Now, look: I’m aware that we exist in a post-truth reality where things like “hard evidence” no longer constitute “hard evidence.”
This is also a world in which the mainstream media’s sources are called “unreliable” when it comes to stories about Donald Trump even when those sources are people with Donald Trump’s same name only with “Jr.” tacked on.
Relatedly, this is a world where e-mails sent by people with Donald Trump’s same name only with “Jr.” tacked on are characterized as “fake news” even when that same Donald Trump Jr. himself posted them to his (verified) Twitter account.
So again, I’m not operating under any delusions about the extent to which Monday’s bombshell-ish news will promptly be derided by the #MAGA crowd as a figment of everyone’s imagination but there’s.
That said, this, just out from The New York Times, looks really fucking bad:
A business associate of President Trump promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, that he said would help Mr. Trump win the presidency.
The business associate, Felix Sater, wrote a series of emails to Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, in which he boasted about his ties to Mr. Putin and predicted that building a Trump Tower in Moscow would be a political boon to Mr. Trump’s candidacy.
“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Mr. Sater wrote in an email. “I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”
The Times does go on to note that “there is no evidence in the emails that Mr. Sater delivered on his promises.”
I would collegiately dispute that. Here is the evidence:
And then, just minutes after the Times piece excerpted above went live, WaPo hit us with this:
A top executive from Donald Trump’s real estate company emailed Vladimir Putin’s personal spokesman during the U.S. presidential campaign last year to ask for help advancing a stalled Trump Tower development project in Moscow, according to documents submitted to Congress Monday.
Michael Cohen, a Trump attorney and executive vice president for the Trump Organization, sent the email in January 2016 to Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s top press aide.
“Over the past few months I have been working with a company based in Russia regarding the development of a Trump Tower – Moscow project in Moscow City,” Cohen wrote Peskov, according to a person familiar with the email. “Without getting into lengthy specifics the communication between our two sides has stalled.”
“As this project is too important, I am hereby requesting your assistance. I respectfully request someone, preferably you, contact me so that I might discuss the specifics as well as arranging meetings with the appropriate individuals. I thank you in advance for your assistance and look forward to hearing from you soon,” Cohen wrote.
Cohen’s email marks the most direct interaction yet documented of a top Trump aide and a similarly senior member of Putin’s government.
There are all kinds of details and attempts by the parties involved to spin all of that or otherwise claim that this was just “business as usual,” but methinks this isn’t likely to sit well with Robert Mueller.
And actually, it’s probably safe to assume that Mueller and his team know everything included in these two stories plus a whole lot more that the media isn’t (yet) aware of.
Angry Trump Twitter tirade imminent.