Monday, 22 October, 2018

Things the New Trump Tower Meeting Documents Tell Us

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				Donald Trump Jr.			Getty Images Modal Trigger Donald Trump Jr. Getty Images
| 17 May, 2018, 07:02

Democrats are "trying to make something out of nothing" from the transcript released by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary of Donald Trump Jr.'s testimony on his Trump Tower meeting with Russian lobbyists, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Wednesday on Fox News' "America's Newsroom".

Mark Warner, the committee's vice chairman, said. Veselnitskaya ― who has said she is a Kremlin "informant" ― started instead talking about USA sanctions against her country and a retaliatory ban on US adoptions of Russian children.

"During the campaign, Mr. Torshin, Ms. Butina, and their intermediaries repeatedly offered the campaign back channels to Russian Federation and relayed requests from President Putin to meet with Mr. Trump", the Democratic report said.

So the argument that perhaps Trump Jr. was simply such a political neophyte that he may not have been aware of the laws surrounding campaign contributions doesn't hold up.

The Senate Intelligence Committee isn't done yet.

Based on the first-take news accounts, however, I'm going to go out on a limb and say I infer there is nothing in them to refute President Trump's denial of "collusion" in purported Russian efforts to assist in his election.

However, on 27 April, the Committee on intelligence of the house of representatives of the United States Congress officially announced the completion of the investigation of Russia's intervention in the U.S. presidential election in 2016 and released a declassified version of the report.

Trump Jr. also told the committee that he never told his father about the meeting, and that he did not know if his father had any involvement with the initial statement made to The Times about the nature of the meeting.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is expected to release a declassified version of its report on the ICA's findings in the coming weeks.


Goldstone said that he and Shugart worked through singer Emin Agalarov, who told them the meeting would have to be arranged by his father, Aras Agalarov, who Emin Agalarov felt had the necessary gravitas.

Asked if he thought it would be a problem to take a meeting described to him as part of a Russian government effort to aid his father, Trump Jr. said no.

"There are entities - at least subsets of other entities - that may have come up with another conclusion but. we've interviewed literally over 100 individuals that were directly associated with [the intelligence community assessment]", Warner explained.

"It was the gorilla in the room that had to be addressed, but there seemed to be no answer to address it", Mr Goldstone told the committee.

"To the best of my knowledge, he was [there throughout]", Goldstone said of Kushner.

But the participants said Veselnitskaya did not, in fact, provide dirt on Clinton, instead focusing on overturning the USA sanctions on Russia under the Magnitsky Act that the U.S. passed to punish Russian human rights abuses.

Nonetheless, the records reveal some new details about the players involved and what happened after the meeting was reported by The New York Times last summer. Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort attended in hopes of leaving with dirt on failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, who declined to be interviewed by the committee, said in an 11-page statement that he had "hardly any" contacts with Russians during the campaign and that he "did not remember" the Trump Tower meeting.

"It means this wasn't something that I wanted to give much focus to, again, given the fact we were dealing with a potential contested convention and they very reality of having to replace a campaign manager mid primaries", he said. It said the ICA didn't meet intelligence standards in drawing the conclusion. Trump Jr. said he "wouldn't have wasted his time" by telling him about the meeting.

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