Donald Trump Jr grilled in Russian probe
- Author: Tracy Klein Dec 08, 2017,
Dec 08, 2017, 1:40
The sources said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had sat for 11 hours when she was questioned by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., as part of the Benghazi investigation and they were nowhere near that point.
But e-mails released by Trump Jr. showed that he enthusiastically agreed to the sit-down with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and others after he was promised dirt on Clinton.
Rob Goldstone, the British publicist who arranged and attended the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in NY between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer, will testify before the House and Senate intelligence committees as early as next week, sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump Jr. set for high-stakes interview with House intel panel Comey back in the spotlight after Flynn makes a deal Schiff: Flynn plea "very significant" MORE (D-Calif.) is challenging Trump Jr.'s reasoning, saying Trump Jr. can not apply attorney-client privilege and "shield" lawmakers from this conversation between father and son just because an attorney was present in the room. The statement said the Trump Tower meeting focused on "a program about the adoption of Russian children" that the Kremlin ended after the USA imposed sanctions on Russian oligarchs in 2012.
At the closed-door meeting yesterday, Trump Jr. told House investigators that he spoke with White House Communications Director Hope Hicks to request help in crafting a response to the initial reports following news reports about the meeting at Trump Tower.
Donald Trump Jr was grilled behind closed doors in Congress on Thursday about his contacts with Russian Federation as pressure builds on his father over alleged collusion with Moscow in last year's election.
Goldstone set up the meeting on behalf of his client, Russian pop star Emin Agalarov, whose father, Aras, is a Russian real estate mogul with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Donald Trump Jr. can shed light on pretty much every aspect of the Trump-Russia collusion investigation. "The claim of privilege is that at a time when father and son were discussing the June 9 meeting and emails that led up to it, they had discussion in presence of counsel". Democrats reject Trump's privilege claim.
"He acknowledged discussing that matter with his father, but refused to answer questions about that discussion along the basis of a attorney-client privilege. So, uh, we intend to persist and make sure we get answers to that question".
Given all of this, the conversations that Trump Jr. may have had with his father both before and after this meeting are relevant to the Russia investigation because they go to the question of what Trump may have known about efforts by high-ranking officials in his campaign about contact with Russian officials and when he may have known it.
Separately on Wednesday, Representative Bob Goodlatte, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Department of Justice, announced a hearing next week with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, citing "serious concerns" about reports on the political motives of staff on Mueller's team.
The president's son was also asked about his communications with Wikileaks after the company reached out to him via Twitter towards the end of the campaign.
The conversation between Trump Jr. and his father took place in July of this year, around six months after Trump's inauguration, and soon after a July 8 report in The New York Times revealed that Trump Jr. met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer at Trump Tower during the presidential primaries in June 2016. That testimony was also private, but Trump Jr.'s opening statement leaked to the media, and his explanations only raised more questions than answers.