Somebody Has a Helluva Vendetta Going Against Donald Trump Jr.

Albin Lohr-Jones/CNP via ZUMA

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Let’s review:

Days 1-1000: Donald Trump Jr. says he’s never had any contacts with Russians and is offended at the very suggestion.

Day 1001: Faced with evidence of a meeting, Don Jr. admits that he met with a Russian lawyer but says it was about adoptions.

Day 1002: Faced with evidence of what the meeting was really about, Don Jr. admits that the Russian lawyer said she had some great dirt on Hillary Clinton, but says he didn’t know that before the meeting.

Day 1003 (today): Email evidence indicates that he knew exactly what the meeting was about beforehand. Don Jr. lawyers up.

Here’s the latest from the New York Times:

Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy, according to three people with knowledge of the email.

Don Jr. is no longer responding to these stories via Facebook or Twitter. His attorney’s statement is here.

There’s something crazy going on here, and not just the fact that Don Jr. met with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer. Let’s face it: he’s plenty dumb enough to do something like that. The crazy thing is that someone—or multiple someones—really has it in for Junior. They’ve been releasing information to the New York Times in very, very carefully staged tidbits designed to (a) get Don Jr. to lie on the record, and (b) keep the story going. At this point, Don Jr. has no idea what evidence these folks have, so he has no idea what it’s safe to lie about.

But why? Why is someone going after Don Jr.? He’s not involved with politics and Don Sr. doesn’t seem to rely on him for anything. So why destroy him? Is it just a way of going after Don Sr.? If so, who’s doing it?

POSTSCRIPT: The email was from Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who worked with Donald Trump Sr. to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow. David Corn has the whole story here.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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