WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Democratic Reps. Brad Sherman, Calif., and Al Green, Texas, filed an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for "high crimes and misdemeanors" Wednesday.
Donald Trump Jr., in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News Channel Tuesday evening, called accusations of collusion with Russia "ridiculous" and "overplayed." He also insisted that his father was unaware of the June 9, 2016 meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Trump Jr.'s statements were echoed on Wednesday morning by President Trump's lawyer, Jay Sekulow. Sekulow appeared on both ABC’s "Good Morning America" and NBC’s “Today." He added President Trump only recently found out about the email exchange his eldest son had with publicist Rob Goldstone.
According to Rep. Sherman's official website, he says his filing was "based on Article 1, dealing with 'Obstruction of Justice,' which was passed by the Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan vote on July 27, 1974, regarding Richard M. Nixon."
In the statement, Sherman cites Trump Jr.'s eagerness to "receive assistance from Russia. It now seems likely that the president had something to hide when he tried to curtail the investigation of national security advisor Michael Flynn and the wider Russian probe. I believe his conversations with, and subsequent firing of, FBI Director James Comey constitute obstruction of justice."
We created an interactive timeline to take you through the events surrounding Trump Jr.'s meeting with Russian lawyer Veselnitskaya.
Timeline of events:
June 3, 2016, 10:36 a.m. - The exchange between parties to arrange meeting between Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Jr. begins, according to documents tweeted by Trump Jr. Rob Goldstone is a publicist for Russian pop star Emin Agalarov and tabloid journalist. Goldstone emailed Trump Jr. stating his client Emin’s father, Aras Agalarov, met with The Crown prosecutor of Russia. The email chain states in their meeting the prosecutor “offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary (Clinton) and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful.”
June 3, 2016, 10:53 a.m. – Trump Jr. responds to Goldstone’s email. "Seems we have some time and if it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer."
June 9, 2016 – Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort meet at Trump Tower with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, according to The New York Times.
July 8, 2017, 10:49 p.m. – The New York Times releases story: "Trump team met with lawyer linked to Kremlin during campaign"
July 8, 2017 – Trump Jr. describes his meeting with the Russian lawyer as a “short introductory meeting.” He also stated that during the meeting, they discussed “a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at that time and there was no follow up.” He then added, “I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand."
July 9, 2017, 4:33 p.m. – A report by The New York Times claims that advisers at the White House who were briefed on Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Russian lawyer say Trump Jr. agreed to the meeting after being offered damaging information on the Clinton campaign.
July 9, 2017 - Trump Jr. releases a statement about the meeting. According to the statement, Trump Jr. claimed: “individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee.” He continued, "No details or supporting information was provided or even offered...It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information." In the statement, Trump Jr. says that he interrupted the lawyer during their meeting and clarified to her that his father was not yet in office and her comments would be “better addressed if and when he held public office.”
July 10, 2017, 8:55 a.m. – Trump Jr. tweets for the first time on the topic of the meeting. “Obviously I'm the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent... went nowhere but had to listen."
July 10, 2017, 9:13 a.m. - Trump Jr. tweets a headline from the New York Post. “The Times 'exposé' on Donald Trump Jr. is a big yawn"
July 10, 2017, 9:44 a.m. - Nearly an hour later, Trump Jr. tweets a link to The New York Times story accusing him of changing his story within 24 hours. “No inconsistency in statements, meeting ended up being primarily about adoptions. In response to further Q's I simply provided more details,” he said.
July 10, 2017, 2:37 p.m. – On Monday afternoon, Trump Jr. tweets a link to a story by The Hill reporting Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, called for the Senate Intelligence Committee to interview Trump Jr. about their meeting. “Happy to work with the committee to pass on what I know,” Trump Jr. tweeted.
July 10, 2017, 4:36 p.m. – Trump Jr. tweets a headline from an article by the Daily Caller. “Everybody Is Forgetting That Clinton Allies Did The Same Thing As Don Jr.”
July 10, 2017, 6:28 p.m. – Trump Jr. tweets a headline from an article by the Independent Journal Review, “Eric Bolling: Calling Don Jr.'s Meeting a 'Nothing Burger' Is 'Insult to Nothing Burgers.'”
July 11, 2017, 8:27 a.m. – “Media & Dems are extremely invested in the Russia story. If this nonsense meeting is all they have after a yr, I understand the desperation!” Trump Jr. tweeted.
July 11, 2017, 11 a.m. – Trump Jr. releases the email exchange arranging the meeting with the Russian lawyer on Twitter. Before the email documents, Trump Jr. also releases a statement in the same tweet:
“To everyone, in order to be totally transparent, I am releasing the entire email chain of my emails with Rob Goldstone about the meeting on June 9, 2016. The first email on June 3, 2016 was from Rob, who was relating a request from Emin, a person I knew from the 2013 Ms. Universe Pageant near Moscow. Emin and his father have a very highly respected company in Moscow. The information they suggested they had about Hillary Clinton I thought was Political Opposition Research. I first wanted to just have a phone call but when that didn’t work out, they said the woman would be in New York and asked if I would meet.
"I decided to take the meeting. The woman, as she has said publicly, was not a government official. And, as we have said, she had no information to provide and wanted to talk about adoption policy and the Magnitsky Act. To put this in context, the occurred before the current Russian fever was in vogue. As Rob Goldstone said just today in the press, the entire meeting was 'the most inane nonsense I ever heard. And I was actually agitated by it.'”
July 11, 2017, 1:53 p.m. – Former vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, D-Va., called Trump Jr.’s actions treasonous. "Nothing is proven yet, but we're now beyond obstruction of justice in terms of what's being investigated. This is moving into perjury, false statements, and even into - potentially - treason."
July 11, 2017, 2:26 p.m. – During the White House off-camera briefing, White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders read a statement from the president about the controversy surrounding his son. “I’ve got a quick statement that I will read from the president: 'My son is a high-quality person and I applaud his transparency,'" Huckabee Sanders said. “And beyond that, I’m going to have to refer everything on this matter to Don Jr.’s counsel and outside counsel, and won’t have anything else to add beyond that today.”
July 11, 2017, 5:26 p.m. - CNN reports special counsel in Russia investigation, Robert Mueller, will examine Trump Jr.’s meeting with Veselnitskaya and the email exchange with Goldstone.
July 11, 2017, 6:30 p.m. - "NBC Nightly News" airs an exclusive interview with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. She denies having comprehensive information on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
July 11, 2017, 8:24 p.m. - President Trump tweets Trump Jr. will be interviewed by Fox News Channel.
July 11, 2017, 10 p.m. – Trump Jr. was interviewed by Sean Hannity on Fox News Channel. During the interview, he called the meeting with the Russian lawyer, “just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame.”
July 12, 2017, 7:20 a.m. – Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov tells the press the Kremlin did not speak with Agalarov and does not have ties to the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.
July 12, 2017, 7:30 a.m. - President Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow appears on both ABC’s "Good Morning America" and NBC’s “Today.” Sekulow says President Trump didn’t know about the June 9, 2016 meeting between his son and the Russian lawyer. He added that the president only recently found out about the email exchange with Goldstone.
July 12, 2017, 6:19 a.m. - President Trump calls the media’s coverage of his son’s meeting with Veselnitskaya a “Witch Hunt.”
July 12, 2017, 6:32 a.m. – President Trump tweets again accusing the media of false reporting.
July 12, 2017, 10:43 a.m. – House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., says it’s important to get to the bottom of the exchange between Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya.
July 12, 2017, 1:16 p.m. – Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said both he and the committee’s ranking member are interested in speaking with Paul Manafort before the panel.
July 12, 2017, 3:10 p.m. - Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee questioned decisions by the Department of Justice to settle a money-laundering forfeiture case pertaining to a Russian real estate firm. The firm has ties to Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya who met with Doanld Trump Jr.
July 12, 2017, 3:19 p.m. - Reps. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., and Al Green, D-Texas, filed an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for "high crimes and misdemeanors." According to Sherman's official website, "The Article is based on Article 1, dealing with 'Obstruction of Justice,' which was passed by the Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan vote on July 27, 1974, regarding Richard M. Nixon." Sherman circulated a draft article on June 12, 2017, and has been conferring with colleagues and legal experts from around the country since then. In a statement also released on his website, he cites Trump's eagerness to "receive assistance from Russia. It now seems likely that the president had something to hide when he tried to curtail the investigation of national security advisor Michael Flynn and the wider Russian probe. I believe his conversations with, and subsequent firing of, FBI Director James Comey constitute obstruction of justice."