The process by which the legal system determines what’s true and what is not, what’s legally acceptable and what isn’t, is often complicated and hard to parse. But sometimes, every once in a great while, there’s a situation that is perfectly logical — it almost works like computer programming: If X is true, then Y must be untrue or also true or at least somewhat true.
We got to see just such an instance after the transcript of Hope Hicks’ testimony, reluctant as it was, was released.
Way back in the beginning of all of this, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told a Russian news outlet that there were “contacts” between his nation and the Trump campaign during then-candidate Trump’s run to the White House. He revealed that fact, of course, just a little too late — he came out and said it two days after Trump had won.
But Hope Hicks, in her role as director of communications at the time, told the Associated Press,
There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.”
That public statement came back to haunt her in the closed-door interview last week, when Representative Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania asked Ms. Hicks about the fact that the Mueller Report had thoroughly debunked that idea, and that there had, in fact, been more than 100 contacts between the campaign and Russia. Hicks told her she was “very surprised” to learn this.
In fact, Hicks told her she had absolutely checked with “senior campaign officials” prior to even speaking to the press about Ryabkov’s comment. The obvious next question — who did you check with? — is where Hicks may have inadvertently implicated Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner in an illegal cover-up.
I believe I spoke to several people. Jason Miller [a Trump campaign spokesperson], Jared Kushner. I believe Jason Miller may have reached out to Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon.”
What’s more, Hicks said she checked back with all of those “senior campaign officials” after she made the statement to the press, to make sure what she’d said had been accurate — none of them corrected her.
Now Bannon, Miller, and Conway may be off the hook here: It’s entirely possible that they actually didn’t know there had been contacts between Russia and the campaign. But, uh, Jared? Jared was in attendance at the Trump Tower meeting some five months earlier. Jared knew full well that there had been contacts, and that he was misleading Ms. Hicks with his answer or lack of one.
It wasn’t just the Tower meeting, either. Senate Judiciary document requests to Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, indicate that they know Kushner was aware of even more contacts, including a “backdoor overture” from a former member of the Russian mob that was an attempt to set up a meeting between Trump himself and the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin.
If Hicks’ testimony to Congress is true, it shows that Jared Kushner was already waist-deep in the Trump administration’s cover story from the very beginning.
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