GOP-led Senate committee releases 2,556-page report on Trump Tower meeting

Key Points
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee released thousands of pages of documents about the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russians.
  • The documents include transcripts, statements and evidence from Donald Trump Jr., Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.
  • A Russian intermediary had promised Trump Jr. details about Clinton that "would be very useful to your father," which prompted the meeting.
Donald Trump Jr.
Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Senate Judiciary Committee's Republican chairman on Wednesday released thousands of pages of documents about a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between high-level Trump campaign staff and Russians.

Among the documents released is a transcript of the testimony before the committee by the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., who attended the meeting.

In his testimony, Trump Jr. said he couldn't remember whether or not his father was involved in drafting an initial statement in response to the meeting. "I don't know. I never spoke to my father about it," Trump Jr. said.

The meeting, which was first reported after the 2016 presidential election, was scheduled under the pretext that a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, would share incriminating information about Hillary Clinton with the Trump campaign.

Asked what Veselnitskaya was talking about regarding the damaging opposition research, Trump Jr. said, "It generally started out as people with, you know, perhaps general interest in Russia. I'm not sure if they were U.S. or Russia based, but business people who were supporters of the DNC and perhaps Hillary Clinton were in some sort of tax scheme to avoid paying taxes in both the United States and Russia."

Trump Jr. said he couldn't remember if Veselnitskaya provided any names related to her allegations. "I don't recall, but she may have," Trump Jr. told the committee.

You can find the materials on the Senate Judiciary Committee's website.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who leads the Senate committee, released a heaving 2,556-page report comprising interview transcripts, evidence and notes from nine witnesses at the center of the meeting.

Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, who declined to be interviewed by the committee, said in an 11-page statement that he had "hardly any" contacts with Russians during the campaign and that he "did not remember" the Trump Tower meeting.

Trump Jr., who had initially claimed that the meeting was solely about Russian adoption, later released copies of his emails with an intermediary who promised details about Clinton that "would be very useful to your father."

"If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer," Trump Jr. responded.

At the meeting, Veselnitskaya, who has close ties to the Kremlin, said she discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the punitive Magnitsky Act sanctions — which lock certain wealthy Russians out of their overseas funds — since their passage in 2012. Putin responded by banning American adoptions of Russian children.

The document dump follows the conclusion of another congressional committee into Russian interference in the 2016 election. That probe, from the highly partisan House Intelligence Committee, found no evidence of collusion between President Donald Trump, his campaign and the Kremlin.

The documents released Wednesday by the committee majority include interviews with Trump campaign attendees including Trump Jr., former campaign chief Paul Manafort and Kushner.

Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson's testimony and related documents are also included. The bombshell interview transcript from Simpson, whose intelligence-gathering firm produced the salacious and largely unverified Trump-Russia dossier, was released without the majority's approval by the committee's ranking Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein.