Donald Trump Jr. is being called to interviews with congressional investigators after it was revealed by a New York Times report that Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer during the campaign of U.S. President Donald Trump. According to Democratic Senator Mark Warner of the Senate Intelligence Committee, this marks “the first time that the public has seen clear evidence of senior-level members of the Trump campaign meeting with Russians to try to obtain information that might hurt the campaign of Hillary Clinton.” Warner also said that this is a sign of a “continuing pattern we’ve seen since the election of Trump campaign and Trump administration officials who have conveniently forgotten meetings with Russians.” Democratic Representative Adam Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee also said that he wants to “question everyone that was at that meeting about what was discussed.” Trump Jr., for his part, has said on Twitter that he will cooperate with the congressional investigations. He is preparing by hiring New York City criminal defense attorney Alan Futerfas.
According to The New York Times, Trump Jr. met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, who reportedly promised to provide information that would help them defeat Clinton, Trump’s opponent in the 2016 presidential election. The report says that Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, other members of Donald Trump’s inner circle, were also present at the meeting. According to Trump Jr., the meeting was indeed organized on the basis of a promise for information on the Clinton campaign, but that Veselnitskaya steered the conversation towards the Magnitsky Act, which bans some Russian officials from using the American banking system. Trump Jr. says he cut off the meeting once her true agenda became clear.
The Senate and House panels had already been wrangling more interviews with Trump advisors and campaigners in an effort to discover the true depth of ties to Russia. Last month, the House panel held a private interview with former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta as part of these investigations.