Senate Dems: Documents suggest Russian Federation used NRA to aid Trump campaign
17 May, 2018, 07:02 | Author: Angel Logan
The Senate intelligence committee said Wednesday that it agrees with the US intelligence agencies' assessment that Russian Federation intervened in the 2016 presidential election to hurt the candidacy of Democrat Hillary Clinton and help President Donald Trump. Veselnitskaya ― who has said she is a Kremlin "informant" ― started instead talking about USA sanctions against her country and a retaliatory ban on US adoptions of Russian children.
As the emails previously released by Trump Jr. revealed, members of the Trump campaign attended a meeting with Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and several Russian businesspeople with the promise of damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
Trump Jr: I don't know.
Parts of the assessment were declassified in January 2017 and concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign during the 2016 election to "denigrate" Hillary Clinton; the assessment also said that Putin and the Russian government "developed a clear preference" for Trump over the course of the campaign.
Their backing of intelligence agencies' findings contrasted with the assertion weeks earlier by House of Representatives Republicans that Russian Federation had not sought to boost then-Republican candidate Trump, who went on to win the election.
Trump Jr. also told the committee that he never told his father about the meeting, and that he did not know if his father had any involvement with the initial statement made to The Times about the nature of the meeting.
Donald Trump Jr., opening a sketchy, possibly illegal meeting with "So I believe you have some information for us", took all his cues on how to conduct evil from bad movies, which makes sense given that he comes from the tackiest family in America.
Publicist Rob Goldstone approached Trump Jr. about possibly having dirt on Clinton from the Russians. Among those attending was lobbyist and former Soviet counterintelligence officer Rinat Akhmetshin.
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"In the transcript from Trump Jr.'s testimony, he says, "(I) n his email to me Rob suggested that someone had official documents and information that would incriminate Hilary Clinton and her dealings with Russian Federation and that the information would be very useful to the campaign".
According to a transcript of his interview, Akhmetshin told Senate investigators how Veselnitskaya discussed with Trump Jr. the background of a complex Russian tax-fraud case that led to the passage of a 2012 US law known as the Magnitsky Act, named after Sergei Magnitsky, the Russian whistleblower who died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after exposing the tax fraud. The left has also received nothing since they hoped this would help prove collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.
"It was the gorilla in the room that had to be addressed, but there seemed to be no answer to address it", Mr Goldstone told the committee.
His notes mention "Russian adoption by American families" and Bill Browder, a British citizen who has spearheaded a USA sanctions law -known as the Magnitsky Act- that targets Russian officials over human rights abuses.
This was also, notably, 11 days before the New York Times first reported on the existence of the meeting.
It's clear Trump Jr. meant to get opposition research from Veselnitskaya in the meeting, but part of his defense has always been that he was unsuccessful in doing so - that the meeting was a bust.
Their statements affirmed the U.S. intelligence community's assessment, and departed from the findings of the House Intelligence Committee last month, which implied that Moscow's goal was to sow discord in the United States and not necessarily to help Trump.
Russian Federation interfered in the United States' 2016 presidential election with the intention of helping President Donald Trump and hurting his opponent Hillary Clinton, the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Wednesday.
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