Senators Divided In Response To Trump Jr. Emails

Senators Divided In Response To Trump Jr. Emails Promo Image

Senators disagree on the significance of the contents of an email chain released July 11 by Donald Trump Jr., following revelations about his meeting with a Russian attorney in June 2016.

Some senators are speculating that the focus on Trump Jr. and the investigations into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election could slow down passage of the GOP's health care reform bill, according to Rolling Stone.

Others dismiss the significance of the latest information.

"All this stuff about Trump's sons and daughter -- it's a bunch of bunk," said Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, Rolling Stone reported. "Let me put it this way: I don't think that's relevant to the Trump administration."

By contrast, Democratic Sen. Tim Kane alleged that "treason" had been committed.

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"It becomes now impossible to have a charitable explanation for what's going on -- that's over. And anybody who tries to spin this as anything other than exactly what it looks like is going to lose all of their credibility," added Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz. "It looks like laws were violated."

Trump Jr.'s emails detailed how the meeting with attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya came about. Trump Jr. was accompanied to the meeting by Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law, and then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Trump Jr. argued there was nothing irregular about the meeting, sarcastically tweeting: "Obviously I'm the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent … went nowhere but had to listen," The Hill reported.

Others believe Trump Jr. may have broken the law. Common Cause, a legal group, filed a complaint July 10 alleging that Trump Jr. had "violated [the Federal Election Campaign Act] ban on soliciting a contribution from a foreign national in connection with a federal election."

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Democratic senators are now convinced that the Russia investigation is even more significant.

"It doesn't change anything," said Sen. Mark Warner. "It simply makes the investigation all that more important, and it means that we have a lot more questions to ask Trump campaign officials and those affiliated with the campaign. All of these denials that we heard in the campaign, during the transition, in the administration -- that there were no contacts with Russians, no discussions about the campaign -- are all patently false."

Republican Sen. Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, refused to speculate.

"You have to wait til we finish the investigation until we draw any conclusions," he said.

For Sen. Ben Cardin, one major issue is what President Trump will do next.

"President Trump always finds ways to control the news cycle, so I'm sure he'll have a way of dealing with this in an unpredictable manner – he's done that in the past," said Cardin.

Sources: Rolling Stone, The Hill / Photo credits: Mark Taylor/Wikimedia Commons, The White House/Wikimedia Commons, Edward Kimmel/Wikimedia Commons

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