Russian Federation favored Trump in 2016, Senate panel says, breaking with House GOP

Senate Intel Panel Agrees Russia Intervened In 2016 Presidential Election

Senate Intel Panel Agrees Russia Intervened In 2016 Presidential Election

The US Senate Judiciary Committee said it had "no doubt" that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 presidential elections on Wednesday.

The Committee's staff interviews reveal that top Trump campaign officials were frustrated and angry that the meeting did not produce enough damaging information on their opponent. The meeting is one of pillars of Mueller's research and of Judicial Committee itself, which has not yet announced its conclusions.

According to NPR, the three biggest takeaways of the released transcripts include the following: 1) The Russians meant to collude with Americans to influence the election, but there is no proof that the Americans reciprocated 2) It is unclear what happened post-Trump Tower meeting and 3) It is unclear what Donald Trump knew beforehand.

Trump Jr. says he never communicated with Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks. After small talk about the view and a recent win in the primaries, the younger Trump got down to business, Akhmetshin said.

The committee released more than 1,800 pages of transcripts of interviews with Trump Jr. and others who attended the NY meeting at which they expected to receive compromising information about Trump's Democratic opponent.

The initial meeting was organized on the premise that Veselnitskaya would deliver incriminating information on Hillary Clinton to support Trump's campaign.

The transcripts reveal some new details about how the meeting - a key point of interest in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign - came to be arranged and efforts afterward to mitigate the political damage arising from its disclosure.

In an undated chain of text messages, Goldstone told Emin Agalarov that he was besieged by inquiries from journalists about the meeting and that he was trying to keep the Agalarovs' names out of his interviews.

Schiff said Trump Jr. invoked the privilege because his lawyers claimed that the discussion with his father took place in the presence of legal counsel, which Schiff and other Democrats argued is a situation not covered by the privilege.

Sawyer asked. After his counsel objected to the question, Trump, Jr., went ahead and answered it.

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Asked whether he felt like he had been "duped" into attending the meeting organized by Goldstone under "false pretenses" to grab his attention, Trump Jr. said, "I imagine there was an element of showmanship involved". The meeting was being arranged at the direct request of Donald Trump, he testified. He says he thinks the only time he responded was to say, "Hey, when (am I) going to receive the next leak"?

"I did say at the time this was an very bad idea and a terrible meeting", Goldstone wrote.

The meeting was a central focus of Mueller's probe into whether or not Russian Federation helped Trump win the 2016 election.

Kaveladze works for Agalarov's father, a Russian developer who partnered with Donald Trump to host the Miss Universe contest in Moscow in 2013.

Goldstone told the committee that the president's son-in-law, Kushner, also seemed annoyed that Veselnitskaya's spiel didn't contain an obvious "smoking gun". In addition, the Judiciary Committee released brief notes from the meeting that Manafort took on his phone, and written answers to its questions from Veselnitskaya.

Last July, when the New York Times published a report about the meeting, a statement was crafted aboard Air Force One as the president returned from Germany.

Trump's allies on Capitol Hill can point to testimony from multiple attendees, including Kushner and Goldstone, that people walked out of the meeting feeling like it was a waste of everyone's time.

"Q. So at the time you sent this email, did you have any reason to believe that the Russian Government was making efforts to interfere in the US presidential election?"

Trump Jr. also met behind closed doors with the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"I don't know what would be deemed 'damaging, ' but I didn't hear anything that I would deem to be damaging", Goldstone said.

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