Donald Trump not his son is the real protagonist of the Russia drama | Jill Abramson

The story around Donald Trump Junior and Jared Kushner are titillating. But the real issue is: exactly what did the president know so when did he know it?

In the unfolding Russia scandal enveloping the White-colored House, we are so fascinated plus entertained by the supporting cast that individuals are losing sight of the guy in the starring role, Donald L Trump.

This week, thanks to great reporting by New York Times, weve been fascinated by some new characters: Donald Trump Junior, a Russian lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya and Rob Goldstone, the rounded music promoter who was their go-between.

After that, there is the presidents son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who accompanied Trump Jr towards the June meeting with the Russian attorney to gather damaging goods on Hillary Clinton. Did he dime away his own brother-in-law and disclose the particular meeting in order to draw attention far from himself?

As the Trump campaigns electronic captain, did he have the ability to direct all the Russian robots and trolls that spread dust on Hillary Clinton in crucial political precincts? (This theory from the case was put forth in a latest coop from McClatchy). Should Kushners security clearance be rescinded? Need to he be prosecuted for leaving behind out information about his Russian connections on Form 86, the required disclosure for White House officials?

Indeed, this is all titillating stuff, however it diverts us from the real problem at the heart of the Russia scandal: exactly what did the president know so when did he know it?

From the first disclosures about fired National Security Advisor Michael Flynns meetings with the Ruskies Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, that question keeps getting unnoticed. Why would Flynn have started these meetings on his own? Surely, another person must have deputized him to be the charge between Russia and the campaign.

Similarly, this strains credulity that Kushner, a whole neophyte in foreign diplomacy, might have undertaken on his own the setting up of the secure back-channel to the Russians. That suggested he do so? And Junior? He is nothing other than his dads cypher and surrogate.

Its accurate that Donald Trump Jr plus Kushner have business ties in order to rich Russian oligarchs and Ruskies banks involved in their real estate offers. Its possible that Kushners originally undisclosed meeting with banker Sergey Gorkov throughout the transition was about his familys bothered investment in a Fifth Avenue workplace tower.

In 2008, Donald Trump Jr gushed about all the Ruskies money pouring in for New York real-estate. But the timing of their meetings just after Trump clinched the Republican candidate selection and right before he took workplace suggests politics, not business, was your subject at hand.

Lets remember that the Russians all had something they frantically wanted and needed out of the brand new Trump administration: the lifting people sanctions against the outlaw state for the Crimean and Ukrainian land holds. Isnt it clear that this scandal is about a quid pro quo: Russian assistance to elect Donald Trump so that can free his friends from the provides of the sanctions.

Its simply ridiculous that will such a deeply corrupt and fantastic bargain, had it been made, might have been struck without the express knowledge plus direction of Donald J Trump. Theres no way the father was a good unwitting chump.

He says he failed to know about his sons tete the tete with the Russian lawyer, yet surely he knew the Russians were lobbying to relax the sanctions, including the Magnitsky Behave . His son-in-law would never have got attempted his back-room pirouettes without having his father-in-laws express blessings.

Anyone who has viewed the Trump family dynamics sees that the sons, son-in-law, and Ivanka are consumed by filial faithfulness. Their clout and success in the industry and political worlds are totally dependent on Donald Trump. The mature Trump was also Michael Flynns solution back to power after being terminated by President Obama. Not one of these would have endangered their status along with Donald Trump by engaging using the Russians without his knowledge plus approval.

This is particularly true of Kushner, whose more tenuous ties are usually through marriage rather than blood. Together with his Harvard background, smoother demeanor plus broad White House portfolio, he or she does seem properly cast within the role of Machievelle.

But getting visited his own father in a federal government slammer, surely he knows much better than the rest of the Trump clan the terrible consequences of breaking the law. At thirty six, still a young age, could this individual have hatched and executed the complex plot of Russian politics collusion and risked his entire future? Its doubtful.

Its his father-in-law who has a history of striking works with all kinds of sketchy characters from the realms of real estate, reality television, expert wrestling and international beauty pageants.

Certainly, Kushners security clearance needs to be immediately revoked. His high-priced protection lawyers, Jamie Gorelick and Clergyman Lowell, have their work cut out on their behalf in shielding Kushner from criminal prosecution for lying on federal types or violating federal campaign laws and regulations as a top member of the Trump campaign. Kushner has said he hopes to cooperate with congressional researchers probing the Russia affair. All of us shall see.

In this scandal, there are unavoidable comparisons to Watergate. That analysis ended with a lingering mystery: this remains unknown whether Richard Nixon ordered or knew beforehand concerning the burglary of Democratic Party head office, the event that shattered his obama administration. Donald Trumps direct role within polluting and subverting the 2016 election must not remain a secret.

The particular relatives who fill the areas in Donald Trumps House associated with Atreus may be culpable, too, however they distract from the real person appealing, the president of the United States.