In a major blow the GOP’s efforts to discredit the Russia investigation, the Senate Intelligence Committee—which is controlled by Republicans—found that Russia actively tried to support the Trump campaign. The committee released its findings to the public this week, contradicting their colleagues in the House of Representatives, who hurriedly shut down their own investigation out of partisan self-interest.
Furthermore, the Senate Committee of the Judiciary (also controlled by Republicans) released transcripts of an interview with Don Jr. that clearly show the younger Trump lying repeatedly about the now infamous Trump Tower meeting with a former Russian intelligence officer and the Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Set up by the music publicist Rob Goldstone, the meeting’s purpose explicitly involved Russians passing on sensitive information obtained by the Russian government to the Trump campaign. Don Jr. wrote “if it’s what you say I love it” in response to Goldstone’s email organizing the meeting, in which the music publicist stated that the Agalarov family was in possession of dirt on Hillary Clinton and sought to share it with the Trump campaign as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
After details of the meeting emerged, Trump personally authored a misleading statement on behalf of his son distorting the purpose of the meeting. The Trump Tower meeting and Trump’s involvement in it are major areas of concern for the Mueller investigation, which is looking into Russian meddling in the U.S. election and collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
The transcripts from the Senator Committee of the Judiciary show Don Jr. admitting that his rationale for attending the meeting was to obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton. Even though that plan did not pan out, there is now a record documenting his clear intent to collude. Considering that Mueller’s team likely possesses much more information than the public does, this could spell big trouble for Trump’s immediate family, and perhaps even Trump himself.