Wednesday morning The Senate Judiciary Committee released the transcripts from interviews with participants of the Trump Tower meeting in June of 2016.
Among the transcripts is the panel’s Trump Tower interview of President Donald Trump‘s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., with a woman that’s been described as a Russian government lawyer who offered Don Jr. political dirt on then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The Trump Tower meeting has become a huge talking point in the ongoing speculation surrounding Trump and Russia.
The White House and Donald Trump Jr. have defended the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting as appropriate but have offered different explanations of what it was for. Trump Jr. later said the meeting revolved around a lobbying push by Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer, to urge for the repeal of a certain U.S. sanctions law that led Russia to ban people from the U.S. from adopting from the country.
Trump Jr. said in a statement released Wednesday “I appreciate the opportunity to have assisted the Judiciary committee in its inquiry,” thanking panel Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein (Calif.).
“The public can now see that for over five hours I answered every question asked and was candid and forthright with the committee. I once again thank Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein, as well as other members of the committee and their staff for their courtesy and professionalism.”
The committee also interviewed a music producer who set up the meeting Rob Goldstone, who was a translator for Veselnitskaya; and is a Russian-American lobbyist who was lobbying on behalf of Veselnitskaya’s organization to overturn the Magnitsky sanctions.
Another who was also interviewed was Ike Kaveladze, a U.S.-based employee of a Russian businessman whose son Goldstone represents.
Here’s a quick recap from the Hill of who these people are and why they were there at Trump Tower:
Donald Trump Jr.: Agreed to meet with a woman characterized as a Russian government lawyer offering political dirt on Clinton. “If it’s what you say, I love it!”
Rob Goldstone: A music promoter who represented the son of the developer who hosted the Trump-owned Miss Universe pageant in 2013, Aras Agalarov. (Emin Agalarov, the son, is a Russian pop singer.) Goldstone set up the meeting with the Russian lawyer.
Anatoli Samochornov: A former State employee who acted as translator for the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya. Participants have said the meeting quickly turned into Veselnitskaya lobbying for the repeal of a U.S. sanctions law called the Magnitsky Act.
Rinat Akhmetshin: A Russian-American lobbyist and reportedly a former Soviet military counterintelligence officer who was lobbying on behalf of Veselnitskaya’s organization to overturn the Magnitsky sanctions.
Ike Kaveladze: A U.S.-based employee of Aras and Emin Agalarov. He attended the meeting as their representative. Kaveladze’s lawyer has said Kaveladze believed he would act as a translator but discovered when he arrived that Veselnitskaya had brought Samochornov.
Known to be present but not interviewed by the committee: White House senior advisor Jared Kusher and then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Veselnitskaya provided written answers to committee Qs. Manafort provided his notes from the June meeting. Kushner gave a prepared statement.
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