It's becoming clearer and clearer that the Russian government was involved in the 2016 presidential election. What remains unclear is the extent of their contact with the Trump administration and what the consequences for any potential collusion might be. Earlier this week, President Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., released an e-mail chain on his Twitter account, confirming that he met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016 in order to gather potentially harmful information about Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr., who recently graced the cover of TIME due to the scandal, has been accused of violating campaign finance law and helping a foreign government influence an American election. He's defended keeping the meeting secret, saying "there was nothing to tell." His father, meanwhile, has denied any collusion with Russia multiple times, and insists that his son has done no wrong.
In a White House interview with Reuters, Trump expressed his belief that "many people would have held that meeting," adding, "Many people, and many political pros, said everybody would do that." Moreover, he tweeted out that his son has been unfairly targeted in a “witch hunt.”
My son Donald did a good job last night. He was open, transparent and innocent. This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history. Sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2017
There's been suspicion of a potential collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign team for a while, but the email evidence is the most damning yet. According to NPR, Trump Jr. may have to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee as early as next week. Some members of Congress are already weighing in, like Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican from Michigan. "The implications of the email threat are serious & disturbing," he tweeted. "We deserve answers, not an ever-changing story. If there's more, tell us now."
The implications of the email thread are serious & disturbing. We deserve answers, not an ever-changing story. If there's more, tell us now.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) July 12, 2017
President Trump is currently in France to recognize Bastille Day, but back in D.C. it seems like the investigation into his campaign is just getting started. This is unfortunate timing for the administration, as their health care reform bill is currently struggling to gain the Senate's approval.
However this investigation ends, it has the potential to change political campaign law—and American history—forever.