BREAKING NEWS : Fort Wayne woman arrested in Eileen St. shooting following arrest in Van Wert County Full Story
BREAKING NEWS : Coroner identifies Fort Wayne man killed in crash on Paulding Road Full Story

Did Trump Tower meeting violate this law?

CNN's Alisyn Camerota reads the federal law that makes it a crime for any person to receive contributions and donations by foreign nationals for a US political campaign.

Posted: Aug 7, 2018 5:55 PM
Updated: Aug 7, 2018 6:02 PM

In normal circumstances, fathers safeguard sons.

But with a peevish statement on Twitter this weekend, President Donald Trump undermined his son, Donald Trump Jr., and one of his own lawyers, saying that when the Trump presidential campaign team met with a Russian operative at Trump Tower in 2016, its purpose was "to get information on an opponent." Trump added, that it all was "totally legal and done all the time in politics - and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!"

As with so many Trump tweets, a few words can reveal a host of serious problems. And indeed, if you are able to find a similar example of paternal aggression in real life or in mythology, you are an able scholar.

Trump's tweet about the 2016 meeting reads like nothing so much as an exasperated father having to clean up the mess left by a bumbling offspring who -- it turns out -- is pretty bad at plying the family trade. More than anything else, that trade has been about managing -- and massaging -- the mythology of the Trump business: We're rich! We're decisive! We're winners!

And in this case Donald Jr. has failed utterly.

The fact is, his father's statement may imperil him: Trump Jr. could face perjury charges if he is shown to have lied to a Congressional committee about his intentions for the meeting and particularly his understanding of who would be there.

To review: First Trump Jr. said he never met with Russians about the campaign. Then, after a 2017 New York Times article reported that he and others had met in 2016 with a Kremlin-tied lawyer (who later described herself as an "informant") at Trump Tower, he first released a statement that the discussion at the meeting had been primarily about a US adoption program that had been halted by Russia (this statement was a deception concocted aboard Air Force One by his father).Then he released emails that made plain he was actually drawn to the meeting by the promise of dirt on Hillary Clinton -- a promise, he told investigators, that went unfulfilled.

The deception over the meeting was compounded when Trump attorney Jay Sekulow stated publicly: "I wasn't involved in the statement drafting at all, nor was the President." Now Sekulow says: "I had bad information at that time and made a mistake in my statement. I've talked about that before. That happens when you have cases like this."

Though Sekulow tried to explain away the reversal -- "I had bad information" -- no qualified lawyer, especially one representing the President, would speak to the press without being sure of the facts. "Bad information" can be fatal in a legal context, and if Sekulow disseminated a lie, he was either the President's dupe or his co-conspirator.

After kneecapping Sekulow, Trump then went into his usual don't-blame-me position with his weekend tweet. "I did not know about it" was a classic Trump effort to wriggle out of responsibility. It also signaled a definite shift in his response to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the links between Trump's campaign and Russians who attacked the election process.

For more than a year Trump's mantra has been "no collusion." "No collusion" occurred with the Russians who stole private emails for his opponents and facilitated their release to the public. With Mueller closing in, the new defense seems to be: OK, maybe collusion, but that's not a crime and, besides, the man at the top knew nothing.

So who did know? The list begins with his son, Donald Jr., the one most imperiled by Mueller's team. Those emails released more than a year ago show Donald Jr. was eager to receive foreign help in the pursuit of his father's goal of the presidency. "If it's what you say, I love it," he wrote in response to a foreigner's note about dirt on Hillary Clinton.

No one should doubt that documents that might damage an opponent constitute a contribution with real value. As such, Donald Jr.'s emails and his attendance at the Trump Tower meeting could put him in the middle of a criminal conspiracy.

If he lied to Congressional investigators who questioned him on the matter, he might also be subject to charges of perjury. Others who attended the meeting, including the President's son-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign manager Paul Manafort -- the latter of whom is on trial for alleged financial crimes right now -- and they face great peril, too.

By insisting he knew nothing about such a dramatic scheme, Trump wants us to reject logic and everything we know about how he operates. Trump is a man who relishes gossip, inside information and the thrill of breaking the rules. Manipulation is the family business that Donald Jr. was groomed to practice. And as sure as he breathes, he would have eagerly announced to his father that he was playing this game.

Over many decades of public life, Trump has shown that for him, winning is all that matters and if victory requires a bit of distortion and immorality, so be it. This attitude, as he adopted false personas in the past to promote himself, and, during his presidency, displayed as he inflamed racial tensions and whipped others into a frenzy of hatred for the press, is the core of Trump's personality. He is so devoted to his winner's façade that he refuses to take responsibility for anything that goes wrong.

As candidate and now President, Trump has violated so many moral norms that the shadowy content of his character is well established.

In apparently selling out his son, and exposing him to inevitable shame and possible prosecution, he has reached yet another new low. This is appalling but not a surprise, nor does it reflect a momentary lapse. It is a reflection of the President's truest self and we should expect to see more of the same.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 751826

Reported Deaths: 13811
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033581790
Lake557861011
Allen41721692
St. Joseph37001565
Hamilton36612417
Elkhart29416461
Tippecanoe22926227
Vanderburgh22559400
Porter19364326
Johnson18481389
Hendricks17692317
Clark13231195
Madison13166344
Vigo12629253
LaPorte12425221
Monroe12219176
Delaware10969198
Howard10343225
Kosciusko9636121
Hancock8578147
Bartholomew8172157
Warrick7862156
Floyd7814180
Grant7246179
Wayne7165201
Boone6976103
Morgan6764141
Dubois6222118
Marshall6211116
Cass6023110
Henry5903110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509476
Shelby502296
Lawrence4749122
Gibson445395
Clinton443255
Harrison441775
DeKalb440085
Montgomery438890
Whitley406643
Huntington403181
Steuben400559
Miami395669
Jasper388855
Knox377491
Putnam373461
Wabash362383
Ripley347370
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332453
Daviess3033100
Wells295381
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273172
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246236
Randolph245183
Jennings235349
Spencer234631
Starke228058
Fountain221448
Sullivan214643
Owen212258
Fulton203443
Jay201032
Carroll193820
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion175144
Franklin170435
Tipton166646
Parke149616
Pike138334
Blackford136232
Pulaski120748
Newton114436
Brown104443
Benton102514
Crawford102516
Martin91815
Warren84015
Switzerland8158
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0424

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1109374

Reported Deaths: 20213
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1288561469
Cuyahoga1158492216
Hamilton814161251
Montgomery525741049
Summit484431006
Lucas43380824
Butler39066606
Stark33348930
Lorain25690506
Warren24607305
Mahoning22383602
Lake21216389
Clermont20133253
Delaware18873136
Licking16668225
Fairfield16582204
Trumbull16559483
Medina15615273
Greene15289248
Clark14240306
Wood13296200
Portage13251216
Allen11916239
Richland11610211
Miami10857225
Wayne9147225
Columbiana9038230
Muskingum8908135
Pickaway8663122
Tuscarawas8654251
Marion8646139
Erie8058165
Ashtabula7171179
Hancock6998133
Ross6946163
Geauga6843151
Scioto6536106
Belmont6159174
Union584849
Lawrence5739102
Jefferson5681159
Huron5550122
Sandusky5444126
Darke5420129
Seneca5350128
Washington5323109
Athens524360
Auglaize502287
Mercer487585
Shelby477095
Knox4573112
Madison444566
Ashland435897
Putnam4335104
Defiance432399
Fulton432174
Crawford4045110
Brown402561
Logan387678
Preble3858105
Clinton379166
Ottawa373581
Highland359966
Williams348478
Champaign344959
Guernsey325254
Jackson318354
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285550
Hardin275565
Henry273667
Holmes2703101
Coshocton269260
Van Wert247264
Adams243256
Pike242835
Gallia240850
Wyandot234756
Hocking220663
Carroll197448
Paulding176642
Meigs148540
Monroe136345
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan110024
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 57°
Angola
Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 57°
Huntington
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 58°
Decatur
Mostly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 57°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 55°
Cool conditions are expected through the middle of the work week.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events