Republican political consultant Ed Rogers, in his July 15 commentary, “Too bad for the hounds, but Trump Jr.’s meeting is nothing to bay about,” writes about the nothingness resulting from Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Russian lawyer (which we now know included a Russian lobbyist skilled in digital propaganda) and the lack of violation of any criminal statute. But it might have been a violation of the campaign finance law. Such a determination, if any, will result from a thorough investigation by the congressional committees looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.

Those of us old enough to remember the Watergate investigations know that what often sends politicians and political operatives to jail is lying. Lying to the press, your constituents or the public isn’t a crime, but lying under oath is perjury and can result in jail time.

A reporter on a recent news program asked a former prosecutor, “What’s the hardest thing to remember?” The answer: “A lie.” Also, lying on a federal government disclosure form is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. According to recent news accounts, administration officials – in particular, the president’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner – have updated their disclosure forms with multiple foreign contacts (intentionally?) missing from their original filings, which is what alerted the press to Trump Jr.’s meeting.

In addition to lying, money also trips up politicians. Deep Throat in the movie “All the President’s Men” advised reporter Bob Woodward to “follow the money.” Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is following the money, which nowadays leaves a digital trail (that never goes away) as well as a paper trail. He has hired lawyers with expertise in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act – making a bribe to a foreign official a crime – and money laundering.

These investigations will take time. It would be naïve to think all these investigations will result in nothingness.

Paula N. Singer