[Ed. – Actually, I’m not so sure Republicans would all go high-order over the news that a Democrat took a meeting with a foreigner offering oppo information about a Republican. Some would undoubtedly play it for bad-optics value. But having been on this planet as a politically sentient being for about 40 years now, I think most Republicans wouldn’t want to touch the evil construction French is willing to put on this: that DJT, Jr. agreed to meet with an agent of a foreign government, as a means of colluding to subvert the election. The facts don’t support that construction, for one thing. Most Republicans would see the “collusion” conclusion as CONSPIRACISM, even if it involved a Democrat. They’d see it as something the tinfoil-hat crowd was stewing over. Oppo information, offered by a foreigner? Judgment call — not automatic moral travesty.]
Judging from conversations online and in person, the emerging Trump-friendly defense of Donald Trump Jr.’s decision to respond enthusiastically to an invitation to meet a “Russian government attorney” to receive “official documents and information” as part of the Russian government’s “support for Mr. Trump” is two-fold. First, of course you meet with someone who’s proposing to help you win your political race. And second, the meeting itself was allegedly unimportant. The Russian attorney didn’t deliver the goods. What’s the big deal?
Let’s leave aside the obvious fact that no living Republican would be making those arguments if equivalent news emerged about a Democratic president’s team and address the core of the argument. Yes, it is a “big deal” when senior representatives of an American presidential campaign meet with a purported representative of a hostile foreign power for the purpose of cooperating in that foreign power’s effort to influence an American presidential campaign.