“Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting,” publicist Rob Goldstone emailed Trump Jr. in June 2016. “The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting 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 your father.”“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government support for Mr. Trump — helped along by Aras and Emin,” Goldstone wrote.Trump Jr.’s response made his enthusiasm clear: “If it’s what you say, I love it especially later in the summer,” he wrote.
The email exchange showed clearly that Trump Jr. understood he was taking the meeting as a way of channeling information directly from the government of a nation hostile to the United States to his father’s campaign. It is the most concrete public evidence to date suggesting that top Trump campaign aides were eager for Russia’s assistance in the campaign.U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed a campaign to assist Trump, including the release of hacked emails stolen from Democratic officials.
“It does not help their case that you have a very specific operational instance where the campaign decided it was prepared to welcome assistance from a Russian source,” said Bauer, who has previously argued in a series of posts that the law prohibits cooperation with foreign nationals to influence a U.S. election. “You are not permitted to solicit or accept anything of value from a foreign national to influence an election. You cannot enter into a conspiracy with a foreign national to influence an election.”
The meeting devolved into a partisan squabble.“The Dems were, ‘Hey, we have to tell the public,’ ” recalled one participant. But Republicans resisted, arguing that to warn the public that the election was under attack would further Russia’s aim of sapping confidence in the system.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) went further, officials said, voicing skepticism that the underlying intelligence truly supported the White House’s claims. Through a spokeswoman, McConnell declined to comment, citing the secrecy of that meeting. …A week later, McConnell and other congressional leaders issued a cautious statement that encouraged state election officials to ensure their networks were “secure from attack.” The release made no mention of Russia and emphasized that the lawmakers “would oppose any effort by the federal government” to encroach on the states’ authorities.