Congress grills Trump Jr. on 2016 meeting as Russian Federation probe picks up

US President Donald Trump at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC

Committee members queried President Trump's eldest son about a June 2016 meeting he held with a Russian lawyer after he was told that she would provide dirt on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

During eight hours of questioning by the House intelligence committee on Wednesday, Donald Trump Jr. acknowledged that he and his father had discussed news of his controversial 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer after the New York Times revealed the secret sitdown this summer.

Trump Jr. told the committee that he had not informed his father about his meeting with the Russian lawyer at the time it took place. Many legal experts disagreed with this assertion, yet on Wednesday the Trump team chose to try out another creative legal claim.

Schiff said that while Trump Jr. admitted speaking to his father about his response to reports on the meeting, he "refused to answer questions about that meeting on the basis a claim of attorney client privilege". After Veselnitskaya said she didn't, she says Trump Jr. apparently lost interest in the meeting.

Trump Jr. said he didn't tell the president about the June 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and several Russian operatives when it happened, and he declined to say what he told his father after the meeting was disclosed to the public this year. "He acknowledged discussing that meeting with his father".

"I don't believe you can shield communications between individuals merely by having an attorney present", said Representative Adam Schiff, the committee's top Democrat, on Wednesday evening. "So, uh, we intend to persist and make sure we get answers to that question".

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Separately, both the House or Senate intelligence committees have heard testimony from several of the meeting attendees - including Mr. Kushner, Ike Kaveladze, who was at the meeting as a representative of a Russian developer who once partnered with Mr. Trump to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow, and Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist.

Rep. Mike Conway (R-Texas) had a different view on the interview, which lasted from 10 a.m.to 6 p.m., with a few breaks along the way.

It's unclear if Republicans who control the committee will join that push.

Republicans said they felt Trump Jr. was forthcoming.

The president's son was also asked about his communications with Wikileaks after the company reached out to him via Twitter towards the end of the campaign.

Donald Trump Jr. was grilled behind closed doors in Congress Wednesday about his contacts with Russian Federation as pressure builds on his father over alleged collusion with Moscow in last year's election. A Republican source added Trump Jr. was asked about some Trump Organization business going back decades and at times based on old news reports about his father.