The Trump family made headlines once again this morning with a major revelation about Donald Trump Jr.’s dealings with a Kremlin-connected lawyer in exchange for dirt on Hillary Clinton. The details of the encounter, which were first published as an email exchange on Twitter by none other than Donald Trump Jr. himself, came after days of dogged reporting by The New York Times, which essentially backed Trump Jr. into a corner by claiming it was in possession of the emails. The bizarre exchange shows Trump Jr. agreeing to meet with a lawyer who was said to possess damaging information about Hillary Clinton at the behest of the Russians.
The documents, publicist Rob Goldstone wrote, “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father. … This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
The news was hailed as a significant development in the ongoing questions dogging Trump’s presidency about potential collusion between his campaign and Russia, and was met with swift condemnation. In an interview on CNN, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine said Trump Jr. may have committed treason (a claim echoed earlier by former President George W. Bush’s ethics lawyer), and former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman told The Independent the emails were “a smoking canon.”
Despite the outcry, however, most of North Carolina’s congressional representatives have been conspicuously silent.
The INDY asked all thirteen members of the North Carolina House delegation about the email controversy embroiling Trump Jr. To date, only four have responded. Three happen to be the only Democratic members of the delegation.
Democratic Congressman G.K. Butterfield of Durham was the first to publicly weigh in. “The reports that Donald Trump, Jr. met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer regarding potentially damaging information should set off an alarm for all Americans,” he said in a statement. “Today’s revelations from Donald Trump, Jr. himself show that his father’s campaign was willing to work with an adversarial foreign power in order to influence the presidential election.”
Alma Adams of Charlotte was second.
“Today’s incendiary news underscores the immediate need for an outside independent commission to investigate ties between the Trump administration and Russia,” she said. “One after another, senior Trump officials have been caught hiding meetings with Russian agents. This newest revelation of a meeting arranged by Donald Trump Jr. is just another page in a dangerous narrative. We have a responsibility to put partisan politics aside and get the answers the American people deserve.”
The final Democratic member of North Carolina’s Congressional delegation, David Price of Wake County, told the INDY in a statement:
Meanwhile, only one Republican member of the delegation has responded to our inquiries. In an email, the communications director for Congressman Walter B. Jones of Farmville said, “He hasn’t been fully able to review yet. He has no comment at this time.” We’ll update this post as more responses come in.