As Special Counsel Robert Mueller completes his investigation, lingering questions wait for answers. Did Donald Trump know that the Russians were working with his campaign officials to help him win and when did he know it? What connection does the NRA have to the Trump collusion case? Who will be indicted next?
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 31, 2019
One long-standing question was answered by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. Following the 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and a host of people with a connection to the Kremlin, Junior made and answered blocked calls on his telephone. Corey Lewandowski testified under oath that Trump, Sr.’s Trump Tower apartment phone number is a blocked number.
It’s long been speculated that those calls were between son and father, possibly to brief the then-presidential candidate on the meeting with Kremlin government operatives. After further investigation, the calls were not between the two Donald Trumps.
‘The information came to light recently and could answer one of the key questions over the meeting Trump’s eldest son set up to get Russian dirt on the Clinton campaign. Trump Jr.’s phone calls involving blocked numbers — meaning the numbers are private and do not appear in the phone records — have been a lingering issue as investigators have probed the meeting and whether Trump himself had advance knowledge through any means that his son, son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chair Paul Manafort met with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton.’
The fact that Trump Jr’s phone calls to blocked numbers around the time he set up the Trump Tower meeting weren’t with his Dad is not proof the two didn’t discuss the meeting in some other setting. https://t.co/EqviGVLHzF
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) February 1, 2019
The calls were between Junior and some of his business associates, but the question definitely needed to be asked and answered. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) justified this particular piece of the Senate’s investigation, saying:
‘We wanted to get the phone records to determine, was Donald Trump talking to his son about this meeting. It’s an obvious investigative step, but one the Republicans were unwilling to take because they were afraid of where the evidence might lead.’
The blocked numbers Don Jr. called before 2016 Trump Tower meeting reportedly belong to NASCAR CEO Brian France and real estate developer Howard Lorber.
Lorber has extensive business dealings in Russia and brought Trump on a tour of Moscow in 1996. https://t.co/R9wmpcLhri
— Zach Basu (@zacharybasu) February 1, 2019
The identity of the blocked callers does not clear Junior from all the questions surrounding his meeting in June 2016. He has previously refused to answer some of the more pressing and possibly damning questions.
‘In addition to the phone calls, Schiff has called for a subpoena to Trump Jr. to compel him to discuss the conversations he had with his father in 2017 about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting before Trump Jr. released a misleading public statement about the purpose of the meeting. Trump Jr. has claimed the conversations with his father were protected by attorney-client privilege when he testified in December 2017.’
Trump Tower Moscow was a much larger deal—and potential crime—than anyone has realized. This is a complete dossier of the meetings trumps (Ivanka and Don Jr) and his many representatives had with Russians about the Tower& the election, Running into 2018:https://t.co/zNYxOV3S0F
— Bill Harwood (@Bearinamsterdam) January 28, 2019