Even Bush's Ethics Lawyer Is Ready to Use the T-Word About the Trump Administration

The Russian collusion saga continues apace. On Saturday, the New York Times reported that Donald Trump Jr. agreed to meet with Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya after he was promised compromising information on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign. Paul J. Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended the meeting.


According to Richard Painter, former ethics lawyer to Pres. George W. Bush, the Trump campaign staff meeting "borders on treason if it’s not treason itself.”

“Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner were both apparently involved in this,” Painter said in an MSNBC interview on Sunday. “And this was an effort to get opposition research on an opponent in an American political campaign from the Russians, who are known to be engaged in spying inside the United States.”

Painter, a frequent critic of Trump allies coordinating with Russia's cyber operations, has suggested the Trump administration may be guilty of treason before, but never this explicitly.

“We do not get our opposition research from spies. We do not collaborate with Russian spies unless we want to be accused of treason,” he hammered.

“The Bush administration never would have tolerated this,” Painter continued. “And if this story is true, we’d have one of them or both of them in custody by now and we’d be asking them a lot of questions. This is unacceptable."

Watch:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.