Donald Trump Jr. spent almost eight hours Wednesday being grilled by the House Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Trump, Jr. wasn't even on the plane, he was talking to his father through Hope Hicks, to whom Trump the Elder was dictating the statement.
He entered and exited the House Intelligence Committee hearing from a back door, avoiding the media, and nothing was immediately released about the discussions. Initially, of course, the Trump White House and Trump Jr. claimed that the meeting was about the sanctions imposed by the so-called Magnisky Act and the issue of the adoption of Russian babies by American citizens, which was in limbo in wake of the sanctions imposed after Russia's annexation of the Crimean region of Ukraine. The sources said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had sat for 11 hours when she was questioned by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., as part of the Benghazi investigation and they were nowhere near that point.
"Today, I understand why it took place to begin with and why it ended so quickly with a feeling of mutual disappointment and time wasted", she wrote of the meeting, according to NBC.More news: NC county computer hackers demanding 'substantially' more than first reported
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A person familiar with knowledge of Trump Jr's testimony said Trump had said repeatedly he did not remember things he was asked about, including some details about information provided by Russians during the Trump Tower meeting.
Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, said on Twitter that he doubted any court would conclude Trump Jr.'s conversation with his father was protected. The meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya has come under the microscope because Trump Jr. accepted the invitation from British publicist Rob Goldstone after being promised Veselnitskaya would provide incriminating information about Hillary Clinton.
In September, Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he, Goldstone and Agalarov "never discussed the meeting again". "There is no attorney client privilege that protects discussion between father and son", Schiff noted. "That's not the objective of attorney-client privilege". Schiff added that he did not believe one could "shield communications between individuals merely by having an attorney present". And that's now a matter of interest to special counsel Robert Mueller and Congress. The court would then be called upon to consider whether or not the conversation at issue fell within the boundaries of what is covered by the privilege and, if it does, then the content of those conversations could not be compelled. "In this instance, both Trump and Trump Jr. are subjects of the same investigation and any legal advice they received on these topics would potentially implicate the other person".