The Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Committees are among the several entities conducting investigations into Russian collusion. Last week, Don Trump, Jr., released an email showing him positively leaping at the chance to get damaging info on Hillary Clinton from Russian operatives, and that yanked the Russia scandal back into the spotlight.
And now, the Senate has called him, along with Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, to testify under oath about their dealings with Russia. All three were present at a meeting in June 2016 referenced in the email string from Trump Jr. Donald Trump himself has said that it’s just politics, and that most politicians would have taken that meeting. The entire family keeps trying to make it into something innocent.
The Senate seems to disagree, though. They want answers they can rely on under threat of punishment for lies, because we all know that if anyone in the Trump family thinks they can lie their way out of something, they definitely will try to. Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said:
There has been an enormous amount that has been said publicly but it’s not under oath, which means that people are free to omit matters or lie with relative impunity.”
Many, many lies have probably already been told. Trump Jr.’s story about that meeting keeps changing. His first statement said they all met to discuss adoption programs between us and Russia. He later claimed that he didn’t know he was meeting Russian operatives, and also that the Russian lawyer he met didn’t have any information of value regarding Hillary, and that she just wanted to discuss adoption and the Magnitsky Act.
After that, he told Sean Hannity that he regretted taking the meeting at all, even though he tweeted sarcastically about being the only person ever to meet with someone who had information on a political opponent. Trump has continued to defend his son on that front as well.
As for Kushner, we know he conveniently forgot to mention over 100 foreign contacts on his security clearance form, or SF-86. Most federal employees face termination (or disqualification from consideration for a job), along with fines and possible jail time. Kushner still has his clearance.
Trump Jr. is slated to testify on Jul 26, and he will probably face a lot of questions about that meeting (watch to see how many times his story changes during his testimony). Kushner will appear at a closed-door interview on Jul 24, where he likely faces questions about his SF-86 as well as the meeting he attended with his brother-in-law.
Featured image via John Moore/Getty Images