Seeking to frame the bad news before a New York Times article could drop, Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday tweeted out a redacted copy of an email chain between himself and a music promoter who was offering to connect the campaign with a Russian official who purportedly had negative information about Hillary Clinton.
That meeting took place on June 9, 2016.
Given that this is an informal email chain between two people who know each other well, some of the names and references may be unclear to casual readers. As such, we’ve endeavored to explain who the players are, below. They’re listed in alphabetical order by first name.
Aras Agalarov. Agalarov is the president of the Crocus Group, a Moscow-based real estate development firm that licensed the Miss Universe pageant from the Trump Organization in 2013 to host its pageant in the Russian capital. This is the point at which Agalarov and his son, Emin, became associated with the Trumps.
Agalarov is mentioned on Page 4 in an email from Goldstone as having met with the “Crown prosecutor of Russia” who offered to provide incriminating information about Hillary Clinton.
“Crown prosecutor.” See Yuri Chaika.
Donald Trump. Trump is mentioned on Page 4 of the email chain when Goldstone suggests that he wanted to discuss the matter with Trump Jr. before the then-candidate.
Donald Trump Jr. The president’s son coordinates the meeting with Goldstone, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner. (See our full timeline leading up to the meeting.)
Emin Agalarov. The son of Aras Agalarov. He is a vice president of the Crocus Group and a pop music star in Russia. (In 2013, Trump appeared in one of his videos.)
Agalarov is mentioned repeatedly in the emails. When Goldstone first offers access to the information he has at his disposal, Trump Jr. requests a phone call with Emin. On Page 3, Goldstone mentions that Agalarov can’t talk at the moment because he’s onstage in Moscow. It’s not clear whether the two talked, but the next day Goldstone sets up a meeting at Agalarov’s request.
Hillary Clinton. Then the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. She’s mentioned on Page 4.
Jared Kushner. Trump Jr.’s brother-in-law is mentioned on Page 2 when Trump Jr. explains who he expects to attend the meeting. Kushner does attend. According to an NBC interview with Natalia Veselnitskaya on Tuesday, he leaves after about 10 minutes.
Natalia Veselnitskaya. A lawyer who has reported links to the Kremlin. It’s not clear whether Veselnitskaya is the “Russian government attorney” who Goldstone suggests will participate in the meeting, but she is the person that attended. (In that NBC interview, she denied having ties to the government.)
Goldstone’s emails suggest that the attorney — presumably Veselnitskaya — flew in from Moscow for the meeting and was scheduled to be in court the same afternoon as the meeting.
Paul Manafort. The Trump campaign chairman. Attended the June 9 meeting. According to the NBC interview with Veselnitskaya on Tuesday, he spent the entire meeting looking at his phone. He’s mentioned on Page 2.
Rhona Graff. Trump’s longtime assistant. Goldstone suggests that he could contact the candidate through Graff but chose to contact Trump Jr. first. She is mentioned on Page 4 of the emails.
Rob Goldstone. A British-born promoter who represents Emin Agalarov. Along with the Agalarovs, Goldstone was involved in the 2013 Miss Universe pageant planning, which is how he came into contact with the Trumps. He’s the individual driving the conversation with Trump Jr., but, a publicist through-and-through, he reminds Trump Jr. that the meeting is a result of the Agalarovs’s efforts.
“Russian government attorney.” See Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Yuri Yakovlevich Chaika. There is no “Crown prosecutor” in Russia, because Russia isn’t a monarchy. (This is perhaps a function of Goldstone’s country of origin.) The Times reports that the reference on Page 4 is to Chaika, Russia’s prosecutor general. Chaika has been in that position since June 2006, when he was first nominated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. (He is in his second term, being renominated by then-President Dmitry Medvedev in 2011.)