Trump Jr. lawyers up after his secret meeting with Russian attorney is revealed
Donald Trump Jr. has hired a lawyer to represent him in Russia-related investigations, his office and the lawyer said on Monday, as Republicans voiced concern about a meeting between the U.S. president’s son and a Russian.
Trump Jr. hired New York lawyer Alan Futerfas, who specializes in criminal defense.
Futerfas would not say when he was retained or whether he played any part in the statements Trump Jr. made over the weekend about a meeting with a Russian lawyer.
Trump Jr. met the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, in June 2016 during the presidential election campaign at Trump Tower in New York.
Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, also attended, the New York Times said. It called the encounter the first confirmed private meeting of members of Donald Trump’s inner circle with a Russian national.
Congressional committees and a federal special counsel, Robert Mueller, are investigating whether Russia interfered in the election and colluded with the Trump campaign.
Moscow denies interfering, and Trump, who became president on Jan. 20, says there was no collusion.
Trump Jr. has said he agreed to meet Veselnitskaya, described by the Times as having links to the Kremlin, after being promised damaging information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Futerfas told Reuters: “I look forward to assisting Donald Jr. and, quite frankly, there is nothing to all of the media buzz about the June 9th, 2016 meeting. That will be proven to be the case.”
Earlier on Monday, a Republican member of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, Susan Collins, called on Donald Trump Jr. to testify before the panel, which is looking into accusations of Russian meddling in the election.
(Additional reporting by Steve Holland and Patricia Zengerle in Washington; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Howard Goller)