Trump Tower transcripts detail quest for dirt on Hillary Clinton

Clay Curtis
May 16, 2018

"Politics, I knew nothing about".

A U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday released hundreds of pages of transcripts and other details from its investigation of a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 with Russians who claimed to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton, President Donald Trump's Democratic rival for the presidency.

The documents reveal new details about how the meeting - central to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential collusion between Trump aides and the Kremlin - came to be arranged and efforts afterward to mitigate the public relations damage arising from its disclosure.

President Trump and Trump Jr. initially said the meeting was about "adoptions", then modified their stories after Trump Jr. released the email thread showing he received his offer of help from the Russians.

His notes mention "Russian adoption by American families" and Bill Browder, a British citizen who has spearheaded a US sanctions law -known as the Magnitsky Act- that targets Russian officials over human rights abuses. "Could you please focus a bit more and maybe just start again?'" Goldstone said of Kushner, who was not interviewed by the committee.

The transcripts show the dissatisfaction of Trump Jr. and other campaign aides, including brother-in-law Jared Kushner, when the meeting failed to yield the harmful Clinton information they thought they'd get - as well as the increasing panic of one of the meeting participants who feared his reputation would be ruined for his role in having set it up.

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But there is also discrepancy between the meeting participants about how long Kushner was present.

During his interview, Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, was asked about communications from Goldstone about offers of support from "important" Russians as Trump emerged as the front-runner for the Republican nomination during the primaries. "The public can now see that for over five hours I answered every question asked and was candid and forthright with the committee". "I was aware of none", said Trump Jr., in a seemingly definitive statement within his I-don't-remember-filled interview.

The announcement of the completed review of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) on Russian activities in the 2016 USA elections was announced in a press release from committee chairman Sen.

The committee's documents also included responses from Veselnitskaya, as well as a statement from Kushner and a page of notes from Manafort. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, authorized the release of the new material following interviews or other interactions with several of the people involved with the Trump Tower meeting. Democrats had pressed Grassley to subpoena Kushner for his testimony or schedule a public hearing for Trump Jr., but he chose not to do so following Feinstein's decision to release the Simpson transcript.

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