Donald Trump Jr. is a big boy, purportedly, and is hardly shy around a microphone. So why not slide that chronically protruded chest toward a mike before the Senate Intelligence Committee?
Republicans are throwing a toddler tantrum, all tears and slobber, at the thought. Why? Let the man talk.
So many “whys” about what our president, his kin and his enablers have been doing:
If the Mueller Report “totally and completely exonerates” Donald Sr., why would Trump not want to cooperate with Congress in every way to ease everyone’s minds?
If Robert Mueller found “no collusion, no obstruction,” why would Trump seek to prevent him from testifying before Congress?
So, too, with former White House counsel Don McGahn. What more does McGahn know that Donald Trump doesn’t want you and me to know?
The report says Trump leaned on McGahn to dismiss Mueller. McGahn refused. Then, McGahn says, Trump asked him to lie about that request.
Maybe that’s because with Mueller on his case, as the latter reports, Trump said, “This is the end of my presidency.”
How so, Mr. President? No collusion, no obstruction, you say. What then had you worried?
Why concoct a lie about the reason for the infamous Trump Tower meeting with a Russian contingent?
Why ask FBI director James Comey to pull back from probing National Security Adviser Mike Flynn for his dealings with Russia?
Why concoct another lie about the pretext for firing Comey (later admitting it was about stopping the Russia investigation and nothing more)?
What don’t you want Mueller, and Comey, and now Congress and well, everyone, to know?
Prosecutors use a term called “consciousness of guilt.” Look it up. Basically it describes just about everything Donald Trump has said and done regarding Russia.
It means lying repeatedly even when the lies are self-evident. (“No communication” with Russia while Jared Kushner was discussing setting up a back channel for such a thing.)
It means constructing false alibis (um, adoption as a pretext for Russians at Trump headquarters pre-election).
It means intimidating witnesses, something Trump did in tweet after tweet as former enablers turned state’s evidence.
These things should tell us that Trump and his campaign broke the law in their dealings with the Russians and have engaged in a coverup that would make Richard Nixon blush.
What continues in his resisting congressional scrutiny — obvious and ongoing obstruction – should make every citizen demand the truth.
A letter signed by more than 800 federal prosecutors asserts that Trump has done indictable things to thwart investigations of all stripes.
Some assert that a bunch of Democrats and liberals signed that letter. That doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. But you decide. Among them, Jeffrey Harris, a former assistant to former New York prosecutor Rudy Giuliani, says, “I have absolutely no doubt that the prosecutor Rudy Giuliani would have indicted someone who committed the acts that are put out on the Mueller report in a heartbeat.”
The same goes for Paul Rosenzweig, who was on the team of Special Counsel Ken Starr in making the case against Bill Clinton. Rosenzweig said that Trump’s attempt to bully McGahn unto itself is indictable and impeachable.
I can’t imagine any American believing that if Trump were not president he would not be facing criminal indictment. Mueller’s report lists 10 possible acts of obstruction.
Add to that now an 11th: contempt of Congress. Trump appears dedicated to forcing the hand of House investigators by using their only remedy to get the truth – an impeachment trial.
The fact is that this should have happened even before the Mueller report was released. It should have happened the moment former Trump fixer Michael Cohen was convicted of crimes done at Trump’s bidding.
If not then, it should have begun after Cohen testified in Congress on matters which legal observers said implicated Trump in at least 14 crimes, ranging from insurance fraud and tax fraud to threats and intimidation.
There is no “if” as to whether Trump obstructed justice. The only question is “why” he lied so consistently about all things Russia. We should not be left to guess.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.