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 CoonsSenators introduce bipartisan bill restricting police use of facial recognition tech Centrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda Bill Gates visits Capitol to discuss climate change with new Senate caucus MORE (D-Del.) said Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpConservatives seek to stifle new 'alt-right' movement steeped in anti-Semitism Resistance or unhinged behavior? Partisan hatred reaches Trump's family George Conway and Trump Jr. trade personal insults during impeachment hearing 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 GrassleyBooker, Sanders propose new federal agency to control drug prices GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens 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 DeVosDeVos forgives 1,500 student loans amid federal lawsuit Warren campaign launches 'a calculator for the billionaires' after Gates criticism Education Department finalizes new regulations to relax college-accreditation requirements 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 ClintonImpeachment hearings don't move needle with Senate GOP GOP divided over impeachment trial strategy 'Too Far Left' hashtag trends on Twitter MORE.

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

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE, who is leading the investigation into Russia's meddling in the election, is also reportedly looking into interactions between Nader and Zamel.