Are you sitting down? Because you will probably want to be before you read this.
Donald Trump Jr., President Donald Trump’s oldest son who is very much like his father in terms of bad tweets and potential involvement in crimes, is reportedly very worried about being indicted, potentially as soon as this week.
Don Jr. is telling friends he’s worried about being indicted as early as this week, per 3 sources close to him. My latest: https://t.co/M4yUfseDXI
— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) November 7, 2018
Many speculated that Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him with a loyalist on Wednesday, one day after Republicans endured big losses in the midterm elections, to offer further protection against Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election now that Democrats will have subpoena power with a House majority.
But Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman reports the president is also “very depressed” about Trump Jr.’s possible exposure to criminal charges as part of Mueller’s probe.
In recent days, according to three sources, Don Jr. has been telling friends he is worried about being indicted as early as this week. One person close to Don Jr. speculated that Mueller could indict him for making false statements to Congress and the F.B.I. about whether he had told his father about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians to gather “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. This source had heard that the case could revolve around Trump’s former deputy campaign chairman, Rick Gates, who’s cooperating with Mueller and who was deeply involved in the campaign at the time of the meeting. Trump, this person continued, is “very upset” about the risks Don Jr. faces. “The president is very depressed,” this person said.
Trump Jr. first denied the Trump Tower meeting with a Russian agent in June 2016 ever occurred. He then claimed it was about “the adoption of Russian children” once emails emerged showing his involvement, including one email where he famously wrote, “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.” Eventually, Trump Jr. finally admitted (on Twitter) that he was there to get information on Clinton.
The president’s oldest son has been warned by attorneys that his Twitter activity puts him at more legal risk. Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who has called Trump Jr.’s participation in the Trump Tower meeting “treasonous” and “unpatriotic,” predicted Mueller’s investigation is “going to crack Don Jr. like an egg on national TV,” in a book released earlier this year.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, has alleged the now-president was informed about the Trump Tower meeting in advance by his son. Trump himself admitted earlier this year that he personally dictated a (false) statement from his son about the meeting.
Trump’s new acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker has a history of anti-Mueller remarks, including urging the president to fire the special counsel. Last week, it was revealed that Trump had signed a previously undisclosed waiver in April to prevent Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who is next in line to oversee Mueller’s investigation after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, from having to recuse himself from the Russia investigation despite previously being employed by the law firm that is representing Trump’s campaign in the Russia investigation.
CNN reported on Thursday that Mueller’s team has started to write its final report about the probe that has racked up more than 100 criminal charges against dozens of people, including guilty pleas from Trump’s former national security adviser, former campaign manager, and multiple former campaign advisers.