[Updated on 14 April 2018 with additional details related to Michael Cohen, the personal lawyer of Donald Trump.]
On 19 July 2017, the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees sent written requests to Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and Donald Trump, Jr. for “all communications to, from or copied” from over 40 names.
The list of names reflects the complexity of the Senate’s investigation and points to two clear areas of inquiry.
The June 2016 meeting with the three men, a Russian lawyer and at least four others.
Multiple allegations which involve Russian government agents, Trump campaign people, Russian corporations and others as reported in the Christopher Steele dossier.
The committees are also looking at Kremlin officials and others under the influence of Putin and their contacts, if any, with the three men.
By the deadline of 4 August 2017, the committees had received thousands of pages of documents from the three men.
Below is a key to the persons and entities named in the Senate inquiries with links to more detailed information. (SeeSenate Judiciary letters to Paul Manafort below) These are arranged by subject matter, though many characters overlap.Continue reading “Who Are These Russians?”→
The New York Times articles implicating Donald Trump, Jr, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner in what looks like collusion with Russia corroborate the very first entry in the Christopher Steele dossier and give a possible identity to one of his unnamed sources.
In its first bombshell report, the Times verified three crucial points from the memos prepared by Steele, a former intelligence officer with Britain’s M-16 spy agency:
Putin was engaged in an effort to help Trump and harm Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
The Kremlin had compiled information it believed might damage Clinton.
Sources close to the Trump campaign were coordinating with the Kremlin in the effort to undermine the election.
Specifically, the first Steele memo dated 20 June 2016 lay the groundwork for Kremlin interference and potential Trump team collusion. The entry noted that Putin’s people had delivered “valuable intelligence” to Trump on his “opponents” for “several years.” The wording points to an effort to undermine not just Hillary Clinton but Trump’s Republican rivals during the primary season.
The initial Steele memo from June relies on various unidentified sources. One such person, named “Source D” was a “close associate of Trump” who was directly involved in arranging Trump’s Moscow visits. This same individual was present during Trump’s “perverted conduct in Moscow” at the Ritz Carlton – the so-called golden showers defilement of the bed supposedly used by President and First Lady Obama during a previous visit. This episode is allegedly the highlight of the Kremlin’s blackmail material against Trump. According to Steele, the activity was taped.
While the identity of Source D is not certain, information from the Times article strongly suggests it is Emin Agalarov, the person who requested the meeting with Trump’s inner circle. According to the Times:
“… the beauty competition in Moscow brought the Trump family into partnership with Emin Agalarov, a pop star in Russia, and his father, Aras — a duo that develops major real estate projects in Russia and appears friendly with the Kremlin.
Since then, Emin Agalarov has repeatedly boasted of maintaining a warm relationship with Mr. Trump.
Further on in the Times story, Emin is placed at the Moscow Ritz Carlton with Trump:
Phil Ruffin, Mr. Trump’s partner at the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Las Vegas, who flew to Moscow for the competition, said he and Mr. Trump had lunch with the Agalarovs at the Ritz-Carlton.
This would lend added credence to Steele’s assertion that Emin is Source D and, importantly, that he was present at the infamous golden showers sex play at the hotel – purportedly the kompromat used to compromise Donald Trump.
It looks like Christopher Steele had it right. The Times report validates the Steele dossier and comports with the dates and details of its very first entry. Trump’s eldest son confirmed the explosive meet-up and revealed its purpose in a series of emails released yesterday.
Seen in chronological perspective, the meeting with the Russian lawyer is the start of a coordinated effort between Trump associates and Putin operatives that continued through the presidential election cycle.
It is time to revisit that collection of memos. Christopher Steele’s record gives us insight into how the Kremlin coordinated the attack on the election process and which members of Trump’s campaign team were involved.
And, it alerts us to the the next bombshell report.