Before the world saw them, The New York Times had knowledge of the exchange of emails that led Donald Trump Jr. to meet with a Russian lawyer promising damaging information about Hillary Clinton during last year’s campaign.
The story — which the paper broke Sunday and reverberated Tuesday when Trump Jr. himself published the emails on Twitter — leaned on five unnamed sources confirming the existence of those emails. At least two of those came from inside the White House…
This has led many to wonder who within or close to the White House would leak such a damning scoop to The Times. Here are some potential suspects:
I only see three major possibilities. The first is domestic intel. Whoever leaked it had to have access to the emails. The publicist for the Russian billionaire would have had access to his emails with Don Jr. Increasingly it appears the entire episode might have been a private sector intel operation launched in coordination with the American state security apparatus to justify FISA warrants on Trump’s campaign. If that is the case, the Russian billionaire’s publicist was probably handing in all the emails as part of the file on the operation. In addition, Don Jr is probably under surveillance himself, meaning all of his emails are harvested and archived by the government, and probably even read by an assigned monitor. So domestic intel had them, and this may be an attempt to kneecap Don Jr’s political career before he starts it. Personally I find him as charismatic and exciting a possibility as a Presidential candidate as his father, if not more so. And like his father, he is entirely his own man, owned by nobody. That is guaranteed to make him a target.
The second possibility would be the private sector intel organization which organized the operation for US State Security. Fusion GPS is showing up in a lot in dirty tricks launched against this President, and there is no doubt they would hold all the files on any operations they launched. Founded by former reporters (the CIA has actually placed agents as reporters in major news organizations, reportedly), Fusion GPS’ cofounder just refused to testify to congress about its involvement in the Trump dossier it was hired to produce:
The co-founder of the shady opposition research firm behind the infamous Russian dossier on President Donald Trump is refusing to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week, according to (Politico)
The committee listed Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, as a witness in the July 19 hearing, titled (Oversight of the Justice Department’s (Non) Enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act…)
It would not be impossible such an organization, with records on file that could hurt Don Jr, might release them.
The other possibility? Donald Trump himself, probably through an intermediary. Don Jr would have had the emails, and whoever he CC’d would have had them. But Kushner would know how much the President values loyalty, and Donald senior, who is an expert at accessing people trusts him, so it is safe to assume that Kushner would never leak them unless told to. Manafort would presumably know better than to gratuitously attack the son of the President, when he is the only other person on whom suspicion would fall.
What would Donald get from doing this? This story has overshadowed two major border wall stories. This one:
The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday released a bill allocating $1.6 billion to begin construction of a physical barrier along the U.S. border with Mexico, one of President Trump’s central campaign promises.
The bill funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for fiscal year 2018 also negates one of Trump’s central promises, that Mexico would pay for the construction of the wall.
“Keeping Americans safe by protecting our homeland is a top priority. This funding bill provides the resources to begin building a wall along our southern border, enhance our existing border security infrastructure, hire more border patrol agents, and fund detention operations,” said House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter.
For at least six months, private contractors and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have been quietly preparing to build the first piece of President Trump’s border wall through the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge in South Texas…
“This should be public information,” the official told the Observer
“There shouldn’t be government officials meeting in secret just so they don’t have to deal with the backlash. The public has the right to know about these plans.”
So Trump doesn’t want anybody to know about that, and coincidentally, at the same time, all anyone can talk about are Donald Trump Jr’s emails. Even though it was leaked to the media, it has gotten almost no coverage because everyone thinks the other story might be the key to impeaching President Trump and removing him from office.
It looks to me like another brilliant piece of covfefee by our Commander in Chief.