Big Dump: 2.5K Pages About 2016 Trump Tower Meeting

Senate Judiciary Committee released testimony, exhibits Wednesday morning
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2018 9:50 AM CDT
Big Dump: 2.5K Pages About 2016 Trump Tower Meeting
In this Nov. 15, 2016, file photo, Donald Trump Jr., son of President-elect Donald Trump waits for an elevator at Trump Tower in New York.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – "These materials, taken in their entirety, provide the most complete public picture of the events surrounding the meeting to date," said Sen. Chuck Grassley in a statement Wednesday morning, per the BBC. Their entirety is a substantial one: The Senate Judiciary Committee released 2,500 pages of testimony and exhibits related to the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump's son and others with a Russian attorney—a meeting that's been a focus of Robert Mueller's probe. Music promoter Rob Goldstone testified that he told Donald Trump Jr. via email that Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya had dirt on Hillary Clinton because his client, Russian pop star and developer Emin Agalarov, had been adamant about securing the meeting and because he was told Veselnitskaya was both "well connected" and had "damaging material," reports the Washington Post. Some initial takeaways:

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  • Goldstone testified that he thought Veselnitskaya would reveal a "smoking gun," and that he was "embarrassed and apologetic," as the Post puts it, when it became clear she was offering no such information and instead wanted to discuss the Magnitsky Act. The Post characterizes Trump Jr. as testifying about his disappointment in the meeting's course as well.
  • NPR points out that Trump Jr. repeated what he told the House Intelligence Committee: that he spoke with someone who phoned him via a blocked number around when the meeting was being planned; he couldn't recall who. NPR sees this as "the second suggestion in congressional documents thus far that Trump Jr. may have talked with his father" about the meeting, as others have said Trump had a blocked number.
  • Politico zeros in on the coordination by Trump Jr.'s lawyer to get the public statements of those who were at the meeting to sync up. The documents show Alan Futerfas emailed Goldstone a statement, writing, "If you feel comfortable with this statement and are comfortable saying nothing more, at least for the time being, that would be our preference." Goldstone forwarded the statement to Agalarov and a Russian executive who was also in attendance.
(Read more Donald Trump Jr. stories.)

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