REPORT: Manafort’s Notes From ‘Russia Meeting’ With Don Trump Jr. Are ‘Not Damaging’
As Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe heats up, POLITICO quietly published a piece revealing the notes of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, taken during a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lobbyists, are said not to be damaging to the Trump family. One would think a story of this nature would garner wider attention — but alas, it has not.
Notes from former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on a meeting he attended last year with a Russian lobbyist and Donald Trump Jr. are not seen as damaging to the Trump family or campaign officials, according to government officials and others who have looked at the notes.
The Trump Tower meeting has come under scrutiny because Trump Jr. wrote in an email that he agreed to the encounter in order to find “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, and it has since become a focus for special counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller has sought to interview White House officials about the fallout, and the Russian lobbyist has testified in front of a grand jury.
The notes from the meeting do not contain any damaging information about Clinton or references to promises of damaging information about her, nor do they indicate that officials on the campaign were promising favors or seeking them in return for money, the people who’ve seen them said.
According to these people, the notes have been with Senate officials for weeks and have been reviewed by a number of people on Capitol Hill. Also in attendance at the June 2016 meeting in New York were a Russian lawyer, a Russian businessman and other Trump campaign officials, including Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law.
On Thursday, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted a statement following his 5+ hour meeting with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I met with the Senate Judiciary Committee today. I am thankful for their professionalism and courtesy,” tweeted Trump Jr.
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According to the New York Times, Trump Jr. took the ‘Russia meeting’ to gauge Hillary Clinton’s ‘fitness’ for office.
New York Times reports:
A copy of Mr. Trump’s statement was obtained by The New York Times.
The acknowledgment by the president’s eldest son that he intended to seek legal counsel after the meeting suggests that he knew, or at least suspected, that accepting potentially damaging information about a rival campaign from a foreign country raised thorny legal issues.
“To the extent they had information concerning the fitness, character or qualifications of a presidential candidate, I believed that I should at least hear them out,” he said. “Depending on what, if any, information they had, I could then consult with counsel to make an informed decision as to whether to give it further consideration.”
Mr. Trump sat down with committee investigators in the Capitol shortly before 9:30 a.m. and was expected to remain under questioning for several hours. The interview was being conducted by staff, but a handful of Democratic senators attended.
Mr. Trump entered the Capitol under cover and did not speak with reporters.