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House Intelligence committee questions Donald Trump Jr. on Russian Federation contacts

House Intelligence committee questions Donald Trump Jr. on Russian Federation contacts

Donald Trump Jr. told House investigators that did not communicate directly with his father when confronted with news reports about his June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, according to multiple sources with knowledge of his testimony.

Schiff said that while Trump Jr. admitted speaking to his father about his response to reports on the meeting, he "refused to answer questions about that meeting on the basis a claim of attorney client privilege". In my view, this is a central communication about a very pivotal meeting and a conversation between father and son is not subject to the attorney-client privilege.

Despite the White House denials, Russian Federation probe investigators have pushed hard to learn all possible details about exactly what Mr. Trump knew about the Veselnitskaya meeting.

There was one significant area, though, where [Trump Jr.] declined to answer.

The admission by his Trump's eldest son raises the question of how closely the Trumps coordinated on their response to the bombshell revelations and could bolster the case that President Trump participated in an effort to craft a false public explanation for the Trump Tower meeting.

The initial statement released by Team Trump about the meeting - which also included Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and ex-campaign chair Paul Manafort - said that the discussion centered on U.S. sanctions on Russia that it responded to by canceling USA adoptions of Russian children. Veselnitskaya says Trump pressed her for written evidence of malfeasance by Clinton during the meeting.




Veselnitskaya said of the meeting: "Donald Trump, Jr. asked if I had any financial documents proving that what may have been illegally obtained funds were also being donated to Mrs. Clinton's foundation".

The sources added that Trump Jr. was questioned only by members, with limited exceptions, a majority of which were Democrats.

Separately, both the House or Senate intelligence committees have heard testimony from several of the meeting attendees - including Mr. Kushner, Ike Kaveladze, who was at the meeting as a representative of a Russian developer who once partnered with Mr. Trump to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow, and Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist. The statement, which was sent out through the Trump Organization under Mr. Trump Jr.'s name, claimed that the meeting primarily concerned a Russian adoption program. But he refused to disclose the contents of their conversations.

But Schiff questioned whether that was a valid reason to not tell Congress about the conversations.

Trump Jr.'s refusal to answer questions about his conversation with his father "have given Mueller a clearer signal that the answer is incriminating", wrote former Department of Justice Director of Public Affairs Matthew Miller on Twitter Wednesday.