As America sits trembling beneath the fractured government of Donald Trump, quiet work continues to straighten the tangle the president has made of the nation. Both party leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee called on federal prosecutors last year for action. They believed that members of Trump’s family and his confidants could have given “misleading testimony” regarding Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election, according to The Washington Post.
Those involved in potentially lying to Special Prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III and the Senate Panel were: Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former Deputy Campaign Chair Rick Gates.
A member of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Trump’s former Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon, former Campaign Co-Chair Sam Clovis, and private Security Contractor Erik Prince (Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ brother) lied to the investigators. Doing so can lead to a felony conviction.
The Intelligence Committee sent a formal letter to the US Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC last June. It referred to misleading testimony for the Department of Justice (DOJ). The committee did indeed discover that the Russians helped sway the 2016 presidential election away from Hillary Clinton in favor of Donald Trump.
The House Intelligence Committee chaired by Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) also “made a criminal referral” to the DOJ regarding Prince for lying to the panel.
The president’s eldest son, POTUS’ “former Communications Director Hope Hicks, and his former Campaign Chair Paul Manafort” were also involved.
The president’s former fixer and personal attorney Michael Cohen told Mueller investigators that he was in the room when the younger Trump told his father about the infamous Trump Tower meeting. Cohen could not recall whether that particular meeting involved Russia, according to The Mueller Report:
‘[He] told his father that a meeting to obtain adverse information about Clinton was going forward.’
Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr (R-NC) and the Democratic leadership Mark Warner (D-VA) sent a criminal referral “in a lot of those cases, those might be tied to lying to us.”
Bannon’s attorney William Burck would only say:
‘it’s impossible to respond to something I’ve never heard about before.’
Clovis’ attorney Victoria Toensing said:
‘You mean former Chairman Burr, who is under investigation for insider trading, also doesn’t know the legalities of a false statement? Mr. Clovis testified at length before the special counsel’s grand jury and was never charged. After his testimony, we never heard again from the special counsel.’
Prince’s attorney Matthew Schwartz said that his client had already testified before Representative Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) House Intelligence Committee in late 2017. Schwartz released a statement:
‘It unsurprisingly went nowhere. If members of the Senate likewise made a referral — which we don’t know anything about — there would be nothing new for the Department of Justice to consider, nor is there any reason to question the Special Counsel’s decision to credit Mr. Prince and rely on him in drafting its report.’
Donald Trump Jr.’s attorney Alan Futerfas said:
‘We are fully confident in the testimony and information provided by Donald J. Trump, Jr. In our view, this is a non-story.’
Twitter world took off after news was released involving Trump Jr. Take a look at some of our favorite responses below:
— Heraclitus (@irizarr2) August 15, 2020
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.