The frenzy over Junior
Official Washington is nearing a frenzy over the meeting and email exchanges between Donld Trump, Jr. and a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign. Partisans on both sides are talking with far too much certainty about events they know too little about -- in other words, just another day inside the Beltway.
But is there anything to the allegations?
The honest answer is we do not know. There is an investigation underway, and we should see where the facts -- not the hyperbole -- take us.
That's what conservatives do. We collect facts, weigh evidence, and make conclusions based upon an understanding of the whole story...not the spin.
This does not mean we're immune to, or can disregard, first impressions. And our first impression of this entire affair tracks with that of National Review's Rich Lowry, who wrote:
It’s not evidence of the strong theory of collusion — some sort of quid pro quo over the hacked emails — but by any reasonable standard it’s still shocking and wrong. To welcome assurances of support from a hostile government and agree to meet someone billed as a Russian government lawyer for dirt on your opponent is wildly out of bounds.
Is it more than that? Let’s wait and see. The defense here will surely be that the Russian go-between is a Trump family friend who was exaggerating and talking loosely and the lawyer didn’t have the goods, or any goods whatsoever, and that was the end of it. That may even be true. But can anyone really have a great deal of confidence in that now?
All of which makes it even more important for us to follow the facts and evidence where it leads -- not where we hope it goes, or others want to steer us.
Again, that's what conservatives have always done. It may cause anxiety in some quarters, and rage in others. But finding and supporting the truth -- even if it is uncomfortable or unexpected -- is a conservative first principle.
And unlike the so called "resistance," and large swaths of the press (but we repeat ourselves), we do not ditch our principles when it's convenient, or to push a partisan narrative.