It's been just over a month since the New York Times dropped its 'bombshell' report on Trump Jr.'s now-infamous meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Of course, Trump Jr.'s subsequent full disclosure on the meeting seemingly revealed it was not only completely useless for the Trump campaign but a rather obvious attempt by a Russian lobbyist to push her own political agenda, namely a repeal of the Magnitsky Act...an act which we would almost be willing to bet that Trump Jr. had never ever heard of before walking in the room.
Nevertheless, and likely because it's pretty much the only piece of tangible information they've managed to find, after a year of digging, that even remotely links anyone on the Trump campaign to anyone with a Russian-sounding name, the Senate Judiciary Committee has finally secured a closed interview with Trump Jr. Per CNN:
President Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., has agreed to sit down for a transcribed interview with the Senate judiciary committee, as investigators continue to dig into his attendance at a 2016 meeting where he was promised Russian dirt on the Clinton campaign.
After weeks of discussions, Trump Jr. has agreed on a date to be interviewed by the panel in private, according to Taylor Foy, spokesman for committee Chairman Chuck Grassley. Trump Jr. will be interviewed by senior committee staff, and senators will be invited to attend, Foy said.
While the committee spokesman would not divulge the precise date of Trump Jr.'s attendance in private, both Grassley and ranking Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein have previously told CNN they expected him to appear before their panel as soon as September.
Of course, Trump Jr. already gave his full accounting of the Veselnitskaya meeting back in July when he appeared on Fox News so it's unclear what, if any, new facts will be learned on the topic.
For those who missed it, below is our previous note on Jr.'s interview on Fox.
* * *
In his first public appearance since his tweeted emails earlier today, which seemed to confirm that the Trump campaign was aware that the Russian government was willing to help then-Mr.Trump, Donald Trump Jr. admits "in retrospect I probably would have done things a little differently," telling Fox News' Sean Hannity that he did not tell his father about the meting because "It was just a nothing. There was nothing to tell."
Key excerpts include (via Axios):
On whether in retrospect he would have done things differently:
"In retrospect I probably would have done things a little differently. Again this is before the Russia mania, this is before they were building this up in the press. For me this was opposition research, they had something you know maybe concrete evidence to all the stories I'd been hearing about, probably under reported for years not just during the campaign so I think I wanted to hear it out. But really it went nowhere and it was apparent that wasn't what the meeting was about."
Clip from the show
On why he decided to take the meeting with the Russian lawyer:
"Honestly, my take away when all of this was going on, is that someone has information on our opponent. Things are going a million miles per hour. You know what it's like to be on a campaign. We just won Indiana, but we're talking about a contested convention. Things are going a million miles per hour again and hey, wait a minute, I've hear about all these things, but maybe this is something, I should hear him out."
On whether he read the emails:
"I had been reading about scandals that people were probably underreporting for a long time so maybe it was something that had to do with one of those things. I mean this was her perhaps involvement with the Russian government…so, you know, again, I didn't know if there was any credibility, I didn't know if there was anything behind it, I can't vouch for the information…someone sent me an email! I can't help what someone sends me. I read it, I responded accordingly, and if there was something interesting there, I think that's pretty common."
On whether he told his father about the meeting:
"No. It was just a nothing. There was nothing to tell. I mean, I wouldn't have even remembered it until you started scouring through this stuff. It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame."
President Trump has finally reacted...
My son, Donald, will be interviewed by @seanhannity tonight at 10:00 P.M. He is a great person who loves our country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2017