Trump Jr questioned in US Congress about Russian Federation

Violet Powell
December 8, 2017

Congressional investigators discovered the existence of the post-meeting emails during Trump Jr.'s eight-hour hearing before the House Intelligence Committee.

But as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) told Rachel Maddow on Wednesday night, if Congress tolerates witnesses like Trump Jr. making up new standards for shielding conversations, it will be much harder for investigators to learn the truth about what happened in 2016, even while making it obvious that those involved have something to hide.

Donald Trump Jr. cited attorney-client privilege Wednesday to avoid divulging to the House Intelligence Committee his conversations with his father about a meeting he took with individuals connected to the Russian government in 2016. The congressman said that Mr. Trump's lawyer, Alan S. Futerfas, asked the committee for more time to answer questions about that conversation because both he and a lawyer for the president were privy to it.

But Trump Jr. did not provide details about communications with his father and invoked attorney-client privilege because of the presence of attorneys during the exchange with his father. Trump Jr. helped arrange that meeting after an intermediary promised him the Russian lawyer was in possession of incriminating Kremlin-provided information about Hillary Clinton.

Once it became apparent that she did not have meaningful information about Clinton, Trump seemed to lose interest, Veselnitskaya said, and the meeting petered out.

The committee meeting was conducted behind closed doors, and Trump Jr. was not seen by reporters waiting outside the meeting room, although congressional officials confirmed he had arrived. Those emails made it clear that goal of the meeting was based on the claim that the Kremlin-linked lawyer could deliver damaging information about Hillary Clinton, a prospect that elicited a response from Trump Jr. that said: "Sounds great!"

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"We will be following up with his counsel", Schiff said. "He acknowledged discussing that meeting with his father".

In one email, Goldstone suggests to Scavino that Trump create a profile on Russia's VK social network, and asserts that "Don and [then-campaign chairman] Paul [Manafort]" approved of the idea.

Democrats on the committee have repeatedly complained after panel interviews that the majority, who unilaterally have the power to issue subpoenas, has failed to press witnesses into answering questions that they want answered. "In this instance, both Trump and Trump Jr. are subjects of the same investigation and any legal advice they received on these topics would potentially implicate the other person".

This is silly. "Attorney-client privilege" shields conversations between attorneys and clients.

Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, one of the Republicans leading the probe, said the interview was "professional" and described Trump "cooperative at all times".

After the New York Times reported on the existence of the Trump Tower/Russia meeting, Trump Jr. first claimed it was about Russian adoptions.

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