Don Jr. Wants Investigation Of ‘Wildly Inaccurate’ Leaks To CNN
Donald Trump Jr. wants to find out who leaked “wildly inaccurate” information from his House Intelligence Committee interview to CNN last week.
In a letter to the House panel, Trump Jr.’s lawyer, Alan Futerfas, blasted the leaks, some of which occurred during Trump Jr.’s interview with the committee last Wednesday.
“To maintain the credibility of the investigation, this committee should determine whether any member or staff member violated the rules by leaking information to the media concerning the interview or by purposely providing inaccurate information which led to significant misreporting,” Futerfas wrote to Texas Rep. Michael Conaway, the Republican leading the committee’s Russia investigation. (RELATED: CNN Doesn’t Want To Talk About Its Colossal Screwup)
The New York Times first published details of the Futerfas letter.
Futerfas specifically called out CNN, which received a slew of leaks during and after Trump Jr.’s testimony.
Futerfas noted that the leaks began at around 1 p.m. on Dec. 6. He pointed to tweets from CNN reporter Manu Raju and from CNN contributor April Ryan as well as to articles by Raju and his colleague, Jeremy Herb.
Futerfas said that the leaks were so “sufficiently brazen” that Republican staff members of the committee sent him an email releasing Trump Jr. of his confidentiality obligations.
The lawyer also hammered CNN and leakers on the committee for a false report that alleged that Trump Jr., his father and other members of the Trump Organization received an email offering up stolen DNC documents that had not been made public.
Cited two unnamed sources, CNN reported on Friday morning that Trump Jr. had turned over a Sept. 4, 2016 email that showed that a man named Michael Erickson offered the documents along with a decryption key.
But the CNN report contained a fatal error.
The email was actually sent on Sept. 14, 2016, a day after the documents cited in the email had been made public.
It turned out that Raju and Herb, the CNN reporters who wrote the story, had not actually seen the email to Trumpworld. Instead, their sources provided a readout of the emails. The sources, which CNN has refused to identify, apparently gave the network the wrong date for the email.
CNN has refused to offer a full explanation for the colossal mistake. It announced that the reporters will not be disciplined and that it is believed that the sources did not intend to provide false information.
But Futerfas faulted those sources for failing to come forward to flag CNN’s false report. The article was published at around 8 a.m. on Friday. After hours of breathless reporting, an actual copy of the email was released at 1 p.m. CNN did not correct the story until 3:45 p.m.
“The individuals responsible for disseminating this inaccurate information to the press stood by and did nothing, all the while knowing that the story they had leaked was inaccurate and that the implications thereby suggested were grossly misleading,” Futerfas asserted in his letter.
He also lamented that the leaks occurred even though he and Trump Jr. were told that the interview “would be kept strictly confidential and not discussed publicly unless and until the full committee voted to release the transcript.”
Instead of that confidentiality, the committee “began disseminating wildly inaccurate information.”
Patrick Boland, the Democrats’ spokesman on the House Intelligence Committee, has not responded to numerous requests from The Daily Caller for comment about the leaks.
CNN host Jake Tapper passed up a golden opportunity on Sunday to find out about the leak of the faulty story to his colleagues. He interviewed California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, but he did not mention the leaks or the corrected CNN article.