Tried to Cite 'Attorney-Client Privilege' to Avoid Questions About His Father

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"The presence of counsel does not make communications between father and son a privilege", he said.

In his statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee in September, Trump Jr. said the meeting was only 20 to 30 minutes and "Rob, Emin and I never discussed the meeting again". If Donald Trump Jr. met with her as she says he did to get information about his father's political opponent, that is collusion, or at least attempted collusion.

Trump Jr. frustrated panel Democrats by refusing to answer questions related to the controversial meeting, amid a probe that is investigating whether Trump campaign aides colluded with the Kremlin.

The call for the committee to subpoena Trump Jr. comes several weeks after he released correspondence between himself and WikiLeaks during the 2016 election campaign.

This is the first time that House lawmakers have questioned Trump Jr. about his interactions with the President around the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, which the younger Trump attended after being promised dirt on Hillary Clinton's campaign and after being informed that the Russian government wanted his father to win the presidency.

The initial statement in July 2017 gave a misleading impression of the meeting, which later turned out was billed to Trump Jr.as a way to get dirt on the Clintons.

When news of the meeting originally broke a year later, President Trump personally dictated a response to the story, according to senior advisers who spoke with The Washington Post at the time.

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Lawmakers said they want to question him about a meeting with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 at Trump Tower in NY at which he had said he hoped to get information about the "fitness, character and qualifications" of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democrat who was his father's presidential election opponent. Trump Jr. has for months contended that after being promised he would get dirt on Hillary Clinton, the brief meeting focused nearly exclusively on the issue of Russian adoptions, saying there was no discussion with the participants after that session.

Given all of this, the conversations that Trump Jr. may have had with his father both before and after this meeting are relevant to the Russia investigation because they go to the question of what Trump may have known about efforts by high-ranking officials in his campaign about contact with Russian officials and when he may have known it.

The question of whether or not the attorney-client privilege applies to a given situation is often a complicated one, but it is also usually a question that courts end up deciding in favor of maintaining the privilege.

Legal experts say that's not how attorney-client privilege works.

"The general rule is that a conversation is *not* privileged if a third person is present for the conversation with an attorney and a client", Mariotti said.

However, Rep. Mike Conaway, the Texas Republican leading the committee's Russian Federation investigation, did not express the same concerns as Schiff about Trump Jr.'s response. If this is the case, then I believe that a strong argument can be made that the privilege would remain in place because the argument could be made that the two parties, and their respective attorneys, were working pursuant to a common defense strategy and discussing matters that should be considered legally privileged. Democrats reject Trump's privilege claim.

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