Outside counsel. It is the phrase that pays in the Trump administration right now. Everyone is lawyering up as they say in the criminal justice system. At this rate, even some of the lawyers have lawyers. It’s the way things are going with Donald these days. Thus, our episode of As The Donald Turns “Outside Counsel.”
• At this point, producers are all over the staff here to create a spinoff, As The Donald Jr. Turns. Trying to keep up with the spawn’s email/meeting scandal is a daily adventure. First he had the meeting to discuss the law banning American families from adopting Russian children. The next day, it was that he went to the meeting and the attorney from the Kremlin wanted to discuss giving the dirt on Hillary, but Donald Jr. said there was nothing there and the conversation turned to the adoption law and he and the others left. At some point, Jr. decided it would be a good idea to release all of the emails and written communication that led up to the illicit meeting. Julian Assange wanted in on the story:
JulianAssange 6h6 hours ago
“Contacted Trump Jr this morning on why he should publish his emails (i.e with us). Two hours later, does it himself:”
Indeed he did it himself and it completely undermined his original version of the story. It showed that people close to the Trump family, with ties to the Russian government, set up the meeting and that it was clear it was help from Moscow to assist Donald’s campaign. Not to mention you are not going to bring favored son-in-law Jared Kushner and Ukrainia’s favorite presidential chairman Paul Manafort, if you thought it was a bunch of nothing.
• No one in their right legal mind would have suggested this email dump or thought it was a good idea. But of course right minds are in short supply right now as people scramble for the life preservers. Jr. is no doubt getting high end legal advice from an attorney well versed in politics. Well, sort of. Donald Jr. has hired Alan Futerfas, a New York attorney who has gained fame by defending members of the Colombo and Genovese crime families. There are dots to be connected here, but we are sure you do not need our help to do that.
• This was the second day in a row that the White House briefing was off camera and off live broadcast. It was audio only and it was embargoed until after the media gathering was over. The staff here has put Sean Spicer’s photo on the side of milk cartons. Sparkle Pony is missing. He has not taken a role in any Trump administration media event in nearly two weeks. Today, again, it was Sarah Huckabee Sanders telling us all that the entire Russia story was a big pile of nothing, yet, she would not answer any questions about it. “I refer you to outside counsel,” was repeated by Huckabee Sanders no fewer than seven times in the 20 minute briefing. Of course no outside counsel for any of the Trump Family Feud gameshow members will talk at all.
• Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said we need to get to the bottom of this whole issue. And by this whole issue, he means he wants to know how an attorney who was likely a Russian spy got into this country. Well, she probably did it like the other spies that are here. I can’t imagine she had special super powers. But Grassley is looking for a way to pin this on the Obama administration. You’d be surprised where the spies are. The next city over from where I live is a small community. Two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. No major grocery store outlets, but a bunch of mom and pop eateries and shops. Downtown is about 6 blocks long. There was a well known locally owned and operated pharmacy that had been on the same street corner for decades. That is until the FBI raided the place a few years back because the owners were filing fraudulent Medicare paperwork as a way to launder money for Russian spies. Hey, Senator Grassley, look around the burger joint where you are eating tonight. Could be a Russian spy right there. It’s not that difficult and it is not Barack Obama’s fault, no matter what you are about to say.
• Reliable reports Tuesday night say his staff has asked Donald to back away from Twitter, or at least do not tweet trying to back up his son or son-in-law or others involved in all the Russia mess. The running spin on twitter looks silly when the stories and allegations turn out to be true. Even Vice President Pence has put distance between himself and the office he may be holding in a year or so.
“The vice president is working every day to advance the president’s agenda,” Marc Lotter, Pence’s press secretary, said in a statement. “He was not aware of the meeting. He is also not focused on stories about the campaign — especially those pertaining to the time before he joined the campaign.”
Time to run for outside counsel, folks.