Donald Trump Jr: US investigators 'examining President's son's meeting with Kremlin-linked lawyer'

Establishing intent of the meeting key to determining if it was illegal 

Will Worley
Saturday 19 August 2017 15:55
Donald Trump Jr's meeting with a Russian lawyer is being examined
Donald Trump Jr's meeting with a Russian lawyer is being examined

A team of special prosecutors appointed to examine the alleged link between Donald Trump’s election campaign and Moscow are reportedly focusing their efforts on the President’s son.

Donald Trump Jr met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016 during the campaign.

The prosecutors, led by Robert Mueller, a former director of the FBI, are now trying to find out Mr Trump Jr’s motives in attending the meeting, according to Buzzfeed News, which cited a source close to the investigation.

Ms Veselnitskaya is alleged to have links to the Russian government but has denied wielding any influence.

Trump's FBI pick suggests Donald Trump Jr should have gone to agency over Russia meeting

Establishing the purpose of the meeting is key to determining if it was illegal.

The prosecutors reportedly want to know what information Mr Trump Jr received at the meeting, which he attended along with Presidential aide Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, former campaign manager.

Music producer Rob Goldstone, who arranged the meeting, emailed Mr Trump Jr in June 2016.

He said Ms Veselnitskaya had "very high level and sensitive information" that concerned "Russia and its government's support for Mr Trump".

Mr Goldstone said it would “incriminate Hillary”.

Mr Trump Jr replied: “if it's what you say I love it”.

But he later claimed in June the meeting was a “short introductory” and received no information.

Receiving foreign help for a US presidential campaign is illegal.

Mr Trump Jr later said in a statement: “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."

The 16-strong prosecution team has made no public comment about their investigations.

Mr Manafort, a political strategist with links to Ukraine, is reportedly under further scrutiny from the prosecutors. His property was searched by the FBI in July in relation to the investigation.

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