Turning on the Trumps

A stunning juncture occurred Tuesday afternoon when Representative Lee Zeldin broke with the Trump administration over links between the president’s family and individuals with ties to the Russian government who were thought to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton. 

Following the release of an email chain in which the Russian connection was made clear, Mr. Zeldin’s remark, on Twitter, called a meeting that Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, attended a “big no-no.”

In an email, the younger Mr. Trump was told that “high level and sensitive information” came from “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

“If it’s what you say I love it,” the younger Mr. Trump responded.

Mr. Zeldin’s reaction is especially notable because he was among the first members of Congress to endorse Donald J. Trump’s bid for the Republican nomination.

As more has become known about the emails and the meeting that followed, a number of political and law enforcement observers have said the right thing for Donald Trump Jr. to have done was to alert the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which he did not do. 

As a lawyer who served in the Army in the Judge Advocate General Corps, Mr. Zeldin would seem to know damning evidence when he hears it. As a stalwart supporter of the Trump candidacy, he was able to countenance hateful and divisive rhetoric, so his recent turnabout is remarkable. It is interesting to realize that, though Mr. Zeldin was early to join the Trump camp, he also seems quicker on the trigger than many of his fellow Republicans in Congress to have begun to turn on the Trumps.