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The special counsel investigating possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia has asked White House officials to preserve any records of a meeting last year between the president’s son and a Russian lawyer, according to a source with knowledge of the request.
The special counsel, Robert Mueller, sent a document preservation request to the White House, saying the June 2016 meeting that Donald Trump Jr. had in Trump Tower in New York is relevant to his investigation, the source said on Friday.
The White House counsel’s office relayed the request, a routine part of the early phase of any investigation, to other members of the White House staff on Wednesday, the source said.
News earlier this month of the meeting between Trump’s eldest son and a Russian lawyer he was told had damaging information about his father’s presidential rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, fueled questions about the campaign’s dealings with Moscow. The Republican president has defended his son’s meeting as simple politics.
Mueller, appointed by the Justice Department in May, is probing alleged Russian interference in the election and potential collusion by Trump’s campaign, an issue that has engulfed the six-month-old administration.
Trump has long expressed frustration with a probe that he has called a political witch hunt, and has denied any collusion. Moscow has denied it interfered in the election campaign to try to tilt the November 2016 vote in Trump’s favor.
Document requests of the type sent by Mueller generally cover emails, text messages, voicemails, notes or records. The counsel is looking for any indication that the president knew the meeting his son had was planned and might have suggested topics for discussion, the source said.
He would also be inquiring into whether Trump was briefed on the meeting afterward, as well as what was discussed, the source said. Mueller would be interested, the source said, in topics such as any discussion of U.S. economic sanctions on Russia, possible Russian investments in the United States or elsewhere, or a possible lifting of a Russian prohibition on U.S. adoptions of Russian children.
Russia imposed the adoption ban to retaliate for the 2012 Magnitsky Act, which imposed sanctions on Russian individuals to punish Russia for human rights violations.
Mueller’s document preservation request comes amid newspaper reports that Trump’s lawyers are reviewing ways to limit or undermine the special counsel.
I trusted my SOURCE and I was WRONG in doing that! When I’m wrong I will always admit it….I want to thank the person who left the “comment” I just wished you would have left your name …….Papa Mike