Democrats have been out for blood after learning of Donald Trump Jr.’s attempt to obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton through the Russians last year.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), of the Senate Judiciary Committee, expects Trump Jr. will be brought back in for questioning in a public hearing, according to CNN. When asked by reporters, she doubled down on her expectations, stating, “I do – come hell or high water.”
The Democrat party’s interest in Trump Jr.’s meeting hit a fever pitch when he released a chain of emails showing his intent to obtain dirt from a Russian source on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to the New York Times.
According to an intermediary, the information “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father. This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is a part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Trump Jr. jumped on the opportunity to obtain dirt on Clinton, saying, “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
The subsequent correspondence led to a meeting between Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner, and Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer supposed to have the dirt they were interested in.
Instead of having dirt on Clinton, it was a ruse — the lawyer only intended to convince them to drop a controversial policy concerning Russia and the US. Though no information or promises were exchanged, Democrats were adamant that this meeting somehow proved their accusations of Trump colluding with Russia to win the election.
Trump Jr. was peppered with questions by the Senate Judiciary Staff for nearly four hours about the meeting. Feinstein expects that it won’t be the last of their questions, and believes Trump Jr. will again face questioning in the Senate.
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says the committee is seeking everyone and anyone involved with the meeting to gather as much information as possible. Apart from Trump Jr., the committee has already spoken with Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner.
One person of possible interest for questioning, according to Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), is Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist who was also a part of the meeting.
The person everyone would like to question most is also the one person that will prove to be the most difficult. Senator Burr said the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, may prove hard to reach, given her Russian citizenship, which prevents them from compelling her to testify in the public hearings.
Senator Feinstein (D-CA) determined to push Trump, Jr. on Russian meeting, come hell or high water. Will this inquiry also come up empty?
Burr joked about the efforts to bring her to the Senate, stating, “Can’t compel her. All I can do is use my charm and good looks.”
Though the meeting, and the effort to obtain dirt on Clinton certainly looks bad, it’s still unclear whether it constitutes an illegal act. Democrats and Republicans are obviously divided on the issue, and legal experts are similarly stumped.
It will be interesting to see the development of this case, and if Democrats will see their collusion allegations proven true, though it’s highly doubtful.