Russia meeting not illegal, says Trump lawyer


Donald Trump’s lawyer has insisted that a meeting between the President’s eldest son and Russian nationals during last year’s election was not illegal.

Lawyer Jay Sekulow distanced his client from the June 2016 meeting, saying that the President did not know about it at the time.

“Donald Trump Jr himself said things should have been done differently”, Mr Sekulow said in an interview with ABC.

“Having said that again, none of that is violation of the law, that’s more process.”

He also suggested that as the Secret Service allowed the meeting to take place it was not “nefarious”.

Mr Sekulow appeared on five television networks on Sunday to defend Mr Trump and his son, following the latest accusations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The President has repeatedly dismissed the accusations as “fake news”.

“HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?”, he tweeted on Sunday.

Earlier this week, Donald Trump Jr released emails showing he met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya during his father’s Presidential campaign.

The meeting was arranged after he was promised compromising information about Democratic rival Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.

The explosive revelations led to a row over whether the meeting was illegal, as political campaigns are banned from accepting donations or other contributions of value from foreign nationals.

Political opponents see the email revelations as the most concrete evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election.

The allegations have cast a cloud over Mr Trump administration since he took office.

There are currently several congressional panels and a federal special counsel investigating allegations Russia meddled in the election.

Both Moscow and the Trump administration have denied any wrongdoing, with Donald Trump even saying he had confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin about it at the G20 summit.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr has denied that his June 2016 meeting is evidence he colluded with the Kremlin.

He told Fox News it was “literally just a wasted 20 minutes” that had not been important enough to tell his father about.

Ms Veselnitskaya denied having ties to the Kremlin, saying that she is a private lawyer.

The Russian government has also denied any knowledge of the meeting.

Jared Kushner, Mr Trump’s son-in-law and current White House senior adviser, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attended the meeting with Donald Trump Jr.

It later emerged that an ex-Russian “spy” was also present, information that was not disclosed by Donald Trump Jr.