Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner could both face prison time for a previously undisclosed meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer who allegedly offered dirt on Hillary Clinton that had been stolen directly by the Russian government.
The meeting, which was first reported on last week, represents one of the biggest developments in the ever-growing investigation of Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. To this point, there had been no direct proof of contact between Trump’s campaign and the Russian-government officials regarding the compromising material stolen from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s campaign chief, John Podesta.
The story published last week claimed that Donald Trump Jr. had met a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer in a meeting that had not previously been disclosed. Trump Jr. would admit that the lawyer offered compromising information on Hillary Clinton, but said he believed that was something of a ruse so the lawyer could press him on a Russian adoption program.
But on Monday, a report from the New York Times claimed that Trump Jr. went into the meeting knowing that the compromising information on Hillary Clinton had come from an effort led directly by the Russian government. Trump Jr. had been sent an email from Rob Goldstone, a former British tabloid reporter that the New York Times claimed had brokered the meeting with the Russian lawyer.
The report noted that there was “no evidence to suggest that the promised damaging information was related to Russian government computer hacking that led to the release of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails.” But the report did add that the meeting would likely be a major interest to the parties investigation Trump’s possible collusion with Russia, and could offer the first concrete proof that those around Trump were knowingly working with the Russian government to swing the election to Trump.
If true, it could mean prison time for those involved in the meeting. Matthew Miller, an MSNBC justice and security analyst, said on Morning Joe that Donald Trump Jr. could face time behind bars if it is true that he knowingly worked with a foreign government to further his father’s campaign.
“It’s a crime to solicit or accept anything from a foreign national in a campaign,” Miller said (via TheWrap). “It doesn’t have to be money… it can be, potentially, accepting information. So he’s potentially confessing in his statement to committing a crime.
"Morning Joe" regular: Trump Jr. "in a world of hurt" over meeting with Russian lawyer https://t.co/2xMfpOlVDF pic.twitter.com/cDJ8PqUpnj
The meeting with the Russian lawyer could have consequences beyond Donald Trump Jr. Reports indicated that Jared Kushner also attended, and failed to disclose the meeting before taking his post in the White House. If true, Kushner could face legal consequences including the possibility of jail time.
Trump Jr gets the headlines, but Kushner attended the collusion meeting, failed to disclose it as required by law & is still a WH official.
— Binyamin Appelbaum (@BCAppelbaum) July 11, 2017
There are already calls for Kushner to resign his White House post as well.
Jared Kushner must resign. If he will not, he should be fired.https://t.co/3EvKfQzQgp pic.twitter.com/JNflgeA7Sh
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) July 10, 2017
Schumer: Trump Jr. testimony before Senate Intel Committee should end Trump’s denial of Russian collusion https://t.co/GaV8E59Ysu pic.twitter.com/wlNsaFtJ31
Donald Trump Jr. has retained a lawyer, Alan Futerfas, for the ongoing Russian investigation and the claims of collusion with the Russian government. Futerfas maintains that Trump Jr. has done nothing wrong and will work with investigators to share what he knows. Minority Leader Charles Schumer has already called for Trump Jr. to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
[Featured Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images]