Justice Department to look at Trump Jr.'s emails

Official says Special Counsel's investigators plan to examine meeting and email exchanges disclosed by Trump's son as part of Russia probe.

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Ben Ariel,

Donald Trump Jr.
Donald Trump Jr.

Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigators plan to examine the meeting and email exchanges disclosed by Donald Trump Jr. as part of the broader investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election, a U.S. official briefed on the matter told CNN on Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, President Donald Trump's eldest son, Trump Jr., released an email chain showing that he agreed to meet with someone he believed to be a "Russian government attorney" last summer after receiving an email offering him "very high level and sensitive information" that would "incriminate" Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

One email, from publicist Rob Goldstone, claimed the information was part of "Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."

The Russian attorney in question, Natalia Veselnitskaya, has denied having ever acted on behalf of the Russian government.

Trump Jr. released the emails in the wake of a New York Times report that he, along with then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, met with the lawyer.

The details of the interactions between Trump Jr., Goldstone and Veselnitskaya weren't fully known to federal investigators until recently, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the probe.

Now, Mueller's probe will look at the meeting and email exchanges that Trump Jr. disclosed as part of its investigation, one official briefed on the matter told CNN.

A spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment, and an attorney for Trump Jr. didn't respond to a request for comment.

Mueller, a former FBI Director, was appointed in May by the Justice Department as special counsel to oversee the federal investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

His appointment was announced after Attorney General Jeff Sessions previously recused himself from any involvement in the Russia investigation due to his role as a prominent campaign adviser and surrogate.