Donald Jr.'s Trump Tower Meeting Was Not a Crime, and Neither Was Lying About It
Neither the meeting nor the statement about it violated the law, which illustrates the difficulty that Robert Mueller will have in demonstrating that the collusion and obstruction perceived by many of the president's opponents actually constitute crimes.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the president's role in writing an ass-covering statement that was misleading but not illegal.
The Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya included Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as well as his son. When the meeting came to light last summer, the White House scrambled to explain it. "It was a short introductory meeting," said a July 8 statement attributed to Donald Jr. but reportedly crafted mainly by his father. "I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at that time and there was no follow up."
The statement was deliberately misleading, since emails showed that Donald Jr. agreed to meet with Veselnitskaya after one of his father's former Russian business partners, who called her a "Russian government attorney," said she had documents that "would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father." The intermediary described the information as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." Donald Jr.'s reply suggested he was eager to see what Veselnitskaya had. "If it's what you say," he wrote, "I love it." Veselnitskaya, it appears, was bluffing and did not have any useful information.
The easiest way to determine if someone was illegal or not? Charges would have been brought up. The fact that the only offense they can bring is 'lying to us about it' is a pretty clear indication that nothing was illegal and this story is a nothing burger meant to support the greater "Russia, Russia, Russia!" narrative.