Special counsel probing if Trump tried to hide purpose of Russian meeting: report

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is allegedly investigating President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE’s part in responding to reports about the meeting his advisers had with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential race. 

NBC News reported Monday that investigators are trying to determine what Trump knew about the meeting and if he tried to hide its purpose. Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort were all in attendance at the Trump Tower meeting.

"Even if Trump is not charged with a crime as a result of the statement, it could be useful to Mueller's team to show Trump's conduct to a jury that may be considering other charges,” a source told NBC.

ADVERTISEMENT
The Washington Post reported last month that Trump on July 8 had “dictated” a statement downplaying the meeting to Hope Hicks, who was the director of the strategic communications at the time. The statement was for his son, Trump Jr., to provide to The New York Times, which first reported the meeting.

The statement Trump reportedly dictated while making his way back to the United States from the Group of 20 summit in Germany emphasized that it was “not a campaign issue at the time.”

However, the Times reported a day after the statement was released that, through an intermediary, the Russian lawyer had promised harmful information about then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIntel Dem decries White House 'gag order' after Bannon testimony 'Total free-for-all' as Bannon clashes with Intel members Mellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) MORE. Trump officials have since said the primary topic of the meeting was Russian adoption policy.

Mueller, who was appointed by the Justice Department to oversee the federal government's response into Moscow's meddling in the presidential election, is probing if Trump helped construct a "knowingly false statement," according to NBC.