Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Don Jr, A Word If You Please

Via NBC News:

The Senate Intelligence Committee is interested in talking to Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of the president, about his meeting with a Russian lawyer last June, a well-placed committee source tells NBC News.

Trump Jr.’s meeting raises a host of questions, the source said, including why the president’s son would sit down with a Russian lawyer he says he didn’t know on the pretext of learning damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Committee members on both sides of the aisle also expressed a desire to meet with Trump Jr. in light of his acknowledgment Sunday that he met with a woman who turned out to be a Kremlin-connected lawyer during the 2016 presidential election — after being told she allegedly had information that could help his father’s presidential campaign.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who serves on the committee, told reporters Monday that she would like to see her panel speak to him, while Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the committee vice chairman, said he “absolutely” wanted to interview Trump Jr. and ask him “serious questions.”

Trump Jr. tweeted Monday that he would be “happy to work with the committee to pass on what I know,” though a spokeswoman for the Senate committee’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., would not comment on whether the committee plans to invite him before the panel.

According to a Trump Organization spokesman, Trump Jr. has hired a lawyer, Alan Futerfas, to represent him in connection with the Russia probes.

Good move; hire a lawyer who has represented mobsters.  He should be on familiar ground.

The New York Times adds to why Trump Jr. may need one.

Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy, according to three people with knowledge of the email.

The email to the younger Mr. Trump was sent by Rob Goldstone, a publicist and former British tabloid reporter who helped broker the June 2016 meeting. In a statement on Sunday, Mr. Trump acknowledged that he was interested in receiving damaging information about Mrs. Clinton, but gave no indication that he thought the lawyer might have been a Kremlin proxy.

Mr. Goldstone’s message, as described to The New York Times by the three people, indicates that the Russian government was the source of the potentially damaging information. It does not elaborate on the wider effort by Moscow to help the Trump campaign.

So he knew in advance that who he was dealing with and yet he still took the meeting.  It’s like it was planned that way.

Any lawyers out there reading this want to chime in on the definition of conspiracy and collusion?

Bonus Track: Further reading from Booman on the background of Natalia Veselnitskaya.  She is not “just some Russian lawyer.”