The Trump Tower meeting cut down to size

Remember all the excitement after it was revealed that Donald Trump Jr. and a few others in the Trump campaign met with that Russian lawyer at Trump Tower? The mainstream media treated this news as if it were a tipping point in the search for collusion between Team Trump and the Russian government.

The notion was always absurd. News flash: A presidential campaign, when offered dirt on the opponent, will hear out the person offering it, even if that person happens to be Russian.

That’s what happened at Trump Tower. Except that the Russian had no dirt to offer. She used the promise of dirt as a pretext to moan about sanctions and the meeting disintegrated. No one colluded with anyone. No one came close.

Now, almost a year after this story broke, the Senate Judiciary Committee has released 2500 pages of hearing transcripts and related material about the Trump Tower meeting. The documents confirm what I just stated about the meeting. The Washington Post acknowledges as much and tries to divert attention by discussing earlier events pertaining to Rob Goldstone who organized the Trump Tower meeting.

But there is something new that’s relevant to the Trump Tower meeting. We now know that the Clinton campaign used Russian sources to develop (or manufacture) dirt on Donald Trump. In other words, the Clinton campaign actually did what Donald Trump Jr merely contemplated doing, and probably hoped to do — obtain damaging information about the opposition candidate from Russians.

The Clinton campaign did this through agents. The campaign’s law firm, Perkins Coie, paid GPS Fusion, which paid Christopher Steele, who obtained dirt on Trump from Russian sources. That dirt became the infamous “dossier.”

Steele then tried to inject the dossier into the campaign. He failed to get anywhere with the media, but was able to feed it to the FBI where Hillary Clinton supporters in the Bureau made effective use of it.

In addition, it appears that Sidney Blumenthal, Hillary Clinton’s close ally, worked with pro-Clinton operative Cody Shearer to develop dirt on Trump via Russians. Shearer wrote a own dossier containing information that must have been provided by Russians. Blumenthal reportedly gave it to a pro-Clintn operative at the State Department, who passed it to Steele, who passed it to the FBI.

Compare all of this to a brief, one-off meeting between Trump Jr. and a few Russians — a meeting at which, essentially, nothing happened. As Ed Rogers summarizes it, “the Democrats were the ones who solicited and utilized Russian-supplied, damning information about Trump, instead of Trump using Russian-supplied, damning information about Clinton.”

No wonder we have heard so little about the Trump Tower meeting recently. No wonder even the Washington Post treated the release of the Senate Judiciary Committee transcript as ho-hum.