Members of the Trump Organization and family members played central roles in two of the key areas investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, the report—made public in redacted form Thursday—shows.
Both the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Trump campaign officials seeking promised dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton from people associated with the Russian government, and the development of plans for the construction of a Trump property in Moscow that extended well into the campaign drew prosecutors’ interest.
While no charges were brought against the numerous individuals involved, the report provides clarity on the extent President Donald Trump’s business and family interests intersected with those of Russian counterparts leading up to the November 2016 election and beyond.
Much of the information in the special counsel’s report reiterates previously reported details for both.
Trump Tower Meeting
The Trump Tower meeting came at the behest of family friend of the Trumps, who told Donald Trump Jr. in an email that people connected to the Russian government had politically sensitive information on Hillary Clinton, which was offered as part of Russia’s support for then-candidate Trump’s campaign.
“…[I]f it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. said in a June 3 email responding to the offer.
Trump Jr. would later speak multiple times with the Russian-based family friend, Emin Agalarov, about the promised Clinton dirt, according to the special counsel’s report. Former deputy campaign manager Rick Gates told prosecutors that Trump Jr. told senior campaign officials and family members he was in pursuit of damaging information during a campaign meeting a few days later. Trump’s former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen has stated publicly that, around the same time, he believes Trump Jr. alerted his father about a meeting being scheduled to obtain the information.
Campaign officials, including Trump Jr., have denied informing the president about the meeting.
On June 9, Trump Jr., then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner met with a delegation of Russian individuals, a number of whom had connections to the Russian government. While Mueller’s report states the campaign participants left empty handed and frustrated, members of the Russian delegation attempted on at least two occasions to meet with Trump associates about issues raised during the meeting.
By June 2017, attorneys for the Trump Organization began reaching out to participants in the meeting. A key intermediary that helped set up the meeting, publicist Rob Goldstone, told associates that attorneys for the Trump Organization—general counsel Alan Garten and outside counsel Alan Futerfas—interviewed him over concerns the meeting linked Trump Jr. to Russian officials, which he had always denied meeting.
Later, the president himself attempted to keep details of the meeting from becoming public, going so far as to dictate a statement to be issued on behalf of his son describing the meeting as being about adoption. As the attempts to obfuscate were directed at the public, and not Congressional and special prosecutor’s office official, Mueller’s team stated that his actions did not amount to obstructions of justice.
Trump Moscow Project
A number of the same individuals were involved with the Trump Organization’s pursuit of a new development in Moscow. Michael Cohen led the efforts, which continued through June 2016, that included conversations with numerous officials in Russia who dangled the prospect of top Russian officials’ involvement, including President Vladimir Putin.
In late 2015, Trump himself signed a letter of intent with a Russian developer to build a tower that contained 250 luxury condos and 150 hotel rooms. The Trump organization was set to receive millions in benefits from the project, according to the special counsel’s report.
Cohen told prosecutors in Mueller’s office that he did not discuss the political ramifications of pursuing the deal with then-candidate Trump. Even so, he pursued the possibility of having Trump travel to Russia in the midst of the campaign. This included not only providing a copy of his personal passport to an associate setting up travel plans, but the request for an image of then candidate-Trump’s passport, which Cohen said a top Trump aide at the organization delivered to his office.
Cohen told prosecutors he kept family members and Trump Organization officials abreast of the plans, the report states. Some family members also received direct overtures from Russian individuals to visit the country during the campaign.
According to the report, Ivanka Trump was approached by a Russian individual claiming her husband, Dmitry Klokov, was interested in helping the campaign. Prior reports appear to have mistaken Klokov for an Russian Olympic wrestler with the same name. This Klovok was with a large Russian electricity transmission company and a previous aide to Russia’s energy minister, the special counsel’s office determined.
Ivanka Trump forwarded the offer to Cohen and, in November 2015, Klokov and Cohen communicated about the Trump aide’s visit to Russia to facilitate a meeting with an unnamed person of interest to help develop “political synergy” between Russia and the presidential campaign. The unnamed person of interest was later identified to the special counsel’s office as Putin himself.
No one from the campaign ultimately visited Russia.
Trump Organization attorney and spokesman Alan Futerfas did not respond a request for comment.
Spokespeople for Cohen, Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Manafort and Kushner did not immediately respond to requests for comment.