Donald Trump’s lawyer is now arguing it was legal for Donald Trump Jr. to meet with Russians

Donald Trump’s lawyer is now arguing it was legal for Donald Trump Jr. to meet with Russians
Donald Trump Jr.
Source: Richard Drew/AP
Donald Trump Jr.
Source: Richard Drew/AP

President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, has given up virtually any pretense of disputing the intentions of his client’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.’s, when the younger Trump met with Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016 to obtain what he was told was Russian intelligence on Hillary Clinton.

Instead, in an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Sekulow argued there was “nothing illegal” about what the president’s many critics are calling clear evidence of collusion:

The president was not there at the meeting ... wasn’t aware of the meeting, and did not attended it. But there was nothing illegal to cover up. With regard to how the information came out, as I said, that was information that was controlled not by my client, not by the president, it was controlled by Donald Trump Jr., and they made a decision on how to release that out.

Sekulow then tried to turn the subject to leaks by former FBI Director James Comey, who released documents in May showing Trump tried to pressure him into ending an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s ties to foreign officials.

“James Comey had a meeting with the president of the United States, where he took information about this private meeting with the president, put it on his government computer, went to his government office and decides, after he gets fired, to leak a conversation he had with the president of the United States to a friend of his to then leak it to a reporter,” Sekulow argued. “So the basis upon which this entire special counsel investigation is taking place is based on what? Illegally leaked information that was a conversation of the president of the United States with the, then-F.B.I. director.”

“If there’s an investigation you’re looking at what law may have been violated here,” Sekulow added. “And again, the meeting and what took place at the meeting based on all the information that you just said is not a violation of any law, statute or code. So again, I raise that question, by the way, with former director Comey because that’s the basis upon which all that started.”

Distraction has its limits, however, as damning details about the meeting continue to emerge and the administration’s best defenses keep falling apart.