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 CoonsSenate confirms eight Trump court picks in three days Lawmakers call for investigation into program meant to help student loan borrowers with disabilities Senators defend bipartisan bill on facial recognition as cities crack down MORE (D-Del.) said Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 MORE’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpWhite House calls Democratic witness's mentioning of president's youngest son 'classless' Lawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing Top Democrats knock Trump on World AIDS Day 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 GrassleyOvernight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson – House progressives may try to block vote on Pelosi drug bill | McConnell, Grassley at odds over Trump-backed drug pricing bill | Lawmakers close to deal on surprise medical bills GOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties Congressional leaders unite to fight for better future for America's children and families 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 DeVosOn The Money: Economy adds 266K jobs in strong November | Lawmakers sprint to avoid shutdown | Appropriators to hold crucial talks this weekend | Trump asks Supreme Court to halt Deutsche Bank subpoenas GOP set for all-out battle over Michigan Senate seat 'Can I get a ride?' Removing an obstacle for families using school choice 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 ClintonYang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations Top GOP legislator in California leaves party GOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties MORE.

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

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE, who is leading the investigation into Russia's meddling in the election, is also reportedly looking into interactions between Nader and Zamel.