Robert S. Mueller III testifying during a hearing of the US Senate Appropriations Committee. UU On Capitol Hill in Washington in 2013. (Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images)
We will establish from the beginning that the investigation is being conducted by Special Advisor Robert S. Mueller III and his team are a black box, by design. We received small turns of information about who Mueller's team is talking to and who has been called before a grand jury, usually thanks to the people who subsequently revealed those conversations publicly. (Sometimes, as in the case of Trump's former badistant Sam Nunberg, we are informed in advance, loudly)
It is almost certain that Mueller's team has spoken to dozens of people more than we know or who we can only imagine the nature of his research. At one point, Paul Manafort's real estate agent testified before the grand jury. Who knows?
So it's strange that a very prominent name appears not that has spoken with Mueller: Donald Trump Jr. Again, it's not clear. Maybe Trump Jr. has had long conversations with the Mueller researchers and we do not know. However, given how closely Mueller's efforts are monitored, that seems unlikely. And there are few people who can offer more information about the Russian investigation than Donald Trump Jr.
We received another reminder from that Thursday, when the New York Times reported that Mueller's team had quoted records of the Trump Organization related to the Potential investments in Russia. The scope of the citation is not clear, nor is there any specific focus of Mueller's efforts.
We know, however, that President Trump and the Trump Organization had been looking for a project in Moscow or elsewhere in Russia for years before the presidential campaign. At one point about a decade ago, Trump Jr. and his sister Ivanka traveled to Moscow looking for a deal. Even after Trump declared his candidacy, the Trump Organization was carrying out a project in the Russian capital, prompting Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to reach a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin to help him move the project forward.
The Trump Organization, cited by Mueller, is now jointly led by Trump Jr. and his brother Eric.
In the past, Trump Jr. has boasted of the company's Russian business ties.
"In terms of high-end products the affluence to the United States," said Trump Jr. during an interview in 2008, "the Russians constitute a rather disproportionate cross section of many of our badets … We see a lot of money coming from Russia. "
In 2011, a woman who worked for a company that facilitated the obtaining of visas noticed on social networks that the Russian consulate in New York had an autographed photo of Trump Jr. on the wall. Contacted by The Post, she said she could not remember specifically what the photo represented or what the firm said. (Beyond the contemporary publication, we could not confirm the existence of the photo.)
There are few people beyond the president who are as well informed about the efforts of the Trump Organization in Russia as Trump Jr.
Then , of course, there is the infamous meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016.
The first layer here is the meeting itself. Trump Jr., contacted by a music promoter he met when the Miss Universe contest was held in Moscow, offers Hillary Clinton land that was compiled by the Russian government as "part of Russia and the support of his government to Mr. Trump. " "
" If it's what you say it is, I love it, "replied Trump Jr. Then he asked to speak with the music promoter's client, Emin Agalarov, before the end of the meeting schedule. Jr. and Agalarov, the meeting was established, although Trump Jr. has stated that he does not remember having spoken with Agalarov, Trump Jr. then invited Trump's campaign president, Manafort and Jared Kushner, to the meeting, and both attended. 19659015] There are a lot of questions that arise, did Manafort and Kushner know what the meeting was about, what was it said to them, Trump Jr. spoke with Agalarov, what was promised
? Another layer When the Times first reported on the Trump Tower meeting, Trump Jr.'s response was a deeply misleading statement that it was based on the issue of adoption. that this was false, Trump Jr. changed his story, Mueller has been investigating the initial response to that report to determine whether Trump Jr. or others tried to obstruct justice by misrepresenting what had happened. The hearing of Trump Jr.'s description of how that statement was developed seems important.
The FBI is investigating another question involving Trump Jr. Last year, we learned that Alexander Torshin, a deputy governor of Russia's central bank, repeatedly sought to be connected to the Trump using connections he had made in the NRA . According to reports, the FBI is investigating whether the NRA took money from the interests of Russia that was later used to boost the Trump campaign. Torshin himself took advantage of their relations to get closer to the Trump, looking, at a certain moment, to establish a dinner between Trump and Putin. At some point that same month, Trump Jr. and Torshin met briefly at an event related to the NRA in Kentucky.
Beyond those details, Trump Jr. was also deeply involved in the campaign itself. He was regularly on the road with the president and involved in key decisions such as the dismissal of Trump's first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. Trump Jr. was also involved in the presidential transition, despite criticism. Even if he had not been involved in the business or participating in the Trump Tower meeting or linked to Torshin, that participation would seem to make him an important point of contact.
So, why has not Mueller talked to Trump Jr. – baduming he does not? One reason may be that Trump Jr. is so important. Since Trump Jr. was so involved in so many important parts of the campaign and the business, Mueller may be trying to figure out what he needs to ask Trump Jr. before he asks for it.
Actually, there are two possibilities here: Mueller has already spoken with Trump Jr. and we still do not know, or he will at some time soon. It seems impossible that Mueller does not want to know what Trump Jr. knows