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September 5, 2017, Washington: Looking back at this summer’s scandal around Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in his Trump Tower office, revelations have come so quickly that the editors are providing this recap for readers struggling to keep up.
Mid-July: When news of the meeting first broke, we reported that it was just between Mr. Trump, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and the lawyer. But soon Washington was rocked by the news that an interpreter, a show-business agent for Russian pop star Emin, and a representative of a family worried about Russian adoptions were present too. In Georgetown salons everyone asked, what shoe would drop next? The next day, Congresswoman Maxine Waters demanded the President’s impeachment.
A few days later: CNN reported that not just Emin’s agent but Emin himself and his band had attended. On his MSNBC program the next morning, Joe Scarborough expressed the shock and outrage. For a half-hour his guests sat silently as he shouted, “Lies, lies, lies!” He concluded, “Every time we think this stomach-turning scandal can’t get worse, it does. Who’s next?” The next day, Congresswoman Maxine Waters demanded the President’s impeachment.
Another Monday: The Washington Post revealed that celebrity computer and icon of the artificial intelligence diversity community, Deep Blue, had been invited to the meeting and, though too busy to leave his office, attended by phone. “It was my first dial-up in decades – so retro, so cool,” said Mr. Blue. Leaks from the intelligence community confirmed rumors that Vladimir Putin has long admired Mr. Blue. “Anyone who can knock off [former Russian chess champion and Putin critic] Garry Kasparov is a better man than I am,” Mr. Putin had been overheard saying in his Kremlin office. CNN morning host, Chris Cuomo asked viewers, “What more evidence do we need?” He added, “Mr. Blue is no dummy. He knew why he was there. That meeting had collusion written all over it.” The next day, Congresswoman Maxine Waters demanded the President’s impeachment.
The following week: In quick succession the White House acknowledged that the entire Russian World Cup soccer team, Cold War alumni of the CIA and the KGB, and the touring company of Bolshoi Ballet were present at the meeting in Donald Trump Jr.’s office. “This White House is dedicated to complete transparency,” an administration spokesman told reporters on a condition of anonymity. “We promised to make public everything about that meeting. We have. There is nothing more to be said.” The next day, Congresswoman Maxine Waters demanded the President’s impeachment.
Last week: Late on Friday afternoon, an unnamed source read to an anonymous New York Times editorial writer portions of a memo from recently fired FBI chief James Comey to himself. “Dearest,” it began, “I now doubt that the infamous June 2016 meeting in Donald Trump, Jr’s office actually occurred in that office.” Bureau agents, he continued, had determined that at the very hour the meeting took place, all participants had in fact been at the estate on the Eastern Shore of Maryland that the US government seized from Russia in 2016. President Trump was present, too. “This deal will be huge,” Mr. Comey quotes the President from recordings made by drones overhead. “Theater, soccer stadium, home for retired public servants who want to share their deeply classified stories from the good old days with the only people they really trust. The smartest minds and the best lawyers, like Natalia Veselnitskaya, from both our countries have been working for months.” Mr. Trump concluded, “The whole world will want to buy into this. Everyone will love it. With all the money we make, we’ll retire the national debt. The entire national debt. Gone. So gone you’ll wish we had it back. Have I ever exaggerated?”
The next day: Congresswoman Maxine Waters demanded the President’s impeachment.