On Sunday morning, amid his latest tweetstorm about the ongoing special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, President Donald Trump turned his focus to the now-infamous June 2016 meeting between his top advisers and several Russians.
Michael Cohen, Trump's longtime attorney and former fixer, is said to be prepared to testify that the President knew about the Trump Tower meeting ahead of time sources with knowledge of the matter told CNN.
Amid the fallout, Trump Jr. even released his own emails regarding the meeting, which proved that it had been pitched to him, by music publicist Rob Goldstone, as a meeting with the "Crown prosecutor of Russia" who had "offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russian Federation and would be very useful to your father".
The Republican president had previously said the meeting was about the adoption of Russian children by Americans.
The revelation that the Trump Tower meeting was called to transmit damaging information on Clinton is not a new one. Trump Jr.'s first statement after the initial report asserted the meeting was only about adoption.
Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow nevertheless attempted to rationalize the 2016 meeting as legal in an interview Sunday on ABC's This Week. Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump fears his son may have inadvertently gotten into legal trouble: report Krystal Ball blasts Nazi comparisons by Trump Jr.
Trump has repeatedly denied collusion with Russian Federation or any other wrongdoing.
Sunday's tweet appears to acknowledge that the meeting was actually predicated on opposition research: "This was a meeting to get information on an opponent".
The Trump Tower meeting also included Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his campaign chairman at the time, Paul Manafort, who is on trial over tax and bank fraud charges after being indicted by Mueller.
While "collusion" is not mentioned in USA criminal statutes, Mueller is investigating whether anyone associated with Trump coordinated with the Russians, which could result in criminal charges if they entered into a conspiracy to break the law, including through cyberhacking or interfering with the election.
"Well, the question is, 'How would it be illegal?'" Sekulow said of the meeting.
Sekulow said that the president had the authority under Article II of the US Constitution to stop any investigation conducted by the Department of Justice.
"I have no knowledge at all of Don Jr. being told he is the target of any investigation and I have no knowledge of him being interviewed by the special counsel", Mr. Sekulow said Sunday.
One of the names at the center of the Trump/Russia scandal, which continues to pop up, is the President's eldest son Donald Trump Jr.
The president's lawyers argue that the meeting, in and of itself, violated no laws.
A senior Republican lawmaker on Sunday urged Trump to acknowledge to Americans that Russia's interference in US elections is still a threat, something Moscow denies. "I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People".
Trump's attacks on the special counsel's investigation have been rebuffed by Republican leaders in Congress who have expressed support for Mueller. Last week, Trump's national security team said Russian Federation was behind "pervasive" attempts to interfere in November 2018 congressional elections. "They can also cause War!"