Donald Trump Jr. Speaking With Senate Committee Staffers About 2016 Meeting
Sep 08 2017
During a meeting with Senate Judiciary Committee staffers on Thursday, Donald Trump Jr. denied any wrongdoing in his meeting with a Russian lawyer during his father's presidential campaign, according to the prepared remarks he delivered investigators Thursday morning that were obtained byABC News. The Senate Intelligence Committee and its House counterpart are both conducting inquiries into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, while special counsel Robert Mueller is overseeing the FBI's probe.
Lawmakers will question the president's son about his 2016 meeting with a woman described as a Russian government lawyer.
"Love it", the younger Trump responded in setting up the meeting.
The primary focus of the interview Thursday will nearly certainly center on the meeting Trump Jr. took with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya after his father secured the Republican nomination for president.
Trump Jr. also was expected to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee at some point.
Mueller is investigating whether President Trump obstructed justice in firing former FBI director James Comey at a time he was heading the Russian Federation investigation before Mueller took over.
The lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was at the time lobbying for the removal of US sanctions on Russia; those sanctions had prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin to ban all American adoptions of Russian children in retaliation. USA intelligence agencies have concluded Moscow worked to tilt the 2016 presidential election in Trump's favor.
The White House has acknowledged that President Trump had a hand in drafting that initial explanation Trump Jr. gave.
"Nonetheless, at the time, I thought I should listen to what Rob and his colleagues had to say", Trump Jr. said in his statement, referring to Rob Goldstone, a music publicist acquaintance of Trump's.
His brother-in-law, Jared Kushner, told the Senate Intelligence Committee something similar when he met with its members during a closed hearing earlier this summer.
Trump Jr's statements on the meeting have varied widely over time.
"This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russian Federation and its government's support for Mr. Trump", the intermediary wrote. On this date, Trump Jr. receives an email from Goldstone, who wrote that Emin Agalarov-a Russian pop star whose father, Aras, worked with Donald Trump to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013-had asked him to reach out.
Committee members Sens. Christopher Coons, D-Del., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., were also seen entering or exiting the meeting.