Trump Jr. Cites Attorney-Client Privilege In Russia Inquiry

Kristopher Drake
December 8, 2017

According to Business Insider, Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee viewed their closed-door interview with Donald Trump be largely unhelpful to their ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 United States election.

Lawmakers said they want to question him about a meeting with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 at Trump Tower in NY at which he had said he hoped to get information about the "fitness, character and qualifications" of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democrat his father defeated in last year's race for the White House. Trump claimed the conversation was protected because it occurred in the presence of a lawyer, Schiff said.

However, in regards to Trump Jr.'s invocation of the attorney-client privilege, Schiff stated that he did not believe it was possible to "shield communications between individuals merely by having an attorney present".

Days after Trump's first statement on the story, Trump Jr. published an email chain showing he set up the meeting with Rob Goldstone, the publicist of Russian oligarch Emin Agalarov, after being offered help from the Russian government in the form of "official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia".

But according to CNN, the Veselnitskaya meeting, and how the White House tried to explain it away as a discussion about USA adoption of Russian orphans, was one focus of the questioning. Trump Jr. spoke with his father shortly after the news about the meeting broke in July 2017, but declined to share details of their discussion with lawmakers.

She also said that when he found that she did not have any dirt on the Clintons, Trump Jr appeared to lose interest.

In an absolutely freakish turn of events, Donald Trump, Jr.

"As I understand it, this particular conversation for which they were claiming privilege took place after the emails became public, and, was therefore focused more on the reaction to the publication of the emails", Schiff told reporters. Those emails made it clear that goal of the meeting was based on the claim that the Kremlin-linked lawyer could deliver damaging information about Hillary Clinton, a prospect that elicited a response from Trump Jr. that said: "Sounds great!"

This question gets to a pattern legal experts have noticed among key members of the Trump campaign and administration: They continually forget, misstate, mislead or even - in the case of Flynn - lie about their relations with Russian Federation.

Trump Jr., like his father, denies collusion with Russian Federation.

"A lot of questions were asked and answered, and from my perspective all of our questions were answered", Conaway said after the interview. "In this instance, both Trump and Trump Jr. are subjects of the same investigation and any legal advice they received on these topics would potentially implicate the other person". Republican members, however, said that they felt that Donald Trump Jr. had been forthcoming, according to a report by the New York Times.

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