News & Politics

Trump Jr. Asks House Intel Committee to Investigate Leaks from His Dec. 6 Interview

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calf. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais )

Donald Trump Jr. wants the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to look into leaks of confidential, non-public information he says took place during and after his eight-hour interview with the committee on December 6.

Trump’s attorney, Alan Futerfas, sent a letter to Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas, who took over the committee’s investigation of Russian actions during the 2016 election from Devin Nunes after Nunes recused himself earlier this year amid ethics complaints.

Last week the House Ethics Committee cleared Nunes of claims that he had improperly disclosed classified information while leading the investigation, though Rep. Mike Conaway said Monday that he would continue running the probe.

But while Nunes was falsely accused of leaking, Democrats on the committee have been getting away with leaking like sieves all year.

According to the letter, Trump Jr. and his attorneys were promised that the interview would be “kept strictly confidential and not discussed publicly unless and until the full committee voted to release the transcript.”

Yet while he was still being interviewed, “members of the committee and/or their staff began selectively leaking the information provided during the interview to various press outlets, most notably CNN.”

The letter cited tweets from CNN’s congressional reporter Manu Raju as evidence of leaking.

“Donald Trump Jr. told House investigators that he did not communicate directly with his father when confronted with news reports about his June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, according to multiple sources with knowledge of his testimony,” CNN reported on Dec. 6.

The tweets in question were sent at 1:01 p.m. and 4:29 p.m. Don Jr.’s interview began at approximately 10:00 a.m. and ended at around 5:50 p.m., the letter said.

Raju, it should be noted, is the reporter who botched CNN’s big Don Jr./Wikileaks “scoop” last Friday by getting the date on an email wrong.

The leaking continued “unabated” for the next few days, the letter continued, with representatives Schiff, Speier, and Swalwell appearing on various news programs to discuss details of the interview.

Schiff, in particular, has been “one of the most media-friendly lawmakers in Washington” who “rarely misses an opportunity” to discuss the non-public information that “he claims” to have seen.

“In an attempt to discredit my client, they did not accurately portray the breadth, scope and substance of the interview,” Futerfas complained in the letter.

In reference to CNN’s botched WikiLeaks story, he wrote: “Certain members of this Committee and/or their staff began disseminating wildly inaccurate information concerning a September 14, 2016, 2:03 p.m. email sent to my client and others from an apparent campaign supporter named Michael Erickson.” Futerfas noted that the email was voluntarily produced by the Trump organization to the committee prior to the interview and that a House investigator had asked Don Jr. about it. The lawyer said Don Jr. could clearly see that it was marked September 14, 2016 — not Sept. 4 as CNN initially reported.

The date is significant because WikiLeaks had published the DNC leaks 24 hours earlier so the info that Erickson shared in his email was already public. The point of the entire “bombshell” — that Don Jr. had some kind of inside line to {{{Russia}}}-connected WikiLeaks and was able to see stolen emails ten days before they were published — turned out to be complete hogwash. But as Futerfas pointed out in his letter, the fake news story stayed on CNN’s website for about eight hours before it was corrected. It was also picked up by other news outlets which reported the fake news on TV and radio for most of the day.

“These disturbing circumstances warrant examination,” Futerfas wrote.

Rep Peter King (R-N.Y.), who was in on the Don Jr. interview, told Fox News last week that “he answered every question” and “nobody could come out of that interview thinking there was any collusion at all.”