During the controversy over the El Paso ballpark there were many rumors about impropriety. Many were true and others were wrong. One of the longest running controversies involved the improper election interference benefiting Steve Ortega’s run for mayor. Ortega lost. However, the election subterfuge with the bond monies for the ballpark cost the taxpayers of El Paso millions in additional costs.
When confronted with questions about impropriety, the City’s officials denied them, referring to the rumors as fake news. The City was correct and the rest were just disgruntled voters was the official position. Eventually the truth emerged. Former city Manager Joyce Wilson delayed the sale of the ballpark bonds to help Steve Ortega’s election bid. We found this out because several El Pasoans compelled the government to release to them official emails detailing the various shenanigans. It was a laborious and difficult battle and although not all the emails made it into the public realm, enough of them were made public giving the taxpayers a better understanding of how they were hurt by the election subterfuge to help Steve Ortega.
Today there is much innuendo and many questions about whether Donald Trump colluded with the Russians. We know the Russians interfered in the 2016 elections. What we don’t know is whether Donald Trump colluded with them.
Although the rumors and wishful thinking abounds, it wasn’t until Donald Trump Jr. unilaterally released emails concerning a meeting he held with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, that we finally got a glimpse into the possibility of active collusion.
Like the El Paso ballpark controversy, the legalese of criminality is ambiguous enough making it difficult to decide about the criminality, if any, of the meeting. However, the emails are the first thread in what is sure to become an avalanche of more information about the Russian affair that is sure to follow.
It will be the emails that will answer many more questions.
Unlike conversations and meetings where official transcripts do not exist, or where recordings have not been released, emails give us an unvarnished look into the controversy. Obviously, the problem is that most wrongdoers do not easily and willingly give up their private emails, well, that is until Donald Trump Jr. did so this week.
If the Donald Trump administration ends before its term is over, it will be the emails, these and others yet to be released, that will end the Trump administration prematurely.