Due to the development of a criminal investigation on Trump campaign aides over possible collusion with Russian officials that over the weekend, President Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin himself was highly anticipated. Their meeting finally took place at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany where it was said they discussed some "pressing" issues. But as the last day of the summit was winding down, the New York Times reported that, according to confidential government records, President Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., arranged a meeting with a Kremlin lawyer at Trump Tower last year.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Manafort's involvement

The NY Times reports that two weeks after Donald Trump won the nomination for the Republican Party, Trump Jr. made arrangements to meet with the Kremlin lawyer. With him was Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Manafort already has a history of working for Ukraine's pro-Putin party as an advisor when Viktor Yanukoych was president. He fled at the same time that Yanukovych did when the Ukrainian government fell to the uprising in 2014.

Advertisement

Paul Manafort came under scrutiny for his work while steering the Trump campaign. He was pressured to leave after it was learned that he had been paid by the Kremlin for his work in the Ukraine.

Confirmation of meeting

According to interviews and other documents, the New York Times article reveals Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner was also present at the same meeting. The meeting reportedly took place on June 9, 2016 and was confirmed by representatives of Donald Trump Jr.

Don’t miss the latest news!
Click on the topic you interest most. We'll keep you updated with all the news you shouldn't miss.
Donald Trump

and Jared Kushner himself.

Trump Jr. released a statement saying that the meeting was about an adoption program. According to the report, he did not say whether the presidential campaign was discussed. However, the timing of the meeting was only days before it was reported that Russian hackers stole email data from the Democratic National Committee on June 12. The verification is also from lawmakers as the information comes from speaking with those committee members.

Background on Kremlin lawyer

To be fair to Trump Jr's account of the meeting being about adoption, the Kremlin lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya is know to be against the Magnitsky Act, a U.S. law that blacklisted human rights abusers that murdered another Russian lawyer named Sergei Magnitsky. This is related to adoption because Russia's response to the creation of the law was to ban the U.S. from adopting Russian children.

Advertisement

The Magnitsky Act was created under a bipartisan effort following the Russian lawyer's death which happened in 2009, passed in 2012 under the Obama administration. Magnitsky had been jailed for exposing a corruption scandal by Russian officials. Donald Trump Jr. played down the meeting saying that it was brief and they were looking at adoption programs that were still active that they could go through.

Advertisement

He claimed that there was no follow-up with the Natalia since then.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more