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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/9/17

Is Donald Trump Jr. Trying to Con Congress on the Russia Scandal?

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His statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee is not in sync with his emails.

On Thursday morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee had a big get: Donald Trump Jr. entered the Capitol under cover and sat down with committee investigators probing the Trump-Russia scandal. The main focus of the gumshoes was the June 2016 meeting that Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort held with a Russian emissary who they were told would be dishing dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of a Kremlin effort to help Donald Trump win the presidency. When the story of the get-together broke this July, Trump Jr. gave conflicting -- and false -- accounts of the meeting, before he eventually disclosed emails revealing its true purpose, just as the New York Times was about to post an article on the emails. Now it seems Trump Jr. is still trying to spin his way out of a jam that shows the Trump campaign did seek to collude with Vladimir Putin's regime.

As Trump Jr. was being questioned by congressional investigators, the New York Times published a story quoting from his prepared opening statement. And several of Trump Jr.'s assertions in that statement conflict with the emails related to the meeting.

Trump insisted in the statement that he was initially conflicted when he heard that the Russians might have derogatory information about a Clinton lawyer and that he intended to consult with his own lawyers about the propriety of using any such material. But the emails show that after Trump Jr. was first contacted by Rob Goldstone, the manager for Azerbaijani pop singer Emin Agalarov (whose father, the billionaire developer Aras Agalarov, partnered with Donald Trump to host Miss Universe in Moscow in 2013), and told that the Russian government wanted to help Trump secretly by sharing dirt it had on Clinton, the younger Trump enthusiastically replied, "I love it."

Without knowing what the material was, Trump Jr. signaled to Goldstone he was eager to use such opposition research "later in the summer," when the presidential campaign was further along. There was not a hint that he possessed reservations and would need to consult with attorneys before deploying this oppo.

"To the extent [the Russians] had information concerning the fitness, character or qualifications of a presidential candidate, I believed that I should at least hear them out," Trump Jr. said in his statement. But he was already thinking about the ideal time to release the damaging information.

Go to Mother Jones to read the rest of this article.

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