Trump’s campaign organization paid $50,000 to the firm of a lawyer representing Donald Trump Jr. And that was only 13 days before emails reporting to alleged links to Russia were published.
A campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Saturday said the board made the payment to Alan Futerfas’s law firm on 27 June.
The news may have advised the president to return to the issue on Twitter on Sunday morning.
“Hillary Clinton can illegally get the issues to the debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?” wrote Trump, who has been spending the weekend following the US Women’s Open golf games at one of his own courses.
“Thank you to former campaign consultant Michael Caputo for saying so effectively that there was no Russian collusion in our winning campaign,” he added.
“With all of its affected unnamed sources & highly slanted & even fraudulent reporting, #Fake News is DISTORTING DEMOCRACY in our country!”
Caputo, a news adviser to the Trump campaign who lived in Moscow in the 1990s and has required to have “worked for the Kremlin”, testified before the House Intelligence organization behind closed doors on Friday. He told CNN this week: “No one ever breathed the name ‘Russia’ to me.”
The announcement of the payment to the lawyer representing Trump Jr suggests that although Trump may not have known about his son’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016 until lately, his campaign committee may have known before Trump did.
Futerfas, a veteran New York criminal defense attorney best known for defending clients associated with mafia crime families, is Donald Trump Jr’s lawyer in the Russia searches.
Under pressure from the New York Times, Trump Jr this week published the emails revealing he enthusiastically embraced what he was told was a Russian government attempt to destroy Clinton’s campaign.
The emails show music promoter Rob Goldstone telling the future US president’s son that “the crown prosecutor of Russia” had offered “to provide the Trump campaign with some official papers and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be really helpful to your father”.
The New York Times announced that Trump signed off on his son’s first report to the Times about the meeting, which like subsequent statements were soon revealed not to be a full description of events.
Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, and then campaign director Paul Manafort also visited the meeting. It was announced on Friday that Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian American lobbyist, and former Soviet military officer, was also at the meeting.