Donald Trump’s confirmation this week, after months of lying, that a Trump tower meeting between his people and Russians was about getting dirt on Hillary Clinton, reopens 2nd District Republican Rep. French Hill’s role in potential Russian collusion.
Hill and his people have refused to respond to my questions on the topic. Perhaps one of the softball interviewers from Arkansas who have regular access to Hill could ask the congressman for more information.
To replay what we know:
In the spring of 2016, Hill took a junket to Moscow with the Russians’ favorite congressman, Rep. Dana Rohrbacher. He was introduced to key Russian operatives, lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and the lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, a former Soviet intelligence officer.
The New York Times reported later that Veslnitskaya was at the now infamous meeting in Trump
… the memo she brought with her closely followed a document that Mr. Chaika’s office had given to an American congressman [Hill] two months earlier, incorporating some paragraphs verbatim.
Hill’s press secretary has refused to respond to my questions on this subject, more important now that even Trump is no longer denying that campaign chicanery was afoot.
Does Hill still have his memo?
Will he share it?
Did he provide it to others?
Has he spoken with Robert Mueller?
Did he report Russian contacts to influence a U.S. election or use it to Republican advantage?
He told the Democrat-Gazette on one previous occasion this about his information exchange:
“[Akhmetsin] suggested he had a way that we could better Russian-American relations,” Hill told the newspaper, “and reopen the opportunity for Americans to adopt Russians, which had been stopped by President Putin.”
In the clear light of Trump’s latest admission contrary to interest, it might be worth probing Hill a little closer on exactly what Hill meant by bettering Russian-American relations. What he said then sounds more and more like fake news.
Maybe Hill was given one of these T-shirts that are suddenly fashionable.
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) August 6, 2018