Will the Russia scandal bring Trump down?
Donald Trump Jr. has published email correspondence from June 2016 documenting how he hoped to obtain incriminating information about then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a meeting with a Russian lawyer. The chaos in Washington is getting worse and worse, commentators fear.
Moscow wins either way
Trump is a boon for Moscow whether or not he remains in the White House, Dennik N believes:
“Russia can be satisfied. Its major goals are to weaken America and trust in democracy and engender crisis and chaos in the West. If Trump remains in this office which he acceded to with the help of a foreign power pursuing hostile objectives, and despite his bad manners and his infringements of the law, Russia will have achieved its goal. But that will still be the case even if the reverse happens and Trump is forced to make a shameful early departure from the White House. That would trigger a crisis and confusion, which is good for Russia.”
Republicans heading for a dead end
It's becoming increasingly difficult for the Republicans to standy by Trump, L'Obs comments:
“His legislative agenda was already extremely problematic, with Congress caught up in his attempt to do away with Obamacare and push through fiscal reform. The enormous distraction of Russiagate only makes matters worse, to the point that one has to ask when (or if) the Republicans will decide that Trump is a deadweight that must be tossed overboard. ... Now his closest family members are in the cross-hairs of justice and the sacrosanct 'Trump brand' is under direct threat, with all the repercussions that could have for his empire. ... It's hard to imagine this episode ending in anything else but a dead end.”
The noose is tightening
Trump Jr has further incriminated himself by publishing the emails, NRC Handelsblad comments:
“The Trump family seems to have eagerly welcomed the Russian offer to help Donald Trump win the election campaign against Hillary Clinton. Instead of exculpating him the emails have put Trump Jr - and thus his father too - in an even tighter spot, particularly as all those involved had remained silent about the offer until now. While the US intelligence agencies gathered information about Russian interference in the election, Trump Jr had presumed proof of it in his possession. Kushner, too, was present at the meeting yet remained silent about it all. Again and again the Trumps have downplayed the importance of the US intelligence agencies' findings regarding Russian interference in the US election.”
Fateful family business
The scandal surrounding the alleged Russia connection of Donald Trump Jr. shows how harmful family ties can be in politics, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung believes:
“The accusations against his son show almost ironically how problematic the children's double role is. Because it was a Russian business friend of the Trump family who arranged the meeting with Donald Junior. Even if it were now opportune for him Trump can't fire his son - unlike the candidates of his erstwhile TV show - and thus distance himself from the accusations. These family ties are close - so close that they risk toppling the president.”
Will Pence benefit in the end?
If evidence of President Trump being directly involved emerges in the Russia affair his situation could become very precarious, La Repubblica observes:
“In that case impeachment proceedings could be launched, particularly if the Democrats regain a majority in Congress. But unease is also spreading among the Republicans and prompted Vice President Mike Pence to make a Sibylline declaration. … He knew nothing of a meeting between the Trump clan and a lawyer who allegedly has close ties to the Russian government, he said. Pence also stressed that all this happened when he hadn't even been selected as vice president. … As we all know, in the event of impeachment proceedings the vice president takes over as president.”