Tried to Cite 'Attorney-Client Privilege' to Avoid Questions About His Father

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Lawmakers and legal experts immediately derided Trump Jr.'s invocation of attorney-client privilege, noting on social media and in news outlets that the mere presence of a lawyer does not make a conversation protected.

The initial statement released by Team Trump about the meeting - which also included Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and ex-campaign chair Paul Manafort - said that the discussion centered on U.S. sanctions on Russia that it responded to by canceling USA adoptions of Russian children. In this case, however, it appears from reports that Trump claiming that the conversation that took place before the White House statement regarding the Trump Tower meeting that was released earlier this year was between the President and his attorney and Trump Jr. and his attorney. "They stuck to their position that they were not going to share any conversations that Donald Trump Jr. had with his father about the June 9th meeting", Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., told CNN Wednesday night.

Once it became apparent that she did not have meaningful information about Clinton, Trump seemed to lose interest, Veselnitskaya said, and the meeting petered out.

The agreement for Goldstone to appear before the congressional Russia panels is the latest sign that the music publicist is ready to cooperate with the investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA elections. He added that he would follow up with Mr. Futerfas about the legal basis for refusing to disclose what was discussed.

Trump Jr. acknowledged to House investigators Wednesday that he spoke with Hope Hicks - and not his father - when first confronted with news reports about the Trump Tower meeting, saying they exchanged text messages, sources said.

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Veselnitskaya said of the meeting: "Donald Trump, Jr. asked if I had any financial documents proving that what may have been illegally obtained funds were also being donated to Mrs. Clinton's foundation".

Trump Jr. told lawmakers he discussed the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with his father after emails setting up the meeting with a Russian lawyer became public this past summer. The meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya has come under the microscope because Trump Jr. accepted the invitation from British publicist Rob Goldstone after being promised Veselnitskaya would provide incriminating information about Hillary Clinton. Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota law professor who previously served as chief ethics counsel to President George W. Bush, told ThinkProgress that the privilege "only covers a conversation that is undertaken for the objective of getting legal advice". Other Trump aides denied a Washington Post report that Trump "dictated" the statement to his son aboard Air Force One.

But Schiff questioned whether that was a valid reason to not tell Congress about the conversations. Additionally, a conversation that includes a party and his attorney along with a third party that the attorney does not represent would generally not be considered privileged.

In the end, this is a matter that would have to be resolved by the courts, assuming that either the committee or special counsel Mueller want to pursue the matter. "Counsel made a claim of attorney-client privilege".