On June 3, 2016, Rob Goldstone, a music publicist and manager for Emin Agalarov, emailed Donald Trump, Jr. Goldstone wrote that the “Crown Prosecutor of Russia” had asked Aras Agalarov, Emin’s father, to provide to the Trump campaign certain intelligence including “official documents and information” as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” The documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.” Trump Jr.’s reply enthusiastically accepted: “I love it.” Source1 Source2 Source3
From June 6–7, 2016, Goldstone and Trump, Jr. exchanged further emails to schedule a phone call between Trump, Jr. and Emin Agalarov, and later, to schedule a meeting between Trump, Jr. and the “Russian government attorney.” Source
On June 7, 2016, during a speech in New Jersey, Donald Trump announced plans to give “a major speech on probably Monday of next week [6/13] and we’re going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons… I think you’re going to find it very informative and very, very interesting.” Source
- Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with connections to the Kremlin
- Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian–American lobbyist and former Soviet counterintelligence officer suspected of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence
- Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, a Georgian–American senior vice president at Crocus Group, the real estate development company run by Aras Agalarov
- Anatoli Samochornov, alleged to be there as a translator for Veselnitskaya
Trump, Jr. and Veselnitskaya initially claimed they only met to discuss issues relating to adoptions. However, it was later revealed that Veselnitskaya in fact brought a memo that she believed contained information damaging to Clinton and the Democratic Party. This memo accused an American firm, Ziff Brothers Investments, of illegally purchasing shares in a Russian company and evading Russian taxes. The memo stated, in part, “According to available information [the] Ziff Brothers financed the two Obama election campaigns, and the American media call them ‘the main sponsor of the Democrats’… It cannot be ruled out that they also financed Hillary Clinton campaign.” Thus, the memo alleged that the Clinton campaign was funded with tainted stolen money. Source1 Source2
Furthermore, Veselnitskaya had discussed the allegations contained in the memo with Russia’s prosecutor general Yuri Chaika in the months before the meeting, and the memo was similar to another memo Chaika’s office had just previously given to Dana Rohrabacher, incorporating some paragraphs verbatim. Source
Veselnitskaya would later claim that Trump Jr. hinted at a quid-pro-quo, in that, during their discussion of the delivery of intelligence from Russia to the Trump campaign, Trump Jr. suggested that, if Trump came to power, they would consider lifting sanctions against Russia. Source
Since Veselnitskaya was and likely still is acting as an agent of the Russian government, her claims about Trump Jr.’s offer lack any credibility.
It is possible that Donald Trump attended the meeting. Donald Trump was at the Trump Tower at the time of the meeting. Source Trump acknowledged spending the day preparing a “charge sheet” including various attacks he planned to unveil against Hillary Clinton at his speech planned the next week (i.e., June 13). Source He delayed the speech after the Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12, but delivered the speech prepared this day on June 22. In the speech, he indicated that “our enemies have a blackmail file” on Hillary Clinton. Source
On June 9, 2016, shortly after the Trump Tower meeting concluded, Donald Trump tweeted about Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails.
How long did it take your staff of 823 people to think that up–and where are your 33,000 emails that you deleted? https://t.co/gECLNtQizQ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2016
Memo dated June 20, 2016: The Kremlin had been feeding Trump and his team valuable intelligence on his opponents, including Hillary Clinton. This information was confirmed by a close associate of Trump (Source D) who had organized and managed his recent trips to Moscow, and had reported in June 2016 that this Russian intelligence had been “very helpful.”
Comments on Steele Dossier
The Steele Dossier’s assertion that Russia had been feeding intelligence about Hillary Clinton to the Trump campaign, and that this effort was reported to be very helpful in June 2016, is at best circumstantially related to the Trump Tower meeting. This specific meeting wasn’t publicly revealed until the following year, but by the June 20 date of the Steele memo, there had already been a lot of public discussion about Russia targeting Clinton and the DNC. Guccifer 2.0 had already leaked hacked DNC documents, and Julian Assange had already hinted that Wikileaks planned to publish stolen emails relating to Clinton.
Still, June 20 was well before suspicion became widespread about Trump being in league with the Russian effort.
Note that Source D from the Steele Dossier has allegedly been confirmed to be Sergei Millian. Source Millian had told a Russian newspaper that he met Donald Trump in 2007 after “mutual associates” had organized a trip for Trump to Moscow. It seems that this information may have been what the dossier may have been referring to when it wrote that Source D had organized and managed Trump’s recent trips to Moscow.
The offer being made to Trump Jr. via Aras and Emin Agalarov demonstrated that the Agalarovs were acting as agents of the Russian Government to provide a channel between Russia and the Trump campaign.
The Agalarovs were previously known to act as an intermediary or liaison between Putin and Trump (see above re: Miss Universe pageant in Moscow; Source), and a close relationship had been maintained between the Agalarovs and the Trumps since that time.
Presumably, Trump, Jr. spoke with Emin Agalarov by phone as they planned over the emails June 6-7, and they discussed additional details of Russian efforts to help Trump, and about the intelligence being offered.
Trump’s speech on June 7 came a few hours after the presumed phone call between Trump, Jr. and Agalarov would have took place. It appears that Donald Trump knew about the pending dirt on Clinton, and Trump couldn’t resist hinting about it in this speech.
Solely from this meeting, it’s confirmed with certainty that (1) the Russian government supported Trump and was taking active steps to provide the campaign with intelligence; and (2) at least some Trump campaign members were openly receptive to accepting this help.
Since Trump and Trump Jr. lied about everything else relating to this meeting, it’s also still a strong possibility that this meeting resulted in the transfer of intelligence, or some other act or deal in furtherance of the conspiracy.
Donald Trump Sr.’s presence at the same location, and his day’s activity working on the same subject matter (attacks on Clinton) strongly suggests Trump Sr. was either present in the meeting or at least discussed it with Trump Jr.
Especially given their own statements that they discussed certain US sanctions against Russia, appearances are that this meeting, shortly after Trump clinched the Republican nomination for President, was part of an effort to make a deal for quid pro quo: pushing for elimination of US sanctions against Russia in exchange for Russia’s forthcoming release of DNC documents via Guccifer 2.0 and/or Wikileaks.