By Eli Ridder | WASHINGTON, DC
An ex-Soviet counter-intelligence agent turned lobbyist attended the 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr, a Russian lawyer allegedly connected with the Kremlin, and other Trump campaign officials.
Named as Rinat Akhmetshin told the Associated Press news agency that he was present at the encounter in Trump Tower in New York on June 9, 2016, just weeks after now President Donald Trump snatched the Republican nomination for president.
The Guardian newspaper said Akhmetshin worked in the “shadowy” DC world of “corporate intelligence” and that “his connections to former Russian agents were pitched as a valuable asset to private clients. Akhmetshin – who courted journalists and politicians alike – was known for speaking as candidly about his years of military service in Afghanistan as his objectives on Capitol Hill.”
Trump Jr acknowledged this week that a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was at the meeting. She allegedly has strong ties to the Russian Kremlin.
The meeting was arranged on the pretense that Veselnitskaya would share damaging information on then Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Multiple stories by The New York Times leading up to the release of an exchange of emails between Trump Jr and Rod Goldstone, who set up the meeting, prompted the president’s son to release the emails himself on Twitter earlier this week.
A congressional committee investigating the claims that Russia interfered in the 2016 United States presidential election to assist Donald Trump, has asked Trump Jr to testify.
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