Donald Trump Jr. admitted that he and his father had a discussion about last summer’s secret meeting between key campaign officials and the Russians, but he refused to provide details of that conversation with the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.
Trump Jr. claimed client-attorney privilege to justify his refusal to divulge what he and his father talked about, and top Democrat on the committee, Adam Schiff, was having none of it.
Rep. Schiff discusses Donald Trump Jr. interview: “In my view, there is no attorney-client privilege that protects a discussion between father and son” https://t.co/6BENFlzaQ9 pic.twitter.com/0yyuwqwDBj
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) December 6, 2017
Schiff blasted Trump Jr.:
There was one significant area, though, where [Trump Jr.] declined to answer. He acknowledged having discussed the June 9 meeting and the emails that went into establishing that meeting after those emails became public. He acknowledged discussing that matter with his father, but refused to answer questions about that discussion on the basis of attorney-client privilege. In my view, there is no attorney-client privilege that protects a discussion between father and son. This particular discussion revolves around a pivotal meeting, that is where representatives of the Russian government who were portrayed as providing dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of the Russian government effort to help Donald Trump to the campaign, and therefore is a central issue that we need to fully investigate.
As Schiff noted in his statement, it is critical to know exactly what Donald Trump knows about his son’s secret meeting with the Russians during the campaign, and what they talked about after it took place.
The fact that Trump knew anything at all about the private contact suggests that the now-president was not totally out of the loop with respect to his campaign’s coordination with Russia, as he has repeatedly claimed since taking office.
As we learn more about what happened behind the scenes during last year’s campaign, the more it’s apparent that the president was not ignorant of his team’s work with the Russians. The information Don Jr. kept from investigators on Wednesday could be key in proving that.