Dem senator: Trump Jr. may have given 'false testimony' about meeting with foreign nationals

Dem senator: Trump Jr. may have given 'false testimony' about meeting with foreign nationals

Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsAnti-Trump protesters hold candlelight vigil by White House Hillicon Valley: EU hits Google with record B fine | Trump tries to clarify Russia remarks | Sinclair changing deal to win over FCC | Election security bill gets traction | Robocall firm exposed voter data Overnight Defense: More Trump drama over Russia | Appeals court rules against Trump on transgender ban | Boeing wins Air Force One contract | Military parade to reportedly cost M MORE (D-Del.) said Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump warns Iran's Rouhani: Threaten us 'and you will suffer' Pompeo: Iran's leaders resemble the mafia NYT's Haberman: Trump 'often tells the truth' MORE’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump Jr. to hold fundraiser for Manchin challenger Fox News bigger than ever two years after Roger Ailes Kimberly Guilfoyle leaving Fox News to campaign with Donald Trump Jr.: report MORE, may have lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding foreign powers seeking to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. 

"I am writing to you because I am deeply concerned that, based on new information we learned this week, Donald Trump Jr. provided false testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee," Coons wrote in a Thursday letter to committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyKavanaugh returns questionnaire to Senate panel Sunk judicial pick spills over into Supreme Court fight Andrew Wheeler must reverse damage to American heartland MORE (R-Iowa).

Coons said Trump Jr.’s September testimony with committee staff has been contradicted by recent news reports.

Trump Jr. previously testified that he was not aware of foreign governments other than Russia offering to help the Trump campaign.

The New York Times, however, reported last week that Trump Jr. had a meeting weeks before the 2016 presidential election with George Nader, who was acting as an emissary for Gulf nations.

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Nader allegedly told Trump Jr. that the crown prices of the United Arab Emirates and Saudia Arabia were eager to help his father win.

The meeting, held at Trump Tower in New York, was reportedly arranged by private security contractor Erik Prince, the former head of Blackwater and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosDon’t worry (too much) about Kavanaugh changing the Supreme Court Overnight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to take over Afghan war MORE.

Joel Zamel, an Israeli political strategist specializing in social media manipulation, was also present.

Coons wrote that the attendees “reportedly offered assistance to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign on behalf of foreign governments and foreign nationals, despite the fact that it is unlawful for foreign governments or foreign nationals to engage in activity connected to U.S. elections.”

Neither Trump Jr. nor Prince have publicly denied this meeting exists, even though it is inconsistent with what they’ve previously told the committee, Coons said.

He called for Grassley to bring Trump Jr. back to testify before the full committee in a public hearing, pointing out that giving false statements to Congress is illegal.

Trump Jr. also accepted a controversial meeting in Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin who he'd been told could offer political dirt on then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCarter Page warrant reflects attack on our civil liberties Former Obama aide to Comey: 'No one is asking for your advice' Comey to Dems: 'Don't lose your minds and rush to the socialist left' MORE.

The Senate Judiciary Committee released the transcript of Trump Jr.’s interview about that meeting last week.

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE, who is leading the investigation into Russia's meddling in the election, is also reportedly looking into interactions between Nader and Zamel.