New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, falsely claimed in an interview on Sunday that Donald Trump Jr. was offered stolen information in the infamous meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016.
“Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd failed to correct Nadler when he made the inaccurate statement.
“I do not understand why he didn’t charge Don Jr., and others in that famous meetings with criminal conspiracy,” Nadler said of Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the interview.
“They entered into a meeting of the minds to attend a meeting, to get stolen material on Hillary. They went to the meeting. That’s conspiracy, right there,” he added.
Despite that claim, Trump Jr. was not offered stolen material before accepting the June 9, 2016 meeting.
Trump Jr. accepted the meeting after a music publicist named Rob Goldstone emailed him on June 3, 2016 saying that a Russian attorney wanted to meet with the campaign to provide information about Hillary Clinton’s possible ties to Russia.
Goldstone said that the lawyer “offered to provide the Trump Campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia.”
But nowhere did Goldstone claim that the information about Clinton was stolen.
It was later revealed that information contained in a memo that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, took into the meeting was compiled by Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that was hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign to investigate Donald Trump.
Mueller’s team investigated the meeting, and interviewed most of the participants. But according to the report, prosecutors determined that nothing of value was exchanged in the meeting and that there was not evidence that the participants willfully broke any laws.
“Although damaging opposition research is surely valuable to a campaign, it appears that the information ultimately delivered in the meeting was not valuable,” the report says.
Veselnitskaya used the meeting to discuss the Magnitsky Act, a U.S. law that sanctions Russian human rights abusers. The Russian government strongly opposes the law. Veselnitskaya and Fusion GPS worked together on behalf of a Russian businessman to investigate Bill Browder, a businessman responsible the lobbying effort that put the Magnitsky Act in place.
Fusion GPS is not mentioned in Mueller’s report, even though the firm’s founder, Glenn Simpson, met with Veselnitskaya on the morning of the Trump Tower meeting.
Chuck Todd, the “Meet the Press” host, did not correct Nadler’s inaccurate claim.
“They seem to also have another issue. And I’m curious if this is a flaw in our code, or is this the way the intended law was made, which is our campaign finance laws,” he said after Nadler asserted that the meeting involved stolen information.
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