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 CoonsMnuchin says carbon capture tax credit guidance will be out soon Mnuchin signals administration won't comply with subpoena for Trump tax returns Menendez, Rubio lead Senate effort to regulate Venezuelan sanctions MORE (D-Del.) said Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls for Republicans to be 'united' on abortion Tlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution Facebook temporarily suspended conservative commentator Candace Owens MORE’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpUkraine's top prosecutor says no evidence of wrongdoing by Bidens New financial disclosure forms provide glimpses of Trump's wealth Trump's Doral resort revenue has dropped since presidential campaign: 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 GrassleyOvernight Defense: Trump rails against media coverage | Calls reporting on Iran tensions 'highly inaccurate' | GOP senator blocking Trump pick for Turkey ambassador | Defense bill markup next week Trump reaches deal to lift steel, aluminum tariffs on Mexico, Canada Top GOP senator blocking Trump's pick for Turkey ambassador 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 DeVosConsumer bureau head says Education Department blocking oversight of student loans Dem lawmaker: Betsy DeVos is 'a nice person, but boy she really is confused' Trump touts budget updates to fund Special Olympics, send astronauts to Mars 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 ClintonWarren policy ideas show signs of paying off Biden at campaign kickoff event: I don't have to be 'angry' to win Top Dem: Trump helps GOP erase enthusiasm gap; Ohio a big problem MORE.

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

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) 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.