One of the McGuffins that Democrats in the House have been huffing over for two years was the fact that they didn’t have access to two phone numbers that Donald Trump Jr. called shortly before that notorious 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with a Russian woman who claimed to have damaging information on Hillary Clinton (she didn’t, and the meeting broke up after about 15 minutes.)
House Democrats such as Rep. Adam Schiff have been drooling for the chance to retake power so they could launch investigations into whether those phone calls had been to Donald Trump, proving he was a “lying liar” when he denied knowing about the meeting. (“Russia!! Collusion!!”)
Well, sorry to bash their hopes, but the New York Times, citing two people briefed on the issue, reports that Senate investigators obtained Don Jr.’s phone records. They show that he called two longtime family friends and business associates, NASCAR CEO Brian France and investor Howard Lorber – not his father. So unless NASCAR has any Trabants racing, that alleged connection to Russia can now be laid to rest.
In a statement to the Times, Don Jr. said, “After a year of hearing about this one ad nauseam, yet another left-wing narrative officially bites the dust.” Later, he tweeted, “Has anyone heard from Adam Schiff? I imagine he’s busy leaking other confidential info from the House Intelligence Committee to change the subject?!?”
Don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll have no problem finding some other picayune detail to blow up into a federal case and launch an expensive and time-wasting investigation over. In the meantime, it’s worth noting why this was such a big deal:
The Democrats hoped to prove that Trump knew about the meeting because he’d denied knowing about the meeting, and that would be a lie, and he could be impeached for lying because…no President ever…lied before…?
Okay, that doesn’t make any sense, but neither does any of this. This particular “scandal” is based on a 15-minute pointless meeting in which people who held no official office at the time had a perfectly legal meeting with someone from a country we are not at war with, because she claimed to have damaging information on their political opponent. That’s called “opposition research,” and every campaign does it. The Trump campaign’s problem was that being political neophytes, they let their top people attend the meeting instead of sending a lackey who could be thrown under the bus.
Hillary Clinton and the DNC spent millions trying to dig up dirt on Trump, and they actually dealt with Russian sources in Russia. Even that wouldn’t have been illegal if they hadn’t tried to launder it by disguising it as legal fees, or used minions to plant unverified rumors with federal officials in order to obtain FISA warrants under false pretenses or…but I digress.
The point is, the Trump meeting was a nothingburger, and even if Trump had known about it, that would have been a nothingburger, too. His opponents’ only hope was to get him to say something inaccurate about it under oath so they could charge him with “misleading investigators” about something that wasn’t illegal in the first place. That would fit in the Mueller pattern of charging people with alleged crimes that never would have even existed if it weren’t for the investigation. And in the case of the mysterious phone calls, that house of cards just collapsed: Trump said the calls weren’t to him, and it appears that no, they weren’t.
I know this is a crazy question, but could the Democrats possibly get back to working on America’s business now instead of enlessly searching for ways to blame their own loss over two years ago on a nonexistent Russian conspiracy? If they still can’t, that should give then a clue as to why they really lost.