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Donald Trump Jr. Answers Senate Investigators Questions About Russian Election Meddling

08 September 2017, 12:55 | Myrtle Vega

Trump Jr. to testify in Senate, Manafort lawyer subpoenaed: CNN


The eldest son of President Donald Trump arrived on Capitol Hill Thursday morning for a private interview with congressional staff about a meeting he had with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The committee withdrew the subpoenas after the two agreed to be interviewed privately by staff. Grassley said they both would eventually be questioned by senators in a public hearing.

The meeting last June has put Trump Jr.in the thick of investigations into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign and the Kremlin coordinated. He had repeatedly said allegations of Russian connections to the US election and the ensuing investigations are merely an excuse by Democrats to explain Trump's upset win over Clinton. Emails obtained by The Times revealed that Trump Jr. orchestrated the meeting.

Mr. Trump added: "I did not collude with any foreign government and do not know of anyone who did".

Donald Trump Jr., in a prepared statement to Senate Judiciary Committee investigators, said it was important to learn about Clinton's "fitness" to be president, the paper said.

"Think of it more like a preparation for the trial, much like a deposition, where a witness may be asked questions, and we can use his answers to potentially impeach him when he testifies at the public hearing - in other words, to contradict him", Blumenthal said.

The Russians who met with Trump Jr. are longtime workers on behalf of overturning the sanctions.

Trump confronts accelerating Russia probes

Trump's testimony emphasized again the innocence of the meeting, set up on a chaotic day in the heat of the campaign. Trump has repeatedly denied having any dealings with Russian Federation, but emails between a business associate and one of his lawyers showed that his company was pursuing a Trump Tower in Moscow while he was running for president.

"I met with the Senate Judiciary Committee today".

Investigators are also likely to be interested in reports by The Washington Post that the President was involved in May in drafting a statement about the meeting on behalf of his son about the meeting, while flying home from the G20 summit in Germany.

In addition to detailing the timing of phone calls and emails leading up to the meeting, Trump Jr. also provided additional explanations of why he can't be sure about certain parts of his recollection.

Trump Jr. has said he did not find the information as useful as he would have hoped. He says his fear is the meeting was a "prelude or overture to more coordinated activity" between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation and says he wants to know if "afterward there was obstruction of justice". Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., exiting the meeting to attend a vote.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the intelligence panel, said the senators want to speak with others who attended the June meeting before interviewing Trump Jr.

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