President Trump received three doses of bad news on Wednesday.
First, the Senate Judiciary Committee released documents showing how interested Donald Trump Jr. was in finding dirt on Hillary Clinton from foreign sources. The Post reports: “Rinat Akhmetshin, a former Soviet soldier and Russian-American lobbyist who attended the [June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower], told the committee that Trump Jr. had opened the session by getting straight to the point: ‘I believe you have some information for us,’ Akhmetshin recalled the president’s son telling [Russian lawyer Natalia] Veselnitskaya.”
It could not be more obvious that Trump Jr. was asking a foreign source for information to help his father win an election. Moreover, the denial of any Russian contacts during the campaign is in tatters. (“The testimony also discloses additional contacts between [Russian billionaire Aras Agalarov, and son Emin], [Rob] Goldstone and Trump aides during the campaign, confirming previous reports in The Washington Post.”)
Second, the Senate Intelligence Committee showed it is no patsy for the president. Contradicting the House Intelligence report, the Senate committee found — just as our intelligence community said — that Russia intervened in the election to facilitate Trump’s victory. “The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President [Vladimir] Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton,” ranking Democrat Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) announced, as the Post reported.
Even more damning: “Everyone that we’ve ever had testify still stands by the full findings of the ICA,” Warner said. “We’ve had all the Obama officials, we’ve had all the Trump officials. Every person.” Its conclusion would seem to be self-evident given, among other things, the hacking and releasing of emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta, and offers of assistance to only the Trump camp. Nevertheless, the Senate’s bipartisan conclusion helps put the House kangaroo court in proper perspective and underscores the rank irresponsibility of Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) in allowing a farcical process to play out, putting partisanship above national security.
Finally, Trump’s financial disclosure form reveals that, lo and behold, the president did reimburse Michael Cohen for that $130,000 payoff to Stormy Daniels. Not only did the Office of Government Ethics confirm this item had to be reported (hence it was