Trump Jr. arrives for questioning by Senate Intelligence Committee on Russian links Express News
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of U.S. President Donald Trump, arrived on Wednesday for a closed-door interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee that was likely to focus on a Moscow Trump Tower project and a meeting with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have information helpful for his father’s 2016 campaign.
Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives for an interview before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 12, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Asked if he had come to the Senate interview to correct his previous testimony to lawmakers, Trump Jr. told reporters: “Nothing to correct.”
The Senate panel, which is chaired by Republican Senator Richard Burr, is conducting a bipartisan investigation into Russian interference in U.S. politics, specifically the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The Senate investigation continues although Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, if the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow and whether the president obstructed justice has concluded.
The appearance by Trump Jr., who now heads the Trump Organization with his brother Eric, is expected to cover a wide array of subjects, including the Moscow Trump Tower project. Trump Jr. had previously testified in front of a different panel, the Senate Judiciary Committee, that he was only “peripherally aware” of the project.
But Michael Cohen, the president’s former lawyer, contradicted Trump Jr.’s testimony.
The Russia project never came to fruition but is significant because it shows the president and his company were chasing a lucrative business deal in Moscow while the Russian government, according to U.S. intelligence agencies, was conducting a hacking and propaganda campaign to boost his candidacy.
Trump initially denied he had any business links to Russia at the time.
Cohen, who is currently serving a prison sentence after pleading guilty in two federal cases, also told Congress that Trump Jr. and the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer signed some reimbursement checks for hush-money payments made to a porn actress who said she had an affair with Trump.
The senators also will likely question him about a June 2016 meeting Trump Jr., along with campaign advisers Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, took with a Russian lawyer in New York.
The Russian lawyer had promised to share damaging information on Trump’s presidential election opponent, Hillary Clinton, although in fact, little useful information was shared.
Trump Jr. agreed to appear to the interview after the panel issued a subpoena against him. The subpoena was criticized by some of the president’s most vocal defenders within his Republican Party.
Reporting by Makini Brice and Mark Hosenball; Editing by Bill Trott