The general counsel for the House of Representatives argued in federal court on Monday that the Justice Department release documents related to the Russia investigation in order to help Congressional investigators determine whether President Donald Trump lied in a written deposition to then-former counsel Robert Mueller.
The House’s lawyer, Douglas Letter, stated before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that House investigators needed grand jury information from the Russia investigation.
“Did the President lie? Was the President not truthful in his responses to the Mueller investigation?” Letter asked, per reporting from CNN.
Allegations that Trump may have lied in his written deposition came about last week after testimony from Rick Gates in the trial for Roger Stone. Gates, who was deputy campaign manager for Trump, testified that he had overheard a call between Stone and Trump, where it seemed the former alerted the latter to release of Wikileaks documents during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Gates also stated that Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort had told him that Trump was made aware of Wikileaks information and updates on a regular basis.
The question of how much Trump knew about Wikileaks, and when he knew it, could draw up possible allegations of perjury, if it’s revealed he had known anything about it at all during the campaign before the leaks had happened. Trump wrote in a deposition to Mueller that he didn’t know anything at the time, Mother Jones reported.
On the left:
Top campaign official Gates testifies that Manafort asked him to check in regularly with Stone about WikiLeaks disclosures and indicated "he would be updating" Trump
On the right:
Trump's written response to Mueller under penalty of perjury pic.twitter.com/Lgo3i1aR6X
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) November 12, 2019
“I do not recall discussing WikiLeaks with [Stone], nor do I recall being aware of Mr. Stone having discussed WikiLeaks with individuals associated with my campaign,” Trump wrote in one of his answers.
“I do not recall being told during the campaign that Roger Stone or anyone associated with my campaign had discussions with any of the entities named in the question [including WikiLeaks] regarding the content or timing of release of hacked emails,” Trump said in another answer to Mueller.
Democratic members of the House of Representatives have long-sought a copy of grand jury documents to aid them in various investigations regarding the Trump administration. This latest revelation from Gates may result in House investigators in the impeachment inquiry to request them in a more direct manner as well, or possibly call Gates to testify to them at a future time.
After Gates’s testimony last week, George Conway, a conservative lawyer who is also the husband of White House Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, tweeted out a one-worded response to the matter, writing simply, “Perjury.”
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) November 12, 2019