The man who reached out to Donald Trump Jr. to broker a meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer nearly contacted the presidential nominee himself to say he knew someone who had damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
Emails posted by Trump Jr. on Tuesday between himself and music publicist Rob Goldstone, who arranged the meeting with the Russian lawyer, show Goldstone offering to pass information to Trump, then the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
Goldstone said in an email to Trump Jr. on June 3, 2016, that the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, “offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia” and would be very useful to Trump.
“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” Goldstone continued in the email.
Goldstone then asked about the best way to handle getting the information to the Trump campaign.
“I can also send this info to your father via Rhona,” he said, referring to Rhona Graff, Trump’s longtime executive assistant, “but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.”
Trump Jr. said Sunday that the meeting was set up on the premise that Veselnitskaya would provide damaging information on Clinton, but he said such material was never presented. Instead, in what he said was a roughly 30-minute meeting, Veselnitskaya pivoted to discussing the Magnitsky Act, a US law blacklisting Russians accused of human-rights abuses that so enraged Putin that he retaliated by barring US citizens from adopting Russian children.