Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, found himself in the eye of a political firestorm last year when it emerged he’d secretly met a Russian insider during the presidential campaign who was promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
The meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya took place in Trump Tower in 2016, we now know, and was attended by Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner and Trump’s then-campaign manager Paul Manafort (who, by the way, is currently under 24-hour GPS-monitored house arrest as he faces charges from the FBI).
The infamous meeting has formed an important line of enquiry in the investigation being carried out by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking for evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
Steve Bannon, the president’s one-time adviser and right-hand man, famously called the meeting with the Russian “treasonous.”
Now the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is conducting its own separate investigation, has released some intriguing documents that show Donald Trump Jr. made several mysterious phone calls to blocked numbers before and after the Trump Tower meeting.
Before the meeting, Trump Jr. placed two calls to blocked numbers – and once the meeting ended, he made another call to a blocked number.
The important question is: who was Trump Jr. calling? And what information was he giving?
The president’s son, when asked if his father uses a blocked number on any phone, told the Senate committee: “I don’t know.”
Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, however, testified that Trump’s “primary residence has a blocked [phone] line,” according to the Daily Beast.
As Esquire points out: “All this matters because, if Junior called Senior and told him all about the meeting and its purpose in advance, that would indicate Donald Trump himself was fully aware of his campaign’s efforts to coordinate with Russian figures to influence the 2016 election even before those efforts were carried out.”
Asked directly if he had told his father about the meeting, Trump Jr. told the committee, “I never discussed it with him at all.”
This leaves us with a few more questions about what will happen next: Will Robert Mueller use his powers to trace the blocked number? Will he call that number?
And who will answer the phone when that number is called?