President Donald Trump knowingly misled the American public regarding the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his son, Don Jr., campaign officials, and a Russian lawyer, according a memo from Trump's attorneys to Special Counsel Robert Mueller that leaked over the weekend.
Remember the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting between top campaign officials and a Kremlin-linked lawyer? According… https://t.co/wcNEo13L2a— Citizens for Ethics (@Citizens for Ethics) 1528113642.0
Obtained by the New York Times, the confidential 20-page memo was drafted by Trump attorneys Jay Sekulow and John Dowd and sent to Special Counsel Robert Mueller on January 28. In it, Sekulow and Dowd explain why they believe Mueller doesn't have the power to subpoena Trump. The memo also includes reasons Mueller may want to interview Trump, including “[t]he statement of July 8, 2017, concerning Donald Trump, Jr.’s meeting in Trump Tower.”
The memo revealed that Trump, despite having denied doing so at the time, dictated Don Jr.'s response following the news of the meeting breaking. This vindicates the reporting of The Washington Post last year but contradicts Trump's own lawyer, Jay Sekulow, as well as Sarah Sanders, both of whom denied the President had any sort of heavy-handed role in constructing that statement.'
Trump “personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said he and the Russian lawyer had ‘primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children,’” wrote The Washington Post, even though the president's advisers suggested Junior issue a truthful account of the meeting that “couldn’t be repudiated later if the full details emerged.” The statement indicated the purpose of the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.”
We subsequently learned that the true purpose of the meeting was to get dirt on Hillary Clinton, as part of Russia's effort to elect Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
Sekulow also issued a statement in response to the Post's story. “Apart from being of no consequence, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate, and not pertinent.”
“It was a short introductory meeting,” Junior originally said. “I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow-up.”
It's fairly incredible the degree to which the notion that there's been "no collusion" revealed has taken hold. Poi… https://t.co/FtTuBFRbMY— Sam Stein (@Sam Stein) 1528034145.0
According to reports, the meeting was attended by eight people, including Junior, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and other campaign associates. Also in attendance was a Kremlin-linked lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who had promised to provide damaging material on Democrat Hillary Clinton. At the meeting, however, the conversation turned to policies surrounding the adoption of Russian children, at which point Junior and Kushner say they ended it.
Admission that Trump dictated statement on infamous Trump Tower meeting sparks new questions https://t.co/Ujw9Ia8R1O https://t.co/1iEJgTEjbA— The Hill (@The Hill) 1528113365.0
“You have received all of the notes, communications, and testimony indicating that the President dictated a short but accurate response to the New York Times article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump, Jr.," wrote Sekulow and Dowd. "His son then followed up by making a full public disclosure regarding the meeting, including his public testimony that there was nothing to the meeting and certainly no evidence of collusion."
The President is not required to answer to the Office of the Special Counsel, or anyone else, for his private affairs with his children. In any event, the President’s son, son-in-law, and White House advisors and staff have made a full disclosure on these events to both your office and the congressional committees.
1/ The letter from Trump’s lawyers admitted to an impeachable high crime. It is close enough to felony obstruction/… https://t.co/bfyp2bsuEE— Jed Shugerman (@Jed Shugerman) 1527995896.0
In a letter to Mueller, Trump's lawyers said he "dictated a short but accurate response to the New York Times" abou… https://t.co/cytl5a5mru— Marshall Cohen (@Marshall Cohen) 1527969832.0
Asked about shifting explanations for statement on Trump Tower meeting, Rudy Giuliani tells @GStephanopoulos: "Thi… https://t.co/KfHe0DTSry— ABC News Politics (@ABC News Politics) 1528030898.0