The So-You-Caught-Me Defense

so you caught me

Today, many talking heads are pointing out that Donald Trump Junior is a liar and the truth is not in him; that Donald Trump Junior is about as bad a liar as ever walked God’s green earth; and that the reason why Donald Trump Junior is such a terrible liar is that Donald Trump Junior is dumb as a stump. With so many others making these points, there is no need further to belabor Donald Trump Junior’s lack of veracity and deficiency of intelligence.

But we all have our own personal perspectives. Let me offer mine, about the events of the last two days.

In younger days it was my job to defend very large corporations accused of having done very mean and nasty things. In the fullness of time I became reasonably proficient at my life’s work—as evidenced by the fact that I survived in the biz for several decades.

Now, here is the thing about scurrilous accusations. Most of the time—indeed I would say almost but not quite all the time—you can put up a defense, or at least something that might reasonably be mistaken for a defense.

Sometimes, your client didn’t actually do the wicked thing they were accused of doing. Sometimes, they did something bearing some resemblance to what they were accused of doing, but it wasn’t nearly as serious as the accusers claimed. Sometimes, they did do it, and it pissed a lot of people off and cost a lot of people a lot of money, but it wasn’t actually illegal. Sometimes, they did do it, and it caused a lot of injury, but its legality was at least in a gray area, so at least you had something to work with.

And then, and then, there were those unusual circumstances where they did exactly what they were accused of doing, and were witnessed doing it by twenty bishops and rabbis, and there was absolutely no legal defense you could assert that wouldn’t pose a serious risk of disbarment.

In my line of work, we called that the so-you-caught-me defense. And that’s pretty much where we are today.

If the Trump campaign didn’t collude with Russia, it surely to God was not from lack of intent to do so, and it surely to God was not for lack of trying to collude.

The Trumpistas are pretty much on the cusp of saying, “Yeah, we colluded with Russia, and it was legal to collude, and it was morally right to collude, because collusion served the larger good and noble cause of defeating the liberal tribe. And we would happily do it again. So go fuck yourself.”

It’s pretty clear that’s what Donald Trump Junior would say, because Donald Trump Junior is not only an inveterate liar and a person the brains of a sea urchin, Donald Trump Junior does not have, nor has he ever had, a moral compass.

And it’s pretty clear that a non-trivial portion of their base will go right along with them.

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