Ohio lawmakers respond to Donald Trump Jr.’s email news
WASHINGTON — The release Tuesday of an email exchange in which Donald Trump Jr. was told that the Russians had dirt on his father’s presidential opponent left Ohio lawmakers by turns intrigued, irate and, in some cases, hoping a special prosecutor would figure it all out.
Democrats, predictably, were most indignant about an email showing the president’s son had agreed to a meeting based on the premise that the Russian contact had information to incriminate 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. They stopped short, however, of Sen. Tim Kaine’s statement that the younger Trump had may have committed treason. Kaine, D-Va., was Clinton’s running mate.
Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Jefferson Township, said the release of the exchange refuted months of Trump’s denials that his campaign had contact with Russia.
“Based on Donald Trump Jr.’s email exchange, we now know that is not the truth and that the Trump campaign would stop at nothing to win the presidency,” said Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Jefferson Township. “The American people are owed the truth and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller should leave no stone unturned in that pursuit.”
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, said the story from the administration about its links to the Russians was ever-changing.
“We need the truth,” he said. “And every day we don’t get the truth is one more day the administration is going back on its promise to create jobs for our people, end the opioid epidemic, increase access to affordable health care, and put money back into the pockets of American families. The American people are still waiting for things to get better for them, and Donald Trump is failing to deliver.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, called the emails “troubling,” but said they were “forcing attention away from the business of creating jobs and supporting working families.
“The president needs to be straight with the American people and provide the honest answers they deserve, so we can move on with creating jobs, renegotiating NAFTA, and investing in our infrastructure,” he said.
Asked about the electronic exchanges during a conference call with Ohio reporters, Sen. Rob Portman said he supports Mueller’s investigations.
Mueller, the Ohio Republican said, “is the right person to get to the bottom of this and give the American people some sense of trust in our institutions.”
Portman said he believes Russia did meddle in the election. He said he did not believe meeting with Russia specifically to get dirt on Clinton is “appropriate” if true, but added he would defer to investigations by Mueller and the House and Senate Intelligence committees.
Spokespersons for Reps. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington, and Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa Township, meanwhile, backed their bosses’ support for Mueller as well as other investigations into the Trump administration’s links to Russia.
“Congressman Stivers continues to support the ongoing investigations by Robert Mueller, and the House and Senate Intelligence committees, and believe they should follow the facts wherever they lead,” said Tim Alford, a spokesman for Stivers.
Said Olivia Hnat, a spokeswoman for Tiberi: “There are multiple ongoing investigations into Russia and President Trump’s campaign. Congressman Tiberi continues to support those investigations