After offering multiple contradictory explanations for his undisclosed meeting with a Russian attorney last year, Donald Trump Jr. released a series of emails on Tuesday that could potentially be used as evidence to incriminate Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and himself. Despite the fact that Kushner failed to disclose at least three secret meetings with prominent Russians, the security clearance belonging to the president’s son-in-law has not been suspended, revoked, or placed under review.
On Tuesday, Donald Trump Jr. publicly released a series of emails corresponding between Rob Goldstone and himself concerning sensitive information from the Russian government that could harm Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Former tabloid journalist Rob Goldstone currently manages Russian pop singer Emin Agalarov, whose father, Aras, partnered with Donald Trump to bring the Miss Universe competition to Moscow in 2013.
On June 3, 2016, Goldstone wrote, “Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting. 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’s support for Mr. Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin.”
Apparently unbeknownst to Goldstone, the title of “Crown prosecutor” does not exist in Russia. The prosecutor general of Russia, Yury Yakovlevich Chaika, was appointed by Putin and is reportedly close to Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
A few minutes later, Trump Jr. replied, “Thanks Rob I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
Before meeting with Veselnitskaya on June 9, 2016, Trump Jr. forwarded the conversation to Jared Kushner and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort. According to the emails, they entered the meeting with the intent to possibly conspire with a foreign government against a presidential candidate.
On July 22, 2016, Wikileaks began releasing the DNC’s hacked emails. Five days later during the final news conference of his 2016 campaign, Trump addressed Russia, “If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”
Before Wikileaks released Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s hacked emails last October, Trump adviser Roger Stone openly communicated with a hacker on Twitter representing Russian intelligence agencies. According to Reuters, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and other campaign advisers had at least 18 previously undisclosed phone calls and electronic messages with Russian officials between April and November 2016.
Due to the fact that Flynn reportedly discussed sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and failed to disclose those conversations on his security clearance forms, federal investigators could use Trump Jr.’s emails to establish intent to commit conspiracy to violate election laws with assistance from a foreign power. If suspected of conspiracy to commit bribery, Flynn, Kushner, Manafort, Stone, Trump Jr., and others could be under investigation for promising to remove sanctions or lobbying against the Magnitsky Act in exchange for Russian interference into last year’s U.S. presidential election.
Although federal prosecutors have not presented enough evidence to file these criminal charges against members of Trump’s campaign, evidence continues to amass in support of a conspiracy to obstruct justice. Flynn was forced to immediately resign after failing to disclose Russian payments and lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his meetings with the Kislyak.
During his confirmation hearings, Attorney General Jeff Sessions repeatedly provided false statements concerning his meetings with the Russian ambassador throughout the campaign. Sessions later announced he would recuse himself from any investigation into Russian interference during the presidential election.
While filling out his security clearance forms, the president’s son-in-law failed to disclose at least three secret meetings with Russians tied to the Kremlin. Besides meeting with Kislyak and Sergey Gorkov, head of a Russian state-owned bank named Vnesheconombank, Kushner also attended the June 9 meeting with Veselnitskaya under the premise of obtaining blackmail against Clinton.
Since Kushner clearly has not received a proper background check, no reason exists why he should be allowed to keep his security clearance. The president’s son-in-law remains an incompetent, dishonest liability who is likely under investigation for participating in a conspiracy to obstruct any investigation into the Trump campaign’s dubious ties to Russia.