Since the beginning of the Trump administration six months ago, we’ve seen the mainstream media finally drop the euphemisms and call Trump out for his lies. That is progress.
But I watched in amazement as one news organization after another took Sec. of State Tillerson’s description of what happened during the Trump/Putin meeting at face value. Or worse yet, compared it to the Russian Foreign Minister’s account. As I wrote at the time, both of them were merely providing us with what their bosses wanted us to believe had taken place during those two hours. Based on their track records, we have no reason to believe either one of them.
I had the same reaction when, either obviously or more subtly, so many people accepted Donald Trump, Jr’s account of what happened during his meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, and/or her version of events. Once again, neither are to be trusted. The truth is that, while the email exchange setting up that meeting tells us a lot, we know nothing about what actually transpired at that gathering in Trump Tower last June.
If we have learned nothing over this last year and a half it’s that Trump, his family and his staff are chronic habitual liars. It is pointless to draw any conclusions about how events transpired that we can’t witness with our own eyes.
I say all that because we are now hearing calls for Don, Jr. to testify in an open hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. There is a reason why that request is coming from the Republican Chair Chuck Grassley. It would be nothing more than a forum for the president’s son to repeat his lies about what transpired during his meeting with Veselnitskaya. And yes, I have no doubt that he would lie under oath.
While I agree with Matt Yglesias that Jared Kushner ” is the man at the intersection of the various threads of the Trump/Russia scandal,” I’m also not interested in seeing him testify in an open hearing. That would simply be a platform for more lies. Yglesias makes the case that Kushner is avoiding the spotlight. And there is a lot of truth to that. But he’s certainly not escaping the attention of Mueller’s team—where he is the only member of Trump’s administration who has been named a “person of interest” in the investigation.
My one caveat about these two men testifying at a Congressional hearing is that it might be worth it if committee members had information beforehand and were able to catch either one of them lying. I’ll admit that there’d be reason for a little schadenfreude involved in watching Republicans try to defend them over the very thing they used to impeach Bill Clinton.
But beyond that, we should simply be patient and let Mueller’s team do their job. He seems to have assembled a group that know what they’re doing and, even though I’m as anxious as the next person to get to the bottom of this, giving liars a platform to spread their lies is not the way to go about getting that done.