Newly obtained emails between a Russian attorney and a music promoter who helped arrange for the lawyer to meet with Donald Trump Jr. and Trump campaign associates at Trump Tower last year appear to support the attorney’s claim that the meeting was intended to focus on an Obama-era law leveling sanctions against Russia.
The content of the emails was first reported by The Washington Post. The correspondence was then independently procured by ABC News.
In the emails, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya wrote to promoter Rob Goldstone about including in the meeting an associate, Rinat Akhmetshin, who had been lobbying Congress about, as the attorney said, “these issues” and who “has invaluable knowledge about the positions held by the members of the Foreign Relations Committee that will be important to our discussion.”
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Though Veselnitskaya does not specifically mention it, the emails imply that she is referring to the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 law that barred certain Russian officials from entering the U.S. and subsequently led to the Russian government blocking Americans from adopting Russian children. The attorney was engaged in efforts at the time to repeal the law.
When news of the meeting on June 9, 2016, emerged earlier this year, Trump Jr. released a statement saying that Veselnitskaya “wanted to talk about adoption policy and the Magnitsky Act,” although a separate email revealed that Goldstone told Trump Jr. he was in contact with someone who offered to provide “information that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton].” Trump Jr. responded to that email by writing, “if it’s what you say, I love it.”
Veselnitskaya told ABC News in an interview in Moscow in July of this year that it was always her intention to discuss adoptions.
The June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, which was also attended by then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and then-candidate Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, has attracted the attention of special counsel Robert Mueller who is investigating Russian interference in last year’s election and potential collusion with the campaign.