Trump Jr grilled in Congress | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 08, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:01 AM, December 08, 2017

PROBE ON ALLEGED RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE IN US ELECTION

Trump Jr grilled in Congress

Donald Trump Jr was grilled behind closed doors in Congress Wednesday about his contacts with Russia as pressure builds on his father over alleged collusion with Moscow in last year's election.

His June 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at the height of the presidential campaign has made him a key figure in investigations into the Trump campaign's possible ties to the Kremlin.

A separate 2016 meeting with Alexander Torshin, a senior Russian politician and central banker close to President Vladimir Putin, has added to the scrutiny of President Trump's eldest son.

He entered and exited the House Intelligence Committee hearing from a back door, avoiding the media, and nothing was immediately released about the discussions.

In May last year Trump Jr also met Torshin at a US National Rifle Association event.

Trump Jr's lawyer Alan Futerfas said last month that there was only "small talk" between them. But emails have shown Torshin trying to arrange a meeting with then-candidate Trump, an overture that was turned down by Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law.

Those contacts and others not previously reported publicly by the Trump campaign are important to the investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is looking at allegations of collusion and also possible obstruction of justice by President Trump and people around him.

Mueller has charged four people so far, including two -- George Papadopoulos, a campaign foreign policy advisor who maintained Russian contacts, and former White House national security advisor Michael Flynn -- with lying to investigators.

Meanwhile, the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly rejected a congressman's motion to impeach President Trump, as Democratic Party leaders argued that now was not the time to pursue the effort.

Lawmakers voted 364 to 58 in rejection of liberal Democrat Al Green's resolution to begin impeachment proceedings against the Republican president. The vote was not on the articles of impeachment themselves but on tabling the proposal.

Green had used a so-called privileged motion to force a vote on the issue. All Republicans opposed the motion, along with 126 Democrats.

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