Donald Trump Jr. declined to tell lawmakers about discussions he had with his father with respect to a 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer after emails describing the meeting had become unrestricted according to the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee.
Trump Jr. claimed client-attorney privilege to justify his refusal to divulge what he and his father talked about, and top Democrat on the committee, Adam Schiff, was having none of it. He added: "I don't believe you can shield communications between individuals merely by having an attorney present".
During eight hours of questioning by the House intelligence committee on Wednesday, Donald Trump Jr. acknowledged that he and his father had discussed news of his controversial 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer after the New York Times revealed the secret sitdown this summer.
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The committee is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about a conversation father and son had in July.
Mueller is investigating whether where was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential election, which Trump won, and whether Trump himself obstructed justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey, who was also investigating alleged collusion. The statement said the Trump Tower meeting focused on "a program about the adoption of Russian children" that the Kremlin ended after the US imposed sanctions on Russian oligarchs in 2012.
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But e-mails released by Trump Jr. showed that he enthusiastically agreed to the sit-down with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and others after he was promised dirt on Clinton. It was then that Trump Jr., per the sources, said Clinton's testimony was not the same: she was testifying about the 2012 attack in Benghazi where four Americans were killed.
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".
The interview is being held behind closed doors, and Trump Jr. arrived out of sight of cameras through a back entrance.
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Trump Jr. said he did not tell his father about the meeting when it happened, but did talk about it after emails about the gathering became public.