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Gwynne Dyer: Trump Jr.'s emails - still not the smoking gun

16 July 2017, 05:27 | Ross Houston

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Trump Tower Meeting Who Was All There

But Akhmetshin has been on the radar of USA officials before for his alleged ties to Russian intelligence.

Trump Jr. admitted to meeting with a Russian lawyer in New York City during the 2016 presidential campaign after he was told she might have damaging information about his father's rival, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Rinat Akhmetshin confirmed his participation to reporters.

Mr Trump Jr responded, "If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer". She didn't give any other details. The same day, the Times' Ken Vogel reported that a translator named Anatoli Samochornov was also at the meeting.

Veselnitskaya has denied she had provided any such information.

Though, it is still unclear whether Veselnitskaya actually fulfilled the promised compromising information about Clinton or not.

Although some of the attendees have confirmed their presence (Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya, for instance), most of those who were reported to have been there have been mum on the issue. "Never, ever, ever, ever, ever was Russian Federation mentioned and never was there any coordination or cooperation or collaboration", said Former Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski. He remarked that the recent reaction to the meeting is "a little bit ridiculous and overplayed", but said he would have done things differently. He said he wants Trump's eldest child to testify "pretty soon", and it could be as early as next week. It was unclear if she handed the documents to anyone in the room or simply left them behind, he said.

Initially, Trump Jr. said that he, Veselnitskaya, brother-in-law Jared Kushner, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and British music publicist Rob Goldstone were at the meeting.

But it appears that whoever said that is incorrect.

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There were two others whose identities remain unknown.

Spokesmen for Trump's re-election campaign and Futerfas could not be immediately reached for comment.

The confirmation of Akhmetshin's participation in the meeting drew swift reaction from the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who said it "adds another deeply disturbing fact about this secret meeting".

The president did not address the implications of his son seeking opposition research from a hostile foreign power, instead praising Donald Trump Jr.'s "transparency" for releasing the emails.

The Russian government has denied any involvement or knowledge of the June 2016 meeting.

Caputo has ties to Russian Federation and formerly lived and worked in the country.

'There is no such thing as being a former member of Russian intelligence, ' he said.

Akhmetshin said he has not been contacted by the special counsel's office or the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the meeting with Trump Jr., but said he is willing to talk to investigators. The group spent $120,000 to lobby Congress on the issue past year, with $10,000 of those funds going to Akhmetshin, according to lobbying records. Now a US citizen, he lobbies to lift anti-Russian sanctions.



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