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07 December 2017, 02:54 | Erica Roy
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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters on Wednesday evening that Donald Trump Jr. cited attorney-client privilege to avoid answering the committee's questions about a discussion he had with President Donald Trump about his June 2016 meeting with Kremlin-linked officials.
Trump Jr. said there was a lawyer present when he talked to his father.
Trump Jr. said he didn't tell the president about the June 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and several Russian operatives when it happened, and he declined to say what he told his father after the meeting was disclosed to the public this year.
Schiff said that while Trump Jr. admitted speaking to his father about his response to reports on the meeting, he "refused to answer questions about that meeting on the basis a claim of attorney client privilege".
Rep. Mike Conway (R-Texas) had a different view on the interview, which lasted from 10 a.m.to 6 p.m., with a few breaks along the way. And whatever was said between father and son after emails concerning the meeting became public would certainly be relevant to understanding the role the president might have played in orchestrating the response to the damaging reports about Trump Jr.'s effort to obtain Clinton "dirt".
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating how Trump Jr.'s initial response was crafted.
Schiff said he does not believe the Trumps' conversation is privileged information.
At one point, hours into the meeting, multiple sources with knowledge tell ABC News that Trump Jr.'s lawyers asked how many more questions the committee had.
The Washington Post has reported that the president dictated the statement Trump Jr. released that day about the meeting. "There is no attorney client privilege that protects discussion between father and son", Schiff noted.
The meeting is of keen interest to Special Counsel Robert Mueller and several Senate and House committees that are investigating whether the Trump campaign worked with Russian Federation to interfere in the 2016 election.
The interview is being held behind closed doors, and Trump Jr. arrived out of sight of cameras through a back entrance.
Prior to the hearing there was intense speculation that lawmakers would also ask President Trump's eldest son about correspondence he had with the radical transparency group WikiLeaks during the campaign. Trump Jr., according to the sources familiar with his testimony, said his communications were limited to the messages exchanged via Twitter and went no further.
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