We’re not saying that Don Jr. is too clueless to prosecute, but Robert Mueller might be saying it. At least, that’s what some Twitter users got from the special counsel’s report on Russian interference in the U.S. election.
In the collusion section of Mueller’s 448-page report, the special counsel said they'd contemplated prosecuting Donald Trump Jr. over the June 9, 2016, meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian attorney who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. But the special counsel ultimately decided it would be difficult to prove that Don Jr. acted “with general knowledge of the illegality” of his conduct, which included possible violations of campaign finance and contribution laws. Mueller’s report stated that there would be a “high burden to establish a culpable mental state” in Trump Jr.
In other words: It seems he simply did not know he might be committing crimes.
Rob Goldstone, an English publicist connected to Trump business associates in Russia, emailed Trump Jr. in June to facilitate a meeting with a Russian lawyer who would provide “some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.”
“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” Goldstone wrote.
Trump Jr. responded to this idea enthusiastically: “If it’s what you say I love it.”
After news of the meeting broke about a year later, President Trump dictated a statement issued on Junior’s behalf saying the meeting was about Russian adoption. But Don Jr. came clean about it shortly after when further press reports detailed the contents of the pre-meeting emails.
Cover: Donald Trump Jr. takes video of the crowd during a rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)