Trump Tower meeting

July 27, 2018 – Lanny Davis, a Lie and the Mainstream Media – A mini-timeline on a busted fake news story

Michael Cohen leaves Federal court, Aug. 21, 2018, in New York. (Credit: ABC News)

The Fact

September 19, 2017 and October 25, 2017: In closed-door meetings with the House and Senate intelligence committees, Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, testifies that he had no foreknowledge of the Trump Tower meeting and didn’t know if Trump did either. (Axios, 8/23/2018) (Michael Cohen opening statement)

The Plot Begins

July 5, 2018: Maggie Haberman reports Michael Cohen hires ex-Clinton lawyer, Lanny Davis – Mr. Cohen has made moves to separate himself from Mr. Trump  (The New York Times, 7/05/2018)

The Media – hot off the press!

  • July 6, 2018: Another warning shot? Trump’s ex-lawyer hires Clinton ally (Chicago Sun Times, 7/6/2018)
  • July 6, 2018: “Tell Early, Tell It All, Tell It Yourself”: Can the Clinton Defense Save Michael Cohen? Cohen’s new attorney, Lanny Davis, thinks the truth will set his clients free—which could be bad news for Donald Trump. (Vanity Fair, 7/06/2018)
  • July 17, 2018: All eyes on Lanny Davis as Trump’s performance smells of treason (Baltimore Post Examiner, 7/17/2018)
  • July 25, 2018 – Michael Cohen is no longer a ‘punching bag’ for Donald Trump’s defense strategy, Lanny Davis says – He also said Cohen “has more truth to tell.(CNBC, July 25, 2018)

Two days later, more of Cohen’s “truths” are told to CNN and the Washington Post, anonymously, of course. Gee, who could this source be?

It was the natural progression of the plan for this fake news story in order to continue the Russiagate narrative and their efforts to impeach Trump.

The Lie

July 27, 2018: CNN and the Washington Post report that Cohen was willing to testify to special counsel Robert Mueller that Trump knew of the Trump Tower meeting in advance. (CNN, 7/27/2018) When The New York Post called Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, at the time to confirm the report, Davis spoke as an anonymous source and said it was accurate. (The New York Post, 8/23/2018)

July 27, 2018: The Washington Post – using an “anonymous source” they now admit was Davis, peddled the same story that “Cohen had told associates that he witnessed an exchange in which Trump Jr. told his father about an upcoming gathering in which he expected to get information about Clinton,” however the Post didn’t say Trump Jr. told Sr. it was the Russians.

WaPo has since updated the original article. (Washington Post, 7/27/2018)

The Bust

August 21, 2018 –  The Senate Intelligence committee finally responds to the CNN report because it conflicts with Cohen’s previous testimony. We’re curious as to why it took them nearly a month to respond.

“…What we can say is that we recently re-engaged with Mr. Cohen and his team following press reports that suggested he had advance knowledge of the June 2016 meeting between campaign officials and Russian lawyers at Trump Tower. Mr. Cohen had testified before the Committee that he was not aware of the meeting prior to its disclosure in the press last summer. As such, the Committee inquired of Mr. Cohen’s legal team as to whether Mr. Cohen stood by his testimony. They responded that he did stand by his testimony. 

We hope that today’s developments and Mr. Cohen’s plea agreement will not preclude his appearance before our Committee as needed for our ongoing investigation.” (Senate Intelligence Committee, 8/21/2018)

The next day, Davis taunts Trump, obviously unaware of the Intel committee’s press release.

  • August 22, 2018: Cohen’s lawyer claims the flip happened because of the Trump-Putin meeting (Vox, 8/22/2018)
  • August 22, 2018: Lanny Davis: Michael Cohen Has Information About Trump That Would Be “Of Interest” To Special Counsel Mueller (Real Clear Politics, 8/22/2018)
  • August 22, 2018: Michael Cohen Lawyer Lanny Davis Begs for GoFundMe Donations to ‘Truth Fund’ (Newsweek, 8/22/2018)
  • August 22, 2018: “I believe that Mr. Cohen has direct knowledge that would be of interest to Mr. Mueller that suggests — I’m not sure it proves — that Mr. Trump was aware of Russian government agents hacking illegally, committing computer crimes, to the detriment of the candidate who he was running against, Hillary Clinton,” Davis said in a Wednesday interview with PBS NewsHour.

Davis finally catches up and realizes the lie has placed his client in the precarious position of having to reappear before the Senate Intelligence committee and explain his now questionable testimony. Only then does Davis backpedal from his “confident assertions” that Cohen would share information with Mueller’s investigators.

(Credit: CNN)

August 23, 2018:  Davis, speaking on the record, apologized for confirming something he did not know to be true. “I regret that I wasn’t clear enough to The Post. I should have been more clear. I could not independently confirm the information in the CNN story,” he said. “I’m sorry that I left that impression. I wasn’t at the meeting. The only person who could confirm that information is my client.” (The New York Post, 8/23/2018)

August 25, 2018: President Trump tweeted about Davis’s stunning 180 on the Cohen claims, writing: “Michaels Cohen’s attorney clarified the record, saying his client does not know if President Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting (out of which came nothing!). The answer is that I did NOT know about the meeting. Just another phony story by the Fake News Media!” — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2018

August 26, 2018, The Washington Post reported on Sunday that Davis said in an interview that he is “no longer certain about claims he made to reporters on background and on the record in recent weeks about what Cohen knows about Trump’s awareness of the Russian efforts.

Davis told the Washington Post that he cannot confirm media reports that Cohen is prepared to tell special counsel Robert S. Mueller III that Trump had advance knowledge of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting –(Washington Post, 8/26/18)

August 27, 2018:- Lanny Davis Says He Was A Source For CNN’s Trump Tower Story  (Buzzfeed, 8/27/2018)

August 27, 2018CNN Is Standing By Its Trump Tower Story Despite Contradictions (The Daily Caller, 8/27/2018)

Lanny Davis talks to members of the media during a news conference on Jan. 10, 2015, in Philadelphia. (Credit: Joseph Kaczmarek/The Associated Press)

“Davis also walked back an idea he widely circulated after Cohen’s guilty plea that Trump knew about Russian hacking of Democratic emails in advance – which he has mentioned numerous times in recent interviews, “repeatedly touting his client’s potential value to Mueller.”

Four days later and Davis takes it all back.

Asked Saturday how confident he was that Trump knew about the hacking before it became public, Davis said: “I am not sure. There’s a possibility that is the case. But I am not sure.”

Davis said that in discussing the hacking allegations last week, he should have emphasized his lack of certainty. He said he raised the idea that Cohen might have information about Trump’s knowledge because he had a strong feeling that might be the case. –WaPo

“I was giving an instinct that he might have something to say of interest to the special counsel” about hacking, Davis said. In retrospect, he said, “I am just not sure.”

In response to the Washington Post’s original July 27th article:

“I should have been more clear — including with you — that I could not independently confirm what happened,” Davis said, adding perhaps the most difficult four words for an attorney to utter: “I regret my error.”

In the past week, when asked directly by CNN’s Anderson Cooper whether there was information that Trump knew about his son’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya beforehand, Davis said, “No, there’s not.”

In a statement Saturday, a CNN spokeswoman said, “We stand by our story, and are confident in our reporting of it.” –WaPo

We wonder how many people donated to Cohen’s “GoFundMe” campaign assuming he had the goods?

We wonder if Podesta ever let Davis crisis manage Hillary Clinton’s email scandal?” (Zero Hedge, 8/28/2018)

“On my honor I give you my word I will not mention to anyone my involvement. ” — Michael Cohen lawyer Lanny J Davis to Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta https://t.co/8pydGMaYer pic.twitter.com/i7pfYdJbxL

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 24, 2018

A Good Explanation

(Timeline editor’s note: I decided to create a mini-timeline for this story because it is the most egregious example to date of how a fake story is born. I was reminded of the dozens of so-called journalists listed in the original email timeline, who were so ready and willing to tee-up stories in Clinton’s favor. Also, who can forget the MSM’s willingness to tout Donald Trump during the primary, at the Clinton campaign’s request?)

November 14, 2017 – The Russian-American lobbyist who attended the Trump Tower meeting, knows Clinton and her inner circle

Rinat Akhmetshin (Credit: Getty Images)

“The Russian-American lobbyist who attended the infamous Trump Tower meeting had contacts with members of Hillary Clinton’s inner circle and knew Clinton herself, he told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017.

“I knew [Clinton]; I knew some people who worked on her campaign,” the lobbyist, Rinat Akhmetshin, told the Senate Judiciary Committee in closed-door testimony on Nov. 14.

Akhmetshin, a former Soviet military intelligence officer, also said his attorney, Edward Lieberman, knows Clinton well. Lieberman’s late wife, Evelyn Lieberman, was a close confidante of Clinton’s. At one point, Akhmetshin said he was not a fan of President Donald Trump’s family.

The revelation of Akhmetshin’s Clinton links are significant because he has been portrayed as a possible conspirator in a collusion scheme between Trump’s campaign and Russian government.

Akhmetshin attended the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya.

(…) “Akhmetshin and other meeting participants all testified to the Judiciary panel the meeting was a dud and no information about Clinton changed hands. Instead, Veselnitskaya lobbied heavily against the Magnitsky Act, a law blacklisting Russian human rights abusers. Veselnitskaya carried into the meeting a memo that accused Bill Browder, a London-based banker who is the leading force behind the Magnitsky Act, of links to improper donations to Democrats.

In a bizarre twist, it turned out Veselnitskaya’s memo was put together by Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS — the firm that commissioned the Steele dossier. Simpson happened to be working with Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin to investigate Browder as part of an effort to undermine the Magnitsky Act. ” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 5/18/2018)

November 8, 2017 – Translator at Trump Tower meeting testifies to previously interpreting for Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, President Obama

Anatoli Samochornov (right) interprets at a New York Public Library event with journalists Masha Gessen and Svetlana Alexievich in 2016. (Credit: Sarah Stacke/New York Public Library)

“Anatoli Samochornov, a Russian translator who was present at the infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with campaign officials, testified that he was previously an interpreter for Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Barack Obama.”

(…) “Now it has emerged that, in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Samochornov described his work personally interpreting on one occasion for Clinton, “two or three times” for Kerry and for “Mr. Obama’s summits at the United Nations.”

Samochornov gave his testimony last November and it was recently made public. The 121 pages of transcript were reviewed by Breitbart News and have become newly relevant following renewed news media scrutiny of the Trump Tower confab.

At the hearing, Samochornov stated that he had been “doing project management for a subcontractor of the U.S. Department of State.”

(…) “Regarding his work as a subcontractor for the U.S. government, Samochrnov stated that he “served as an interpreter for Secretary Clinton on one occasion.”

He continued: “I have two or three times interpreted for Secretary Kerry when he had meetings with his counterpart, Mr. Lavrov, and the group rounds about Syria. I have also interpreted Mr. Obama’s summits at the United Nations, and I believe Vice President Joe Biden also spoke there.”

(…) “Samochornov is not the only individual at the Trump Tower meeting with a personal tie to Clinton.

Email transcripts and other information disclosed in testimony released by the Senate Judiciary Committee reveal a significant relationship between Russian-born Washington lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, who was present at the Trump Tower meeting, and an associate of Clinton. Akhmetshin also claims a personal relationship with Clinton and describes meeting with a Clinton associate the same day as the Trump Tower meeting.

In his Senate testimony, Akhmetshin says that he “knows” Hillary Clinton and has a personal relationship with her that dates back to the late-1990s. Besides describing a direct connection to Clinton, Akhmetshin also testified that he “knew some people who worked on” Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Akhmetshin further revealed that the same day as the Trump Tower meeting he met with a Clinton associate after the confab and possibly also just before.” (Read more: Breitbart News, 8/23/2018)

January 6, 2017 – Clapper personally briefs CNN’s Jake Tapper about the Comey-Trump meeting, almost immediately after it occurs

John Clapper and Jake Tapper (Credit: The Associated Press/CNN)

“…Clapper had personally briefed Tapper about the Comey-Trump meeting almost immediately after it occurred. We know this from findings contained within the House’s Final Report on Russian Active Measures:

“It is important to note that Evan Perez, Jim Sciutto, Jake Tapper, and Carl Bernstein of CNN reported on January 12, 2016 [original publication was on January 10, 2017], that President-elect Trump was briefed on classified information indicating that the Russians have compromising personal or financial information that the Russians could use against President-elect Trump.”

“The Committee’s investigation revealed that President-elect Trump was indeed briefed on the contents of the Steele dossier and when questioned by the Committee, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted that he confirmed the existence of the dossier to the media.”

Clapper at first denied leaking the information of the dossier and the Comey-Trump meeting, but ultimately acknowledged having done so:

“When initially asked about leaks related to the ICA in July 2017, former DNI Clapper flatly denied ‘discuss[ing] the dossier [compiled by Steele] or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists.’ Clapper subsequently acknowledged discussing the ‘dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper,’ and admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic.”

“Clapper’s discussion with Tapper took place in early January 2017, around the time IC leaders briefed President Obama and President-elect Trump, on ‘the Christopher Steele information,’ a two-page summary of which was ‘enclosed in’ the highly-classified version of the ICA.”

On Jan. 10, 2017, CNN published the article “Intel Chiefs Presented Trump With Claims of Russian Efforts to Compromise Him.” The allegations within the dossier were made public, and with reporting of the briefings by intelligence community leaders, instant credibility was given to the dossier’s assertions. Immediately following the CNN story, BuzzFeed published the Steele dossier, and the Trump–Russia conspiracy was pushed into the mainstream.

On the following day, Jan. 11, 2017, in a stunning display of hypocrisy, Clapper issued a formal statement where he noted his “profound dismay at the leaks” and denied that the leaks came from within the Intelligence Community.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 9/02/2019)

January 6, 2017 – Comey’s Trump Tower meeting is part of a FBI counterintelligence investigation

The Trump Tower in New York City, December 2018. (Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(…) Comey told Horowitz that the information he obtained from his conversation with Trump “ought to be treated…[like] FISA derived information or information in a [counterintelligence] investigation.” In other words, his meeting with Trump had very direct surveillance overtones and intentions—and directly counters what he had testified to Congress.

According to his Congressional testimony, Comey had told Trump at the Jan. 6, 2017, meeting that he was not under investigation by the FBI, noting, “sir, we’re not personally investigating you.”

Prior to the meeting with Trump at Trump Tower, Comey met with FBI officials involved in the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into the Trump campaign to discuss a strategy to obtain information and how to memorialize it right after the meeting.

Comey told the IG that in advance of his meeting with President-elect Trump, he “met with senior leaders of the FBI, including his Chief of Staff James Rybicki, then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, then-FBI General Counsel James Baker, and the supervisors of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election.

According to the IG report, multiple FBI witnesses said the meeting was intended, in part, to see how President-elect Trump reacted to the allegations and whether he would reveal new information useful for their counterintelligence investigation.

(…) Comey’s meeting with Trump followed a formal briefing that Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and National Security Director James Clapper had provided to Obama just hours earlier regarding the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) on Russia hacking and election interference.

Comey outlined to the IG the details of the meeting that took place between only himself and Trump:

“At the conclusion of our session, the COS [Chief of Staff Priebus] asked whether there is anything we haven’t mentioned that they should know or that might come out. I said there was something that Clapper wanted me to speak to the PE [President-Elect] about alone or in a very small group…”

“…I then executed the session exactly as I had planned. I told him [President Trump] that I wanted to meet with him to tell him more about what is in the reports written by [redacted – likely Steele]. I said that the written reports themselves were [redacted] and the content known at IC senior level and that I didn’t want him caught cold by some of the detail…”

“I said the Russians allegedly had tapes involving him and prostitutes at the Presidential Suite at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow from about 2013…I said I wasn’t saying this was true, only that I wanted him to know both that it had been reported and that the reports were in many hands. I said media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material or [REDACTED] and that we were keeping it very close-hold.”

Notably, Comey only informed President Trump of the “salacious” details contained within the dossier. Comey would later tell CNN’s Jake Tapper that he did so “Because that was the part that the leaders of the intelligence community agreed he needed to be told about.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 9/02/2019)

January 6, 2017 – Comey writes in a memo that pressure from CNN prompted his dossier briefing with Trump

“Former FBI Director James Comey wrote in a newly released memo that pressure from news outlets — “CNN in particular” — convinced him to brief then-President-Elect Donald Trump on the infamous Steele dossier during a meeting at Trump Tower on Jan. 6, 2017.

“I said media like CNN had [the dossier] and were looking for a news hook,” Comey wrote in a memo just after briefing Trump about the salacious allegations in the dossier.

“I said it was inflammatory stuff that they would get killed for reporting straight up from the source reports,” he added.

Four days after that meeting, CNN published a story revealing the existence of a salacious report alleging the Russian government had compromised Trump. The CNN story was referring to what’s now known as the dossier — an unverified 35-page report written by former British spy Christopher Steele.

CNN found its news hook: the very same meeting Comey said was necessary because of pressure from CNN.

CNN’s bombshell report created another news hook but for another news outlet. Hours after the CNN story went live, BuzzFeed News published the entire 35-page dossier, which was later revealed to be funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC.

The report has cast a cloud over the Trump presidency ever since, even though Trump has vehemently denied its allegations.

The Republican has reportedly fumed he believes Comey set him up. Comey’s briefing was used as a pretext to publish the dossier, which alleges the Russian government is blackmailing Trump with video of him using prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room in 2013, the president argued.

The leaker of the Comey briefing to Trump has not been identified, though only a small number of government officials would have been aware of the meeting and of what Comey told Trump.

Joining Comey were James Clapper, John Brennan and Adm. Mike Rogers, the directors of the Office of National Intelligence, the CIA and the National Security Agency, respectively.”  (Read more: The Daily Caller, 4/19/2018)

November 17, 2016 – Admiral Rogers visits Trump Towers

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“Sometimes the utilization of Timelines means you have to look at the new information with a keen awareness of specific events.   In hindsight, NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers may have notified Team Trump of Obama’s Intelligence Community (James Clapper and John Brennan) spying on their activity.

As you look at the FISA request dates below, it’s important to note that NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers would be keenly aware of both the June request – Denied, and the October request – Granted.  Pay specific attention to the October request.

June 2016: FISA request. The Obama administration files a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and several advisers. The request, uncharacteristically, is denied.

October 2016: FISA request.The Obama administration submits a new, narrow request to the FISA court, now focused on a computer server in Trump Tower suspected of links to Russian banks. No evidence is found — but the wiretaps continue, ostensibly for national security reasons, Andrew McCarthy at National Review later notes. The Obama administration is now monitoring an opposing presidential campaign using the high-tech surveillance powers of the federal intelligence services.

♦ On Tuesday November 8th, 2016 the election was held.  Results announced Wednesday November 9th, 2016.

♦ On Thursday November 17th, 2016, NSA Director Mike Rogers traveled to New York and met with President-Elect Donald Trump.

♦ On Friday November 18th The Washington Post reported on a recommendation in “October” that Mike Rogers be removed from his NSA position:

The heads of the Pentagon and the nation’s intelligence community have recommended to President Obama that the director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, be removed.

The recommendation, delivered to the White House last month, was made by Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., according to several U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

[…]  In a move apparently unprecedented for a military officer, Rogers, without notifying superiors, traveled to New York to meet with Trump on Thursday at Trump Tower. That caused consternation at senior levels of the administration, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal personnel matters. (link)

Remember, historically The Washington Post is the preferred outlet for the CIA and Intelligence Community within Deep State to dump their “leaks” and stories.  The State Department “leaks” to CNN for the same purposes.

♦ On Saturday November 19th Reuters reported on the WaPo story and additional pressure by Defense Secretary Ash Carter and DNI James Clapper to fire Mike Rogers.

National Security Agency (NSA) Director Admiral Michael Rogers (Credit: Gary Cameron/Reuters)

(…)  The Washington Post reported that a decision by Rogers to travel to New York to meet with Trump on Thursday without notifying superiors caused consternation at senior levels of the administration, but the recommendation to remove him predated his visit.  (link)

  1. The Intelligence Community -at the direction of President Obama- made a request to a FISA court for the NSA to spy on Donald Trump in June 2016.  It was denied.
  2. In October the Intelligence Community (NSA) -at the direction of President Obama- made a second request to the FISA court for the NSA to spy on Donald Trump.  It was approved.
  3. At around the same time (October), as the second request to FISA, (Def Sec) Ash Carter and (DNI) James Clapper tell President Obama to dump NSA Director Mike Rogers.
  4. A week after the election, Mike Rogers makes a trip to Trump Tower without telling his superior, James Clapper; which brings about new calls (November media leaks to WaPo) for President Obama to dump Mike Rogers.

Occam’s Razor.  NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers didn’t want to participate in the spying scheme (Clapper, Brennan, Etc.), which was the baseline for President Obama’s post presidency efforts to undermine Donald Trump and keep Trump from digging into the Obama labyrinth underlying his remaining loyalists.  After the October spying operation went into effect, Rogers unknown loyalty was a risk to the Obama objective.  10 Days after the election Rogers travels to President-Elect Trump without notifying those who were involved in the intel scheme.

Did NSA Director Mike Rogers wait for a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) to be set up in Trump Tower, and then notify the President-elect he was being monitored by President Obama?” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 3/03/2017)

June 9, 2016 – Fusion GPS co-founder, Glenn Simpson, met with Russian lawyer Veselnitskaya, before and after her meeting with Donald Trump Jr.

Glenn Simpson (Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/The Associated Press)

“The co-founder of Fusion GPS, the firm behind the unverified Trump dossier, met with a Russian lawyer before and after a key meeting she had last year with Trump’s son, Fox News has learned. The contacts shed new light on how closely tied the firm was to Russian interests, at a time when it was financing research to discredit then-candidate Donald Trump.”

(…) “The June 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya occurred during a critical period. At that time, Fox News has learned that bank records show Fusion GPS was paid by a law firm for work on behalf of a Kremlin-linked oligarch while paying former British spy Christopher Steele to dig up dirt on Trump through his Russian contacts.

But hours before the Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016, Fusion co-founder and ex-Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson was with Veselnitskaya in a Manhattan federal courtroom, a confidential source told Fox News. Court records reviewed by Fox News, email correspondence and published reports corroborate their presence together. The source told Fox News they also were together after the Trump Tower meeting.”

(…) “NBC News first reported that Veselnitskaya and Simpson were both at a hearing centered around another Fusion client, Russian oligarch Denis Katsyv. His company, Prevezon Holdings, was sanctioned against doing business in the U.S. for its alleged role in laundering more than $230 million. Fox News obtained audio records from that hearing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

The wrongdoing had been uncovered by Russian lawyer and whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky, who was beaten to death in a Russian prison in 2009 after being arrested for probing Prevezon and other companies with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In December 2012, the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act was passed into U.S. law, freezing Russian assets and banning visas for sanctioned individuals. Fusion’s Simpson is believed to have been working with Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin, a former Soviet counter-intelligence officer turned Russian-American lobbyist, to overturn the sanctions.” (Read more: Fox News, 11/7/2017)

June 9, 2016 – Donald Trump Jr. meets with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower

Natalia Veselnitskaya (Credit: Yury Martyanov/Kommersant/The Associated Press)

“Before Trump Jr. was set to meet with the Russian lawyer as his father campaigned for the presidency, Trump Jr. was told Veselnitskaya’s potentially damning information about Clinton was from the Kremlin, according to emails he released.

Trump Jr. has maintained that Veselnitskaya did not have any information to share and instead wanted to discuss other matters, such as the Magnitsky Act which enacts sanctions on certain Russian officials as punishment for human rights violations.

“After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton,” Trump Jr. said in a statement.

“Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered,” Trump Jr. continued.

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attended the meeting, along with a translator.

Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who set up the meeting, was also in attendance, as well as Rinat Akhmetshin, a prominent Russian-American lobbyist, Ike Kaveladze, a business associate of a Moscow-based developer and a translator.

A spokesperson for Trump’s outside legal team said Trump “was not aware of and did not attend the meeting.” Trump Jr. said he “wouldn’t have wasted his time” by telling him about the meeting. (Read more: Fox News, 5/16/2018)