House Democrats may not be able to indict President Donald Trump, but they’ve taken a step toward the next best thing — a subpoena that puts Donald Trump Jr. at risk of indictment.
Now that Dems have taken the House majority, they are reopening the House Intelligence Committee’s probe into unfounded claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Their first target, according to key committee member Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), will be the president’s own son.
This news may come as a surprise so soon after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) led Democrats in shifting focus away from futile calls for impeachment. However, an acknowledgment that vague accusations of illegal collusion are unlikely to lead to impeachment won’t stop the rabidly anti-Trump left from manipulating the investigation in order to smear him in the press and put his administration in legal jeopardy.
Why Trump Jr.?
Though he holds no public office, Trump Jr. has been in the crosshairs of Democrats and special counsel Robert Mueller because of a 2016 Trump Tower meeting he attended along with a Russian lawyer.
Furthermore, Dems question the accuracy of Trump Jr.’s private testimony given to the committee while the GOP held the House.
However, the alleged smoking-gun email, in which a British music promoter hypes the meeting with an exaggerated offer of politically damaging information from the Russians, is nowhere near as incriminating as the left needs it to be.
First, the question of what precisely constitutes “illegal collusion” is uncertain. Define it too broadly, and Dems might accidentally also incriminate themselves. Don’t forget that the Russian lawyer who attended the meeting was also working with Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm hired by the Clinton campaign to produce a fraudulent dossier claiming collusion between Trump and Russia.
Second, a year and a half of investigations has failed to uncover a single thread that directly links the meeting to the president. Not one.
Third, the meeting itself turns out to be a spectacular dud. The Russians brought no dirt: They just wanted to lobby Trump to drop U.S. sanctions against Russia in the Magnitsky Act. Trump Jr. wasn’t interested, and no further action was taken. The meeting ended after 20 minutes.
Trump Jr.’s Vulnerability
Even if the Trump Tower meeting turns out to be a dud, a subpoena still puts Trump Jr. at high risk. Any factual error or small lie in the course of potentially lengthy questioning can lead to a charge of perjury.
As special counsel, Mueller has demonstrated time and again that the deep state has perfected the art of weaponizing criminal charges to bully the accused into betraying their friends.
There’s no doubt a Dem majority eager to wield their newfound power to destroy Trump would leverage a perjury charge to shake down Trump Jr. for all manner of embarrassing, if not criminal, confessions against his father’s administration. He would do well to choose his words wisely.