After President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., sat for a private hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee staff and several Democratic members on Thursday morning, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said there were “gaps” in his testimony.
“There are a lot of gaps that will need to be filled,” he told reporters. “My being there gives me a sense of his demeanor, his willingness to answer questions, his pauses and reluctance on some questions and eagerness on others.”
Trump Jr.’s testimony was to revolve around his June 9, 2016, meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. The president’s son reportedly met the panel in a conference room in the basement of the Capitol, in a closed-door session.
After testifying for more than five hours, during which time he reportedly told investigators why he accepted the invitation to attend a meeting with the lawyer, Trump Jr. may further return for a public hearing before the panel, Blumenthal told reporters. He and other Democrats say they expect this to take place.
“I fully expect that he will,” Blumenthal said. “I certainly have insisted on it.”
According to the Connecticut senator, there were no restrictions on what staffers could ask Trump Jr. in Thursday’s meeting, Politico reports. He noted that it’s a crime to lie to Congress, although Trump Jr’s testimony was not under oath. And Blumenthal reportedly described Trump Jr. as “cordial.”
Trump Jr. was questioned regarding an undisclosed meeting between himself, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and White House executive Jared Kushner, with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Trump Jr. told the judiciary panel that he accepted the meeting to learn about failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, then running as a Democrat in the 2016 presidential election.
In his opening statement, Trump Jr. said nothing ever came of the meeting, and that had any damaging information been disclosed, he would have sought legal counsel.
According to Politico, as Trump Jr.’s interview was conducted, senators were “popping in and out to listen to portions of the session.” Yet Blumenthal “appeared to be the only member of the committee who was sitting through the entire interview, taking just a few short breaks for votes.”
— POLITICO (@politico) September 7, 2017
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