Donald Trump Jr. Testifies Before Senate Committee

Donald Trump Jr. testified for over five hours in front of  Senate committee staff members yesterday. The questioning was related to contacts with Russian government officials during the 2016 presidential campaign.

According to Trump Jr., he took the meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer, to learn about Hillary Clinton’s “fitness” to be president. Originally, when news of the meeting surfaced in the spring, Trump Jr.’s explanation was that they were meeting to discuss a Russian adoption program. It wasn’t until after the New York Times was about to break the story about the Trump Tower meeting that Trump Jr. decided to release emails about the meeting himself. Ironically, none of the emails Trump released, suggested that the meeting was going to be about anything other than Hillary Clinton.

Among the Senators who watched Trump take part in the closed door testimony, Democratic Sen. Chris Coons. Coons released an memo suggesting that he felt Trump Jr. lied while giving his testimony to staff members.

“It is important to remember that anyone who testifies in front of a Senate committee is under the restrictions of the False Statements statute that says material false statements to Congress are criminal and punishable with fines or imprisonment or both,” he said in a statement.

According to the Associate Press, when questioned about the White House’s involvement with his initial false statement, Trump Jr. simply said that he didn’t recall the details. Initially, it was stated that President Donald Trump himself drafted Jr.’s false statement while flying back from the G20 Summit.  Later, the President’s own involvement with the crafting of the statement was confirmed by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, stating that President Trump weighted in on that statement “like any father would”.

Special Investigator Robert Mueller is reportedly looking into who has knowledge of the drafting of Trump Jr.’s statement and is looking to question aides that were present as witnesses. Mueller’s interest in this issue may point to intent to obstruct during an obstruction of justice investigation.

 

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