Lawyer says Trump Jr. was 'fully prepared' to speak about Russia meeting

Lawyer says Trump Jr. was 'fully prepared' to speak about Russia meeting

A lawyer for Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP lawmakers preparing to vote on bill allowing migrant children to be detained longer than 20 days: report Wasserman Schultz: Infants separated from their parents are in Florida immigrant shelters Ex-White House ethics chief: Sarah Sanders tweet violates ethics laws MORE Jr. tried to explain the shifting comments from the president’s eldest son in a statement Monday.

"Don Jr. and his counsel were fully prepared and absolutely prepared to publish or make a statement that was a fulsome statement about the nature of the meeting, what led to the meeting, what the conversation was in the meeting,” Alan Futerfas's statement said, according to The New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.

 

 

Haberman posted the statement, which she said came “in response to claims that Don Jr chose to be less than forthcoming on Day One” to Twitter on Monday night.

The New York Times broke the story last weekend that Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer who had promised damaging information about Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonColorado governor teases possible presidential run Mueller asks judge for September sentencing for Papadopoulos House Judiciary Committee subpoenas FBI agent who sent anti-Trump texts MORE.

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Trump Jr. offered varying accounts of the meeting after the story and follow-ups were published, before finally releasing an email chain last Tuesday detailing the setup of the meeting.

According to one message from Rob Goldstone, who acted as an intermediary to set up the meeting, the information “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father."

“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump,” Goldstone wrote.

Trump Jr. seemed eager to receive in the information, saying in a June 3, 2016, response: “If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”

But Trump Jr. has said the promised information from Natalia Veselnitskaya "went nowhere," and that she mostly focused on pushing for changes to a policy that led to restrictions on American adoptions of Russian children.

The meeting took place June 9, 2016, and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, were present for at least part of it. 

The meeting and emails are likely to come under scrutiny from federal and congressional investigators probing Russia’s election meddling and whether any Trump associates colluded with the effort. 

The White House continues to deny the Trump campaign coordinated with Moscow and is defending Trump Jr.’s actions.

Futerfas confirmed Monday that $50,000 from the Trump reelection campaign, paid in June to his firm, was in part for work he's now doing for Trump Jr., CNN reported.
 
He also told the network that Trump Jr. is "in discussions with the various committees" to testify about the meeting. 
 
Futerfas told CNN he has spoken to the eighth person in the room during the meeting, who was reportedly there on behalf of the Russian family that asked for the meeting to be set up. 
 
He told the network that person, whom he declined to name, is a U.S. citizen and was not employed by the Russian government.