Sunday, July 9, 2017

Russian To Judgment, Con't

Another day, another "previously unreported meeting" between Trump campaign personnel and Russian nationals, but this time we have a new player in the game: Trump's son, Donald Jr.

Two weeks after Donald J. Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination last year, his eldest son arranged a meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan with a Russian lawyer who has connections to the Kremlin, according to confidential government records described to The New York Times.

The previously unreported meeting was also attended by Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman at the time, Paul J. Manafort, as well as the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, according to interviews and the documents, which were outlined by people familiar with them.

While President Trump has been dogged by revelations of undisclosed meetings between his associates and Russians, this episode at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, is the first confirmed private meeting between a Russian national and members of Mr. Trump’s inner circle during the campaign. It is also the first time that his son Donald Trump Jr. is known to have been involved in such a meeting.

Representatives of Donald Trump Jr. and Mr. Kushner confirmed the meeting after The Times approached them with information about it. In a statement, Donald Jr. described the meeting as primarily about an adoption program. The statement did not address whether the presidential campaign was discussed.

Once again, if the subject of the meeting was as harmless as the Trump regime describes, why lie about it for nearly a year?  At this point with Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, Jeff Sessions, and now Donald Trump Jr. all having "previously unreported meetings" with Russians, there's no longer any veneer of "accidentally forgot" here.   It's deliberate, and the Trump team knows it.  So what's the real reason Don Jr. was meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya?

The Russian lawyer invited to the Trump Tower meeting, Natalia Veselnitskaya, is best known for mounting a multipronged attack against the Magnitsky Act, an American law that blacklists suspected Russian human rights abusers. The law so enraged Mr. Putin that he retaliated by halting American adoptions of Russian children.

The adoption impasse is a frequently used talking point for opponents of the Magnitsky Act. Ms. Veselnitskaya’s campaign against the law has also included attempts to discredit its namesake, Sergei L. Magnitsky, a lawyer and auditor who died in mysterious circumstances in a Russian prison in 2009 after exposing one of the biggest corruption scandals during Mr. Putin’s rule.

Ms. Veselnitskaya is married to a former deputy transportation minister of the Moscow region, and her clients include state-owned businesses and a senior government official’s son, whose company was under investigation in the United States at the time of the meeting. Her activities and associations had previously drawn the attention of the F.B.I., according to a former senior law enforcement official.

In his statement, Donald Trump Jr. said: “It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up.”

So she's a major player in getting rid of the chief US law being currently used against Russian oligarchs.  And she had this meeting with Trump's son just weeks after Trump won the GOP nomination. Such obvious corruption would be comical if it wasn't constant from the Trump regime, and it always, always seems to involve the Russians.

Just a massive coincidence, I'm sure.

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