President Trump’s personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, floated a brand new reason as to why Trump Jr. did absolutely nothing wrong when he met the Russian lawyer who offered information that could damage Hillary Clinton’s reputation.
In an interview with ABC, Sekulow argued that the meeting of Trump Jr. and Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer mentioned above, and Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist, was innocent for the sole reason that the Secret Service allowed the guests to meet the top members of Trump's campaign.
"If the meeting was actually nefarious, then why did the Secret Service let these people in? At that point, Donald Trump was protected by the Secret Service, and they did not seem to see anything wrong with the meeting as they allowed their entry to Trump Tower," exclaimed Sekulow.
These comments of Sekulow sparked criticism instantly since a lot of people noted that the Secret Service doesn’t normally filter those who wish to see or meet campaign officials. It’s not one of their many duties to bar individuals if they don't pose an obvious, immediate threat.
Akhmetshin told Michael Isikoff (of Yahoo) last Friday that nobody asked them for identification when entering the Trump Tower. He said they just literally walked in, and there was no security check. However, according to the Secret Service, Trump Jr. or any of the campaign officials weren’t under the eyes of the Secret Service when the meeting took place.
"The USSS has a lot of protectees and Trump Jr. wasn't one of them on June 2016. For this reason, any screening wouldn’t have happened for whatever meeting", the spokesman of the USSS informed Reuters.
Media reports during the same day were reviewed, and it was seen that President Trump was also at the Trump Tower, at precisely 4 p.m., when the meeting took place. However, the meeting with the Russians took place at Trump Jr’s office. So, even though the then-candidate was at the same building at the time, he wasn’t in the controversial meeting. CNN reported that Trump only had one public event during the same day - a lunch to raise funds for Trump Victory Fund.
Akhmetshin was working with Veselnitskaya for at least an entire year to overturn a law of the country that sanctions Russians. He confirmed his participation to the meeting and said that Trump’s son asked the Russian lawyer for any information on illegal money that's flowing to the US Democratic National Committee. According to him, Veselnitskaya didn’t comment on this as there was nothing substantial to provide
Trump's lawyer said that the meeting only lasted for about 15-20 minutes, and Trump Jr. said that it only lasted for half an hour. What should be noted is the fact that Trump began tweeting regarding Clinton’s emails minutes after the controversial meeting started. Trump's tweet: "Where are the thousands of emails you (Hillary Clinton) deleted?"