WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made the following remarks Tuesday after Donald Trump Jr. released an email confirming that Russian government operatives wanted to meet with him about campaign-related information. Senator Cardin also commented on the Russia sanctions bill that is stalled in the House:
“Today’s email release shows that Donald Trump Jr. clearly understood the intent of the meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya. Instead of welcoming information from the Russian government, the Trump team should have immediately notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I’m not a prosecutor, but I think this is an extremely serious issue and needs to be followed up on by Robert Mueller’s investigation and the Congressional Intelligence Committees immediately. This episode demonstrates why it remains important that an independent commission be established immediately to look into Russia’s interference in our election and identify the steps we must take to strengthen our defenses in the future.
“I urge my House colleagues to pass the Senate Russia sanctions bill, and make it clear to Russia that we won’t tolerate this kind of interference in our elections or what they’re doing in regards to Ukraine or Syria. Especially in light of today’s news, Congress must act definitively and immediately.”