Jan 31, 2018

Report: Mueller to hear new claims about Trump Tower meeting response

Hope Hicks calls for no more questions to Trump on Air Force One in November. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

The NY Times has a detailed tick-tock of discussions between President Trump, his legal team and top aides after they were informed in July that the Times knew Donald Trump Jr. had met with Russians at Trump Tower during the campaign.

  • The key claim: Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for Trump’s legal team, plans to tell Robert Mueller about a conference call with Trump and Communications Director Hope Hicks in which Corallo claims Hicks said emails describing the purpose of the meeting would “never get out.” Sources told the Times Corallo had “concerns that Ms. Hicks could be contemplating obstructing justice.”
  • Hick’s lawyer, Robert Trout, adamantly denied the allegations to the Times.

From Trout's statement: “She never said that. And the idea that Hope Hicks ever suggested that emails or other documents would be concealed or destroyed is completely false.”

More details

  • After a “furious debate” over what to include in the statement, Trump insisted it say the meeting had been about adoption, and Trump Jr. insisted it include the word “primarily.”
  • Corallo (along with Trump’s lawyers) hadn’t been consulted, and released a different statement, leading to the call from Hicks. He said on that call that the emails would emerge showing that “the meeting had been set up for the Trump campaign to get political dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
  • “Corallo... told colleagues he was alarmed not only by what Ms. Hicks had said… but also that she had said it in front of the president without a lawyer on the phone and that the conversation could not be protected by attorney-client privilege.”
  • “Mr. Corallo told colleagues that he immediately notified the legal team of the conversation and jotted down notes to memorialize it. He also shared his concerns with Stephen K. Bannon, then the president’s chief strategist.”
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