In another bombshell story published on Monday, The New York Times reported that Donald Trump Jr. – already under fire for taking a meeting with a Russian-connected lawyer during the 2016 campaign – knew that the Russian government was trying to help his father’s candidacy.
According to the report, which broke a short time ago, “Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy, according to three people with knowledge of the email.”
More from the report:
The email to the younger Mr. Trump was sent by Rob Goldstone, a publicist and former British tabloid reporter who helped broker the June 2016 meeting. In a statement on Sunday, Mr. Trump acknowledged that he was interested in receiving damaging information about Mrs. Clinton, but gave no indication that he thought the lawyer might have been a Kremlin proxy.
Mr. Goldstone’s message, as described to The New York Times by the three people, indicates that the Russian government was the source of the potentially damaging information. It does not elaborate on the wider effort by Moscow to help the Trump campaign. There is no evidence to suggest that the promised damaging information was related to Russian government computer hacking that led to the release of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails.
But the email is likely to be of keen interest to the Justice Department and congressional investigators, who are examining whether any of President Trump’s associates colluded with the Russian government to disrupt last year’s election. American intelligence agencies have determined that the Russian government attempted to sway the election in favor of Mr. Trump.
Just to be clear: Not only did Donald Trump Jr. take a meeting with a Russian-linked lawyer who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton, but he knew the Russian government was behind it – and he still met with her.
There is no longer just smoke swirling around the Trump campaign and its ties to Russia. The revelation reported by the Times on Monday is a raging fire.
The son of the President of the United States knowingly meeting with a lawyer backed by the Russian government with damaging info on his father’s opponent, Hillary Clinton – that’s as close to a smoking gun as one could get.