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Critics: Trump's Crafting of Response to Russia Meeting Is 'Obstruction of Justice'

02 August 2017

Advisers to President Donald Trump fear he could face legal jeopardy for allegedly drafting a misleading statement about Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer, according to published reports.

The President's attorneys have said Trump was not aware of the meeting itself until the news emerged weeks ago, and Trump Jr. said he had not told his father about the meeting when it happened.

President Trump chose to instead dictate a statement to be released to the media. "Now someone can claim he's the one who attempted to mislead".

Jay Sekulow, one of the elder Trump's lawyers, told the newspaper that "apart from being of no effect, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate, and not pertinent".

"The statement that Don Junior issued is true", Sanders said.

The initial plan was that Mr Trump Jr fully disclose what he knew about the meeting, the Post says, but that decision was reversed and his first statement said they had discussed the adoption of Russian children, not campaign issues.

"The president weighed in, as any father would, based on the limited information he had", Mrs. Sanders said.

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But the White House insistence appears to have done little to convince congressional GOP leaders to keep trying. Trump Jr. eventually released emails showing he attended the meeting with the understanding that he would be given damaging information on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.

One of his attorneys, Jay Sekulow, has insisted that Trump "wasn't involved" in any way in putting the statement together as the President and his aides flew back to the US on Air Force One from the July G-20 summit in Germany. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by.

Remember that first claim about how Jr.'s meeting with Russians at Trump tower was about adoption and ultimately inconsequential?

"This was...unnecessary", an anonymous source told the Post.

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for the president's legal counsel, said that Trump was not present at his son's meeting with Veselnitskaya or aware of it.

It may be, as the President's allies told the Post, that Trump simply doesn't grasp the legal implications of his actions and sees the Russian Federation probe as a family public relations problem that he alone can set right. But "it could be relevant in determining whether something else the president did, like firing (former FBI Director James) Comey, was done corruptly".

While it is not illegal for a president to mislead the public or the press, legal experts say the episode will likely be of interest to Federal Bureau of Investigation special counsel Robert Mueller as he investigates Russia's election interference and whether the Trump campaign has sought to cover up any interactions it had with Russians a year ago.

Critics: Trump's Crafting of Response to Russia Meeting Is 'Obstruction of Justice'