The leaders of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said on Wednesday they agreed with intelligence agencies' assessment that Moscow sought to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election to boost Donald Trump's prospects of becoming president.
After the British music publicist who arranged the meeting, Rob Goldstone, suggested he had access to "official documents and information that would incriminate" Democrat Hillary Clinton, Mr Trump Jr replied in an email saying "if it's what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer".
The Senate Judiciary Committee's release Wednesday of the Trump Tower transcripts and hundreds of pages of exhibits provide the most comprehensive view yet into the circumstances surrounding the controversial meeting and the details of the roughly 20-minute encounter, in which Trump's team was expecting dirt from Veselnitskaya. The committee also included the formal release of the transcript of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, who was not at the Trump Tower meeting but whose transcript was unilaterally released in January by Sen. WikiLeaks has denied that Russian Federation was the source of the stolen emails.
The White House has said the president was involved in drafting an initial statement after news of the meeting broke a year ago. The documents contain a record of closed-door committee interviews with five of the eight meeting attendees, including Trump Jr., Goldstone, Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, translator Anatoli Samochornov and Ike Kaveladze, a Russian with ties to oligarch Aras Agalarov.
"I was aware of none", said Trump Jr., in a seemingly definitive statement within his I-don't-remember-filled interview.
"I wouldn't have wasted his time with it", Trump Jr. testified. "Politics, I knew nothing about".
Later in his testimony, Trump Jr. repeatedly deemphasized his father's role in shaping how this information was conveyed to the press.
The interviews were part of the panel's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Is it a typo?
The transcripts show the dissatisfaction of Trump Jr. and other campaign aides, including brother-in-law Jared Kushner, when the meeting failed to yield the harmful Clinton information they thought they'd get - as well as the increasing panic of one of the meeting participants who feared his reputation would be ruined for his role in having set it up.
The meeting is under scrutiny in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.
His notes mention "Russian adoption by American families" and Bill Browder, a British citizen who has spearheaded a US sanctions law -known as the Magnitsky Act- that targets Russian officials over human rights abuses.
"He said, 'it doesn't matter".
The panel was also not able to interview Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, or Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, though both attended.
Emin Agalarov exchanged voicemails with Mr Trump Jr.
"I believed it might've been a bad idea and a waste of a big favor to ask for a meeting at a very busy time", Goldstone recalled.
The documents establish in the most detail yet that the Russian attorney who briefed Trump Jr. and his compatriots did offer them at least one political tip for use against Democrats: charges that investors Dirk and Robert Ziff may have funneled money out of Russia to the Democratic National Committee.