Trump Jr. couldn't remember if he discussed Russia investigation with Trump — live updates

link to post

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has released congressional testimony transcripts and other material related to the committee’s inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the June 9, 2016, meeting in Trump Tower between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer. 

President Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner and Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya were among those attending the meeting that raised questions about the role Russian interference played in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump Jr. told told Senate investigators in September 2017 that he had agreed to a meeting with Veselnitskaya who claimed to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton because he wanted to determine her “fitness” for office.

The meeting is under scrutiny in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and at least one of the participants has provided testimony to a grand jury in Washington.

A spokesperson for Trump Jr. gave this statement late Wednesday, in response to the new records: “As the Senate Judiciary Democrats’ May 16, 2018 findings demonstrate, while the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting was initially intended to provide opposition research concerning then Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton, the meeting turned out to primarily be about the Magnitsky Act and certain laws concerning the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens.  This account is supported by five of the attendees who testified live before the committee — Donald Trump Jr., Rob Goldstone, Rinat Akhmetshin, Irakly Kaveladze and Anatoli Samochornov — and two more of the attendees, Natalia Veselnitskaya and Jared Kushner, who submitted written accounts of the meeting to the Committee — all of whom the Democrats now say “testified to a relatively consistent narrative.”

In addition to Trump Jr., the committee interviewed four other people who attended the Trump Tower meeting in New York — publicist Rob Goldstone, who set up the meeting with the promise of dirt on Clinton; Rinat Akhmetshin, a prominent Russian-American lobbyist; Ike Kaveladze, a business associate of a Moscow-based developer, and a translator.

The committee did not interview Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer at the center of the meeting. But the panel released her written responses to a letter that Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, sent her last year.

The panel was also not able to interview Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, or Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, even though both attended.

The committee also released one page of notes that Manafort took during the meeting.

His notes mention “Russian adoption by American families” and Bill Browder, a British citizen who has spearheaded a U.S. sanctions law —known as the Magnitsky Act— that targets Russian officials over human rights abuses. The relatively cryptic notes also contain a reference to “active sponsors of RNC,” ″tied into Cheney” and appear to make reference to offshore companies in Cyprus.

In total, the transcripts and related documents are approximately 2,500 pages. CBS News will be posting the highlights from the material, which was released just after 9 a.m. ET.

Donald Trump, Jr. 

Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he couldn’t remember whether he had discussed the

Continue reading...

Leave a Reply