Senate Judiciary Committee Releases Transcripts Of Interviews In Russia Probe

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The notes were released as part of an 1,800-page document dump that included transcripts from congressional investigators' interviews with Donald Trump Jr. and others who were at the meeting.

Transcripts confirm some of what the people involved have already said: That Donald Trump, Jr. was open to receiving dirt on Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign.

"There is no doubt that Russian Federation undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with our 2016 elections", Burr stated.

As soon as Trump and the Agalarovs announced in June 2013 that the contest would be held in Moscow that year, the future president demonstrated that he saw the event as a chance to get close to Putin.

"Obviously he's aware of it now because he's read it, it's been in the papers, but that's the extent of my knowledge of his knowledge of it", he said.

The controversial Russian meeting of Trump Jr. "'I did say at the time this was an very bad idea and a terrible meeting'".

Yes, in a rational world, you could theorize that Don Jr. wanted to protect his father by keeping him ignorant of the whole thing, but this simply does not square with what we know about President Trump, or with the rest of Don Jr.'s story.

Asked in the interview if his father was involved in drafting the statement, Trump said: "I don't know". His committee is one of three congressional panels investigating the intelligence community's finding that Russian Federation sought to interfere in the 2016 election to boost Trump and whether Trump associates colluded with Moscow.

LUCAS: They did, yes because Veselnitskaya nice guy gave them information on what she said were basically questionable potentially illegal campaign contributions from the Ziff Brothers, who are these billionaire investors. This time, the call lasted three minutes.

Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya who met with Donald Trump Jr
Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya who met with Donald Trump Jr

Trump allies in Congress have routinely acknowledged Russia's interference in the 2016 election but have stopped short of embracing the conclusion that their goal was to support Trump's election.

However on a number of other questions, Donald Jnr was less forthcoming, including on questions about whether his father uses a blocked phone number. "Moreover, I supplied all of my emails as requested by both the House and Senate and have never been asked to testify before the Mueller investigators or the House or the Senate". But if that possibility fazed Trump Jr., it didn't show in the transcripts.

"At the time I thought I should listen.to the extent that they had information concerning the fitness, character, or qualifications of any presidential candidate".

Following the publication of the Times report previous year, Trump Jr downplayed the significance of the information offered. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered.

Trump Jr. initially agreed to the meeting because Goldstone said a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, Trump's election opponent.

But the participants said Veselnitskaya did not, in fact, provide dirt on Clinton, instead focusing on overturning the United States sanctions on Russia under the Magnitsky Act that the USA passed to punish Russian human rights abuses.

Neither was Veselnitskaya satisfied with her hosts' absent-mindedness. "I don't recall, but she may have". He said the information had come from the "Crown prosecutor of Russian Federation", which isn't an official government title in Russian Federation, but "crown prosecutor" is roughly the equivalent of the attorney general in Goldstone's native Great Britain.

While Trump Jr. and Kushner appeared visibly agitated, Paul Manafort seemed disinterested and spent the entire meeting looking at his Blackberry, according to Akhmetshin.

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