Special Counsel Robert Mueller has long been looking into Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with Russian government representatives during the election, as Donald Trump appears to have committed obstruction of justice by trying to cover up the true nature of his son’s meeting. However, based on new details from one of the people who attended the meeting, Junior could be facing criminal charges relating to bribery.
Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Kremlin-connected attorney who met with Donald Trump Jr, is now offering damning new details about the meeting. Last week she confirmed that she ran her talking points past Russian President Vladimir Putin in advance, thus confirming that she was indeed acting on behalf of the Russian government. Now she claims that Trump Jr hinted that he and his father might change U.S. law in order to accommodate her.
Here’s what Veselnitskaya now claims Donald Trump Jr said to her regarding the Magnitsky Act, which Russia has long sought to get repealed: “Looking ahead, if we come to power, we can return to this issue and think what to do about it.” (source: Bloomberg). This was during the same conversation in which Trump Jr asked her for secret information on Hillary Clinton which could have helped his father’s campaign. When you put these two things together, the argument can be made that one was being offered in exchange for the other, which one legal expert says could meet the legal definition of bribery.
Former federal Prosector Renato Mariotti explains that “offering to exchange an official act for something of value is like soliciting a bribe.” (link). He goes on to cite a past case law against a politician which helps to frame how this could result in bribery charges against Donald Trump Jr. This is in addition to the obstruction of justice charges that Donald Trump could face for making misleading statements about his son’s meeting.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report