As an incoming New York Times bombshell whistled above, Donald Trump Jr. pulled the pin and publicly dove on his own grenade.
The president's son released emails revealing he met with a Russian lawyer named Natalia VeseInitskaya in his official campaign capacity and in an apparent effort to coordinate with the Kremlin.
The immediate results are gruesome. It seems that Trump Jr. just forfeited his credibility.
A quick recap of the seppuku saga is in order.
First, Trump Jr. denied ever meeting with any Russians as a representative for his father's campaign. Later, he changed his story, telling the New York Times that he set up a meeting to discuss "the adoption of Russian children." And finally, after decrying Russian interference in the election as a hoax and fake news, Trump Jr. decided to dox himself.
The four pages of emails released on Twitter reveal that with his brother-in-law, Jared Kushner, and then-campaign manager, Paul Manafort, Trump Jr. sought intel to "incriminate" Hillary Clinton, information that was "part of Russia and its government support for Mr. Trump."
To say that Trump Jr. was hoisted by his own petard is an understatement. Instead, the slick-haired business mogul pulled back the catapult lever, climbed into the sling, and launched his political fate into the stratosphere.
So, why did Trump Jr. do it?
Perhaps, he was incredibly naïve about the consequences and thought he could make the scandal go away. Or maybe the president's son was so worried about the coming New York Times report that he decided to step on their narrative.
The second seems more convincing. More than likely, Trump Jr. opted to go public rather than let the media spin the documents in a constant drip-drip-drip of bombshell, front-page stories. By falling on his sword, the flawed reasoning would go, he'd save his father from another excruciating and drawn-out controversy.
But a third option exists, a Leeroy Jenkins strategy so to speak. Trump Jr. really thinks that he can fight his way through this. Given enough bluster and bravado (and perhaps some new dirt on the Clintons), Trump Jr. believes he can put the Russia narrative to bed.
Luckily, we won't have to wait long to find out Trump Jr.'s reasoning. He will be joining Sean Hannity on Fox News Tuesday night at 10 p.m. Eastern time.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.