Does ANYTHING matter? Do facts exist? Does right and wrong exist?
In June 2016 Donald Trump Jr gets an email from a friend saying, "The documents (he would receive from a Russian attorney representing the Russian government) “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.”
Trump Jr. replied within minutes: “If it’s what you say I LOVE IT especially later in the summer.”
Let's review: a Russian attorney known to work for the Russian government in promoting the repeal of US sanctions against Russia, gets a meeting with the Trump campaign where she is expected to give damaging info about Hillary Clinton to the Trump campaign. This info, most likely, would be info hacked and stolen info. In other words, illegally obtained information. And in return, an intellectually honest person would conclude, Russia would deserve a reward, such as the repeal of those aforementioned Russian sanctions.
Let's compare this situation to the "yeah, but Hillary" argument we are often hearing as the Trump defense.
Trump apologists are claiming that the DNC worked with the Ukrainian government to get dirt on Paul Manafort. Indeed, it did come out that Manafort received MILLIONS of dollars from pro-Russian political parties in the Ukraine and indeed, Manafort did have to resign as Trump campaign manager.
Are these two things the same kind of "oppo research"?
Obviously not. As Politico reported in January 2017, "A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation."
Yes an Ukrainian American citizen, Alexandra Chalupa, a consultant to the DNC, used her knowledge and connections to research Paul Manafort's connections with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine and in her research did interface with the Ukraine government. Since Manafort represented pro-Russian groups in Ukraine and Russia did actually INVADE Ukraine, Ukraine was probably happy to confirm Manafort's Russian connections in the hope he would be nowhere near the White House in the future.
Here is the difference between what the DNC (not Hillary Clinton by the way) did and what Donald Trump Jr did; what Alexandra Chalupa did was research and seek verification of information that actually should have been public information - Manafort was actually supposed to have disclosed his status as a foreign agent - he had not done so then. No stolen emails, no hacking, nothing but asking questions about, as it turns out, real wrong doing. What this was not was a hostile foreign government trying to meddle with our democracy - it was the DNC, a US political party, trying to find info about their opponent. This was not a Ukrainian campaign to subvert US democracy.
In the case of Donald Trump Jr, he was hoping to get damaging info that would have been the product of ILLEGAL hacking; it could have been faked documents; in any event it was offered by a hostile foreign government hoping to get sanctions lifted and disrupt the US election. It was RUSSIA, a hostile foreign government, seeking an American co-conspirator to subvert our election and they found one in the Trump campaign.
Does the DNC have the right to investigate Paul Manafort? Yes. Can a DNC consultant ask Ukraine to verify that Manafort was paid by pro-Russian parties? YES. And subsequently, Manafort has confirmed that connection, but probably too late to escape punishment.
Does Donald Trump Jr have the right to receive hacked emails to use against Hillary Clinton? NO. Does Russia have the right to interfere with our election as part of "its government’s support for Mr. Trump”? NO.
Is it wrong to meet with a friendly government to confirm whether a US citizen has violated US law by failing to disclose that they were a foreign agent? NO.
Is it wrong to meet with a hostile government, Russia, to receive stolen and possibly faked info designed to hurt your opponent? YES!
IS it then wrong, disgusting and phony to be insulted when others suggest collusion with that hostile government and you actually did try to collude just a couple of weeks before? YES! Watch the incredible video of a person (Donald Trump Jr.) with no moral grounding: