Donald Trump Jr Releases Emails Exchanged Ahead Of Meeting With Russian Lawyer
When we discussed the latest sequel in the NYT story involving Donald Trump Jr and the Russian attorney who allegedly, but not really, had damaging information about Hillary Clinton, and who was supposedly working for the Russian government, although both she and the Kremlin deny this, we said that “in short, the situation could be resolved quickly and effectively once the Goldstone’s email is presented.”
12 hours later Donald Trump Jr has done just this, and moments ago he released the entire email chain from his conversation with Rob Goldstone, as well as the following explanation:
To everyone, in order to be totally transparent, I am releasing the entire email chain of my emails with Rob Goldstone about the meeting on June 9, 2016. The first email on June 3, 2016 was from Rob, who was relating a request from Emin, a person I knew from the 2013 Ms. Universe Pageant near Moscow. Emin and his father have a very highly respected company in Moscow. The information they suggested they had about Hillary Clinton I thought was Political Opposition Research.
I first wanted to just have a phone call but when that didn’t work out, they said the woman would be in New York and asked if I would meet. I decided to take the meeting. The woman, as she has said publicly, was not a government official. And, as we have said, she had no information to provide and wanted to talk about adoption policy and the Magnitsky Act.
To put this in context, this occurred before the current Russian fever was in vogue.
As Rob Goldstone said just today in the press, the entire meeting was “the most inane nonsense I ever heard. And I was actually agitated by It.”
Here’s my statement and the full email chain pic.twitter.com/x050r5n5LQ
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 11, 2017
The key highlight is the introductory section, in which Goldstone says that the Russian Crown prosecutor is offering to provide “the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father” and adds that “this is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very Interesting.
The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.
This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin.
What do you think is the best way to handle this Information and would you be able to speak to Emin about It directly?
To this Trump Jr.’s response was: “…if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
As a reminder, the email chain was to arrange a meeting between Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer who had promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr.’s email release comes after the NYT reported last night that he was warned beforehand that the Russian lawyer promising dirt on Clinton was part of a Russian government effort to help his father’s presidential campaign.
The meeting took place on June 6, 2016. In addition to Trump, Jr., Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, also attended.
Previously, Trump Jr. had said that the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, did not have the promised opposition research and instead arranged the meeting to press for changes on a U.S. policy that restricts adoptions of Russian children.
The full chain is below in reverse chronological order:
According to Reuters, legal experts were divided on whether Trump Jr.’s participation in the meeting with the Russian lawyer could lead to criminal liability.
Collusion in and of itself is not a crime. But if the younger Trump conspired or aided and abetted a criminal action, such as hacking into American computer networks, that could be grounds for criminal charges. Several lawyers also said that the meeting could run afoul of federal election laws barring campaigns from accepting gifts or things of value from foreign nationals.
It also adds that the emails “do not at first glance appear to provide evidence of illegal activity, and Trump Jr. has said a meeting he later had with a Russian lawyer arranged via Goldstone primarily involved discussion of U.S. sanctions.” However, as we discussed yesterday, Goldstone’s statement that the promise of incriminating information on Democratic presidential candidate Clinton was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump” provides new ammunition for investigators who are probing whether there was collusion between the Kremlin and Trump’s presidential campaign, which will certainly further derail and delay and hope of an economic agenda being passed by Trump in his first year in office, or for that matter, ever.