President Trump is being accused of an “unnecessary coverup” when it comes to the original statement released which explained why Donald Trump Jr. was meeting last year with a Russian attorney. If you recall, the meeting was allegedly setup with the blessing of the Russian government to pass information which could be damaging to the Clinton campaign during the 2016 election.
The Washington Post picks up the reporting on this:
Flying home from Germany on July 8 aboard Air Force One, Trump personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said that he and the Russian lawyer had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children” when they met in June 2016, according to multiple people with knowledge of the deliberations. The statement, issued to the New York Times as it prepared an article, emphasized that the subject of the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.”
The claims were later shown to be misleading.
Over the next three days, multiple accounts of the meeting were provided to the news media as public pressure mounted, with Trump Jr. ultimately acknowledging that he had accepted the meeting after receiving an email promising damaging information about Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to help his father’s campaign.
The extent of the president’s personal intervention in his son’s response, the details of which have not previously been reported, adds to a series of actions that Trump has taken that some advisers fear could place him and some members of his inner circle in legal jeopardy.
As special counsel Robert S. Mueller III looks into potential obstruction of justice as part of his broader investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, these advisers worry that the president’s direct involvement leaves him needlessly vulnerable to allegations of a coverup.
“This was .?.?. unnecessary,” said one of the president’s advisers, who like most other people interviewed for this article spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations. “Now someone can claim he’s the one who attempted to mislead. Somebody can argue the president is saying he doesn’t want you to say the whole truth.”
Many of the problems which surround the Trump administration can probably be classified as “unnecessary,” since a good number of them are unforced errors. In this case, given that we know there were half a dozen people in that meeting with Don Jr. and the attorney, the full details were bound to come out sooner rather than later.
What further pollutes the stream is that one of President Trump’s attorneys had outright stated that the President had nothing to do with crafting the statement, which later turned out to be false, according to Business Insider:
One of President Donald Trump’s private attorneys representing him in the Russia investigation previously said that Trump had nothing to do with a statement his son Donald Trump Jr. released to answer questions about a 2016 campaign-trail meeting he had with a Russian lawyer.
Jay Sekulow told news outlets earlier this month that the president “didn’t sign off on anything,” and “wasn’t involved” in drafting a statement Trump Jr. used to defend his meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya. Trump Jr.’s initial claim was that Veselnitskaya wanted to discuss a program about the adoption of Russian children.
According to a Washington Post report published Monday, the president was behind the adoption statement, which was proven false days later.
Perhaps Sekulow was not in the loop on the matter or perhaps the President told him he had nothing to do with it, who knows. The bottom line is that each and every time something like this occurs, it will create more questions and paths for the Russia meddling investigation that Robert Mueller has a duty to explore. The Russia matter has been beaten to death, and the “hard evidence” seems to always be just out of reach in most cases, but this situation with the Don Jr. meeting may yet bear fruit for the President’s opponents, and some of that fruit may have been hand-picked by the President himself.