to Chung’s testimony.
Hillary Clinton evidently never severed her ties with the Chicoms. In 2015, Chinese Ambassador Cui Tianakai sought and received a meeting with the Hillary campaign’s John Podesta through Melanie Hart of the Center for American Progress, according to emails released by WikiLeaks.
Hillary also worked with Ukraine officials hoping to expose ties between Trump campaign officials like Paul Manafort to Russia. As Politico reports:
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.
Just five days after Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya under the pretext of getting some dirt on SHillary, Veselnitskaya was pictured in a House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting sitting directly behind Barack Obama’s Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. This is yet more evidence that Veselnitskaya was a DNC/Obama/Clinton operative.
At the time, McFaul was appearing on air with talking heads at NBC and MSNBC discussing the Russia conspiracy narrative being peddled by first Obama, then the SHillary campaign.
Additionally, while SHillary was still Secretary of State and right up until the beginning of her presidential campaign, husband Bill was gallivanting around the globe hobnobbing with and speechifying to communist leaders, Islamists and tin-pot dictators for large fees that were laundered through the Clinton Foundation into Hillary’s campaign.