Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, has hired New York lawyer Alan Futerfas to represent him in connection with Russia-related investigations, the lawyer and Trump Jr.’s office said on Monday.
Futerfas – a sole practitioner who specialises in criminal defence – would not say when he was retained or whether he had any input into the statements Trump Jr. made over the weekend about a meeting with a Russian lawyer.
Republicans have been voicing concerns about the meeting between Trump’s son and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, held in June 2016 at Trump Tower in New York.
Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, also attended, according to the New York Times. It called the encounter the first confirmed private meeting of members of Donald Trump’s inner circle with a Russian national.
White House’s role
The White House on Monday said there was nothing inappropriate about a meeting US President Donald Trump’s son had with a Russian attorney during the presidential campaign last year. It was short, it added, and produced “absolutely no follow-up”.
During a briefing, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said, “The only thing I see inappropriate about the meeting was the people that leaked the information on the meeting after it was voluntarily disclosed.”
Sanders stated that it was routine during political campaigns for people to call offering information. “Don Junior took a very short meeting from which there was absolutely no follow-up,” she said.
‘Nothing to all of the media buzz’
Congressional committees and a federal special counsel, Robert Mueller, are investigating whether Russia interfered in the election and colluded with the Trump campaign.
Moscow denies any interference while Trump – who became president on January 20 – says there was no collusion.
Trump Jr. has said he agreed to meet Veselnitskaya – described by the Times as having links to the Kremlin – after being promised damaging information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Futerfas told Reuters, “I look forward to assisting Donald Jr. and, quite frankly, there is nothing to all of the media buzz about the June 9th, 2016 meeting. That will be proven to be the case.”
Earlier on Monday, Susan Collins – a Republican member of the US Senate Intelligence Committee – called on Donald Trump Jr. to testify before the panel, which is looking into accusations of Russian meddling in the election. (Reuters)