(Reuters)

Donald Trump Jr. knew Russia was trying to help the Republican nominee, met anyway: report

It's becoming more and more clear that Donald Trump Jr. was actively involved with working with Russian sources


Matthew Rozsa
July 11, 2017 11:37AM (UTC)

Donald Trump Jr., the son of President Donald Trump, is in an even thornier predicament after a report that he knew the potentially damaging information about Hillary Clinton he aimed to receive during a June 2016 meeting was part of a larger Russian government campaign to help his father.

Trump received an email from British publicist and former tabloid reporter Rob Goldstone mentioned that the Russian government was the source of the information offered by attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, according to a report by The New York Times. While there isn't any evidence that the proffered material had been obtained through Russia's alleged hacking of the Democratic National Committee emails, Goldstone's email and Trump's conversation with Veselnitskaya will almost certainly be investigated by federal authorities looking into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

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Veselnitskaya told NBC News Tuesday morning that she never promised Trump any information on Clinton. "I never had any damaging or sensitive information about Hillary Clinton. It was never my intention to have that," said during the interview.

But Veselnitskaya didn't exactly cover for the president's son, speculating it was possible that he simply wasn't satisfied with the infromation she had.

“It is quite possible that maybe they were longing for such an information," she said. "They wanted it so badly that they could only hear the thought that they wanted.”

 

Trump has hired New York criminal defense lawyer Alan Futerfas to represent him, according to a report by Reuters. In an email to The New York Times, Futerfas insisted, "this is much ado about nothing." After describing how Goldstone had contacted Trump and that the correspondence came from "someone he knew," Futerfas claimed that "Don Jr. had no knowledge as to what specific information, if any, would be discussed."

Trump's predicament may land him in serious legal trouble, according to a report by Politico. He may have violated federal laws that make it illegal to solicit or accept anything of value from foreign nationals and, in addition, could be accused of engaging in conspiracy to defraud the United States. Trump may also have opened himself up to possible blackmail threats, as could have Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, who were also present during the meetings with Veselnitskaya.

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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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