Sunday, July 16, 2017

Trump's Lawyer Is Crossways with the Secret Service

"Well, I wonder why the Secret Service, if this was nefarious, why the Secret Service allowed these people in. The president had Secret Service protection at that point, and that raised a question with me," Jay Sekulow, a member of the president's legal team, said on Sunday on the ABC news program "This Week."

In an emailed response to questions about Sekulow's comments, Secret Service spokesman Mason Brayman said the younger Trump was not under Secret Service protection at the time of the meeting, which included Trump's son and two senior campaign officials.

"Donald Trump, Jr. was not a protectee of the USSS in June, 2016. Thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at that time," the statement said.


The Secret Service's mission is to provide physical protection for the U.S. president. The agency also protects major presidential candidates. But its role in vetting people who meet with a U.S. president or candidates is limited to ensuring physical safety.

Sekulow is just muddying the waters for public consumption. The longer Mueller's investigation lasts, the longer this plays out in public where Trump's only support lies.

On the other hand, the deeper that investigation goes, the less likely some of the smarter figures in the Trump cabal will continue to lie, obfuscate and hide information.
A careful parsing of the events of the last few days points to the importance of the federal criminal investigation overseen by a stalwart special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. His behind-the-scenes work already has changed the rules of the game for the White House and contributed to a more accurate public accounting.


Absent the special counsel investigation and the potential legal jeopardy for Kushner, the email chain very possibly would never have seen the light of day. Indeed, President Trump and Trump Jr. at first decided to provide a dishonest account of the June 2016 meeting, omitting the offer of dirt on the Clinton campaign. It was only after further reporting in the New York Times and finally its plan to publish the actual emails that Trump Jr. fessed up.

  LA Times
Trump and Junior think they're smarter than anybody else - and they've obviously gotten away with a lot of crooked and unethical activity in their lives. Trump's way of handling any obstacle is to sue or threaten to sue.  He can't do that here.  They may just now be finding their limits.
Perhaps no quality has more stunned and frustrated the president’s critics than his brazen willingness to lie. Trump frequently appears to have no independent regard for truth, to see veracity in purely expedient terms: What he can get away with in public debate. More dumbfounding, he and others in the White House do seem to get away with it, ridiculing plainly objective accounts as “fake news.”
Yes. That shit needs to stop. But I'm not so hopeful on that count.
The threats represented by the Mueller investigation are having additional consequences within the White House, familiar to veterans of previous scandals. Multiple accounts suggest that the Trump Jr. emails have given rise to a circular firing squad in the West Wing that we are told features widespread suspicions of Kushner. These kinds of effects will only get worse as Mueller’s work advances.
It would be my guess that suspicion of Kushner is well founded.
But the prospect of genuine legal jeopardy upends the calculation, certainly for Trump’s subordinates, who have future careers to lose, families to raise and, unlike the president, no general insulation from criminal prosecution. It is probable that some powerful people will be going to jail as a result of the Mueller investigation. Among the likeliest candidates are those who don’t realize that the game has changed, and that in the ambit of the special counsel investigation, and the courts of law, a lie is a lie.
...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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