The gang that couldn’t lie straight

With the much anticipated FISA-abuse memo expected to drop any second, the media are attempting to refocus the narrative onto possible obstruction of justice by President Trump and his subordinates.

Thursday, the New York Times led with a lengthy report on the Mueller investigation’s curiosity about a statement crafted under the president’s direction last July. It concerned the now infamous Trump Tower meeting a year earlier — i.e., on June 9, 2016 — between top Trump-campaign officials Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort and a Russian contingent led by the Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

To cut to the chase, Mueller appears to be homing in on the question of whether there was a conspiracy to obstruct justice.

While President Trump was deeply involved in the drafting of the statement, it was ultimately issued by a lawyer in the name of Don Jr., to whom the Times had directed its questions about the Trump Tower meeting. The statement was untrue and ill-considered. Worse, it conflicted with another misleading version of the Trump Tower meeting that the president’s legal team simultaneously provided to a different media outlet, Circa.