I ran a column yesterday discussing one of findings of the House Intelligence Committee dealing with James Clapper. The report was largely well-supported and was even critical of Trump’s calling for Wikileaks and the Russians to release hacked material. However, one element of the Democratic rebuttal also struck me as equally credible. The Democrats objected, among various shortcomings in the Committee investigation, that a critical call was never pursued by the majority. The timing of the call strikes me as raising a legitimate question and, absent countervailing facts from the majority, would seem to constitute a glaring omission. It is not clear why the majority did not try to determine the identity of the “blocked caller” before the infamous meeting of Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and Russians in Trump Tower.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) charged that the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee refused to issue a subpoena for Donald Trump Jr.‘s phone records to determine who called him on a blocked number. Schiff suggested that Trump was known to use a blocked number account to communicate with his son. Trump Jr. spoke twice with Emin Agalarov, an Azerbaijani singer and businessman, before the meeting. The mystery call occurred in the middle of the two calls.
If President Trump did call between the two calls with Agalarov, there would be a concern that he approved the meeting. Trump has denied knowledge of the meeting. If there was a call from Trump, his son should be asked about the content. If the President lied about the subject of a congressional and special investigation, it is a serious matter that the public and Congress has a right to know.
If true, the failure to seek the identity of the mystery caller is a glaring omission in the detailed report. It is worth a full accounting by the majority on why this call was not pursued as material piece of evidence.
Presumably, however, Mueller has pursued and knows the identity of the caller. That means that Trump could well be questioned on any such call if he was involved. Rudy Giuliani has resumed negotiations over a possible interview with Mueller.