Donald Trump Jr. has released an email chain showing he was offered “sensitive” information on Hillary Clinton by a Russian national.
Here’s a statement by Donald Trump Jr. published on July 11, 2017:
“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 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 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>>.”
Rob Goldstone is a publicist, Emin Agalarov is an Azerbaijani businessman and singer-songwriter. Aras Agalarov is Emin’s father and an Azerbaijani-Russian businessman and public figure.
Below is the full text of the exchange in chronological order and also a statement released by President Trump’s son:
On June 3, 2016, at 10:36, Rob Goldstone wrote:
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 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?
I can also send this info to your father via Rhona, but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.
On June 3, 2016, at 10:53, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:
Thanks Rob I appreciate that,. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summers. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?
On June 6, 2016, at 12:40, Rob Goldstone wrote:
Let me know when you are free to talk with Emin by phone about this Hillary info – you had mentioned early this week so wanted to try to schedule a time and day Best to you and family Rob Goldstone
On June 6, 2016, at 15:03, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:
Rob could we speak now?
On June 6, 2016, at 15:37, Rob Goldstone wrote:
Let me track him down in Moscow
What number he could call?
On June 6, 2016, at 15:38, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:
My cell thanks
On June 6, 2016, at 15:43, Rob Goldstone wrote:
OK he’s on stage in Moscow but should be off within 20 minutes so I am sure can call Rob
On June 6, 2016, at 16:38, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:
Rob thanks for the help.
On June 7, 2016, at 16:20, Rob Goldstone wrote:
Hope all is well
Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and The Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday.
I believe you are aware of the meeting – and so wondered if 3pm or later on Thursday works for you?
I assume it would be at your office.
On June 7, 2016, at 17:16, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:
How about 3 at our offices? Thanks rob appreciate you helping set it up.
On June 7, 2016, at 17:19, Rob Goldstone wrote:
Perfect… I won’t sit in on the meeting, but will bring them at 3pm and introduce you etc.
I will send the names of the two people with you for security when I have them later today.
On June 7, 2016, at 18:14, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:
Great. It will likely be Paul Manafort (campaign boss) my brother in law [Jared Kushner] and me. 725 Fifth Ave 25th floor.
On June 8, 2016, at 10:34, Rob Goldstone wrote:
Would it be possible to move tomorrow meeting at 4pm as the Russian attorney is in court until 3 i was just informed.
On June 8, 2016, at 11:15, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:
Yes Rob I could do that unless they wanted to do 3 today instead… just let me know and ill lock it in either way.
On June 8, 2016, at 11:18, Rob Goldstone wrote:
They can’t do today as she hasn’t landed yet from Moscow 4pm is great tomorrow.
On June 8, 2016 at 12:03, Donald Trump Jr. wrote to Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort:
President Donald Trump issued a brief statement in support of his son, describing him as “a high-quality person” and applauding his transparency.
Image source Wikimedia
The emails to Donald Trump Jr., which he released on Twitter, say “the crown prosecutor of Russia” (a role that does not exist) had “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”.
The email chain was also forwarded to Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, and campaign manager Paul Manafort.
All three later met Natalia Veselnitskaya at New York’s Trump Tower.
Since he was elected, Donald Trump has been dogged by allegations that Russia tried to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The president has denied any knowledge of this and Russia has also repeatedly denied interfering.
In May, the DoJ appointed ex-FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to look into the Russian matter.
The New York Times first reported on July 8 that a meeting had taken place on June 9, 2016, between Natalia Veselnitskaya and the Trump team.
It later reported that Donald Trump Jr. had earlier been offered alleged damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
The Times had been expected to publish emails connected to the meeting, but Donald Trump Jr. pre-empted this by posting the email chain on Twitter.
He had earlier admitted meeting Natalia Veselnitskaya but insisted she had provided “no meaningful information”. He said she had wanted to talk about adoptions.
Natalia Veselnitskaya, who has been linked to the Russian government, has insisted she was never in possession of information that could have damaged Hillary Clinton.
The Russian lawyer said Donald Trump’s son and two senior campaign aides may have met her last summer because they were “longing” for such information. She has denied any connection with the Kremlin.
The email chain released by Donald Trump Jr. shows that:
On June 3, 2016, he received an email from intermediary Rob Goldstone promising documents from Russia that would incriminate Hillary Clinton and her supposed dealings with Russia;
One email from Rob Goldstone said the information they had been promised was “obviously very high-level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump”;
The person who was to meet Donald Trump Jr. in New York was described as “a Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow”;
Within the week, a meeting had been arranged which included Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort.
Donald Trump Jr. also posted a statement saying he was releasing the email chain “to be totally transparent” and reiterated that the Russian lawyer had “no information to provide”.
Rob Goldstone has previously denied any knowledge of involvement in the election by the Russian government.
It is thought to be the first confirmed private meeting between a Russian national and members of Donald Trump’s inner circle.
After the New York Times first reported the meeting on July 8, Donald Trump Jr. released a statement which confirmed that it had taken place but did not mention whether it was related to the presidential campaign.
However, another Times report, on the next day, said Donald Trump Jr. had agreed to the meeting after being offered information that would potentially prove detrimental to Hillary Clinton.
The newspaper cited three White House advisers briefed on the meeting, and two others with knowledge for it, as its sources.
Image source Wikimedia
Donald Trump Jr. said that an acquaintance he had known from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant had set up the meeting. The Washington Post confirmed that figure to be music publicist Rob Goldstone, who has links to the Russian music industry.
In a statement on July 9, Donald Trump Jr. said he had been asked to meet “an individual who I was told might have information helpful to the campaign”.
“I was not told her name prior to the meeting. I asked Jared [Kushner] and Paul [Manafort] to attend, but told them nothing of the substance.”
Donald Trump Jr.’s statement continues: “After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton.
“Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.
“She then changed subjects and began discussing the adoption of Russian children and mentioned the Magnitsky Act.
“It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting.”
Natalia Veselnitskaya said on July 8 that “nothing at all was discussed about the presidential campaign” and insisted she had “never acted on behalf of the Russian government and have never discussed any of these matters with any representative of the Russian government”.
The Magnitsky Act was adopted by Congress in 2012 and allows the US to withhold visas and freeze financial assets of Russian officials thought to have been involved in human rights violations.
The law so incensed President Vladimir Putin that he suspended a program allowing Americans to adopt Russian children.
Natalia Veselnitskaya is a lawyer whose clients include companies and individuals said to be close to the Kremlin and her main role has been campaigning against the Magnitsky Act.