That was the smoking gun, liberals cried, that showed collusion!
Except, not so much.
First, let’s start with the concept of what collusion is and what it isn’t. The collusion supposedly being investigated is whether Russia and the Trump team colluded in some way in the alleged Russian hacking during the election campaign.
There has been nothing adduced that shows that. And even had the meeting yielded dirt on Hillary Clinton, it wouldn’t have shown that collusion.
And now documents obtained by CNN support Donald Trump, Jr.’s account of what happened in the meeting.
Documents provided to CNN back Trump Jr.’s account — and that of Jared Kushner — that the meeting was insignificant and a waste of their time.
An attorney for the Russian billionaire who requested the meeting provided the documents to CNN and suggested the mixup originated with the publicist who brokered the meet and greet with Trump Jr., Kushner and other members of President Donald Trump’s campaign.
The initial reports about the meeting indicated that Trump wanted to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. And Trump, Jr. did make a comment that he would ‘love’ to see it. And so media immediately was off to the races with the collusion story.
But Trump, Jr. didn’t initiate the meeting. Indeed the haphazard way the meeting went down indicates there was no prior contact between the Russians and the Trump team. For if there had been, they wouldn’t have needed to hold a meeting strung together by third parties and publicists.
And indeed, just as Trump, Jr. said, no dirt on Hillary was discussed and nothing about Hillary Clinton changed hands.
Instead, as Trump, Jr. has said, backed up by Jared Kushner, the meeting turned out to be about the Magnitsky Act.
And it became clear that that was what they wanted to discuss. The attorney who requested the meeting, Scott Balber, said that’s all it was about and his emails back it up.
“The documents … are consistent with my client’s understanding of the purpose of the meeting which was from the beginning and at all times thereafter about her efforts to launch a legislative review of the Magnitsky Act,” Balber told CNN.
So there was no discussion of dirt, nothing about the election, no discussion about hacking anything, much less the DNC or John Podesta.
In other words, there’s nothing.
No collusion and nothing to excite Robert Mueller and his investigation.
The ‘smoking gun’ meeting actually rather proves the opposite: that there was no real connection between the Russians and the Trump team. The cock-eyed random way it evolved shows it.
Will people now step back from all their Russian claims?
Will all the conspiracy theorists now stop?
Oh, not by any means. Why let facts hamper the political agenda?