The continuing scandal surrounding Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer has continued for a full seven days at this point. Friday has seen multiple updates, including how at least eight people attended the meeting that included Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and a Russian lobbyist who’s also a former intelligence officer for the Kremlin. While people are still astounded that Don Jr. released his own emails that proved he thought dirt from Clinton was on the meeting table (and he was disappointed with the results), the Russian lobbyist (Rinat Akhmetshin) has spoken with the Associated Press to reveal more about what attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya did bring to the meeting.
Akhmetshin told the AP that Veselnitskaya trucked out a folder full of documents that she said would incriminate the DNC for shady fundraising activities. Whether or not these documents contained a trace of authenticity — or where they ended up (Akhmetshin doesn’t recall whether the information actually sourced from the Russian government or if Don Jr. and pals took it with them) — no one seems to know, but she promised that these documents would help ensure a Trump victory:
Akhmetshin said Veselnitskaya brought with her a plastic folder with printed-out documents that detailed what she believed was the flow of illicit funds to the Democratic National Committee. [She] suggested that making the information public could help the Trump campaign, he said.
“This could be a good issue to expose how the DNC is accepting bad money,” Akhmetshin recalled her saying.
At that point, Don Jr. asked the attorney if she could produce all evidence needed to prove such claims without a doubt, and the attorney told him that she was presenting everything that she knew. When she told the Trump campaign to do the rest of the legwork, Don Jr. was not impressed:
Veselnitskaya said the Trump campaign would need to research it more. After that, Trump Jr. lost interest, according to Akhmetshin. “They couldn’t wait for the meeting to end,” he said.
So, it sounds like Don Jr. wasn’t interested in any information that wasn’t neatly packaged to ensure that the Clinton campaign could easily be taken down. This shines some light on how President Trump stated that “zero happened” during the meeting — because the Trump campaign likely scored zilch. However, the lack of results does nothing to undo Don Jr.’s intent to collude with Russia, and this controversy is far from over.