Donald Trump Jr. played a very interesting game today by releasing the email exchange between him and a publicist/associate (Rob Goldstone) regarding the Russian lawyer extravaganza, i.e. the full email chain depicting his private conversations with Mr. Goldstone, which occurred prior to his meeting with the Russian lawyer. According to a statement released earlier on Tuesday by Donald Trump Jr., the meeting itself had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton, and the lawyer was not a Russian government official. However, Trump Jr. was told by his acquaintance (a music publicist) that the damaging intel on Hillary came via the Russian government as a form of support for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Moreover, according to Trump Jr., the Russian lawyer had no intel to provide to his father campaign team and the whole story occurred at at a time when the Russia collusion narrative was not an issue in the US. The meeting was pretty much nonsensical, i.e. nothing came from the respective conversation, as they’ve basically discussed adoption issues and not much else. Also, the meeting lasted for only 20 minutes.
Here’s my statement and the full email chain pic.twitter.com/x050r5n5LQ
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 11, 2017
The most important part from the email exchange is when Goldstone tells Trump Jr. that the Russian lawyer will provide Donald Trump’s campaign with damaging information that would incriminate Hillary Clinton’s dealings with Russia. The thing is, opposition research is bought and paid by most campaigns if not all.
Here’s an excerpt from the email-chain:
Goldstone: 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 would 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?
Trump Jr. …if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
Nothing here is even borderline illegal. This is just basic campaigning stuff, there’s no “solicitation”, no coordination,no collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign team, no promises were made in advance etc. Who in the world of political campaigns would NOT listen to alleged wrongdoings of their opponent?
A Russian lawyer approached the campaign and offered to peddle opposition research data. 100% legal. And as it turned out the lawyer had nothing that was promised and the whole thing was a lobbying effort by the Russian lawyer based on Russian adoption.
However, Trump Jr. did not comment on Goldstone’s statement (sounds more like his opinion)about the intel being part of Russia’s government’s support for his father, saying instead he believed the Russian lawyer only had political opposition research on Hillary.