Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Trump Acknowledges Purpose of Meeting with Russian Lawyer

President Trump does a re-election Trump blasts media at Pennsylvania rally
Lisa Bryan | 06 August, 2018, 05:01

Earlier Sunday, the president ripped into recent media coverage, including reports in the Washington Post and on CNN that said he was anxious Mueller's prosecutors were circling too close to his son Donald Trump Jr., who had set up the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, as well as other family members.

The Washington Post reported that Trump had expressed concerns in the past week about his son Donald Trump Jr's legal exposure from the 2016 Trump Tower meeting. "This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics - and it went nowhere", he wrote. Trump repeated his previous claims that he did not know in advance about the meeting.

And Trump's lawyers grimace. Trump's morning Twitter post was his most direct statement on the goal of the meeting, though his son and others have said it was to gather damaging information on the Democratic candidate. That initial statement said the meeting "primarily" involved a discussion of an obscure law governing American adoptions of Russians - not opposition research on Hillary Clinton.

Trump has said similar things about the June 2016 meeting.

Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" Sunday that he has no knowledge of the president's son being a target of Mueller's probe.

Sekulow said that the president had the authority under Article II of the U.S. Constitution to stop any investigation conducted by the Department of Justice.


The White House declined to comment regarding the President's concern about his son, instead referring questions to Trump's legal team, which did not respond to requests for comment.

Trump has repeatedly denied collusion with Russian Federation or any other wrongdoing. The surprising claim in Trump's tweet is that it is legal for a campaign to get information from a foreign entity about a political opponent.

The Trump Tower meeting also included Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his campaign chairman at the time, Paul Manafort, who is on trial over tax and bank fraud charges after being indicted by Mueller.

"When you look at a meeting that took place a year before - now two years ago - the question is, what law, statute, rule or regulation's been violated, and nobody's pointed to one", Sekulow added. This would make sense that Candidate Trump was aware, given the fact on June 7th, Candidate Trump said he was going to do a speech about Hillary Clinton's wrongdoings (the speech never happened). The events he is focusing on include the president's firing of FBI director James Comey and Trump's tweets, specifically the ones that have called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the investigation.

If Trump declines the interview and Mueller subpoenas Trump to testify, it would spark a constitutional fight in the courts, Sekulow said. "I believe it's in the best interest of the president and of the United States of America and the American people for that investigation to run the course, for all the truth to come out".

While the president has not said much in public about his son's actions, it appears as if this is not at all the case in private. However, he said only Mueller can determine whether the evidence rises to the level of criminal activity that is "beyond a reasonable doubt". He told both NBC News and Russian officials visiting the Oval Office that he had done so because of the Russia investigation.

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