President Donald Trump's eldest son, Donald Jr., his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner met with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower last June to discuss what was billed as possible dirt on Hillary Clinton. But there were at least two other people in that meeting whose presence was not disclosed until Friday.
NBC News reported Friday that a former Soviet military intelligence officer-turned-lobbyist also attended themeeting, and Trump Jr.'s lawyer said a sixth person was there, too.
NBC withheld the lobbyist's identity in their reporting, but William Browder, the founder of the investment advisory firm Hermitage Capital who spearheaded the Magnitsky Act after his death, told Business Insider that there was "onlyone person" who fit the profile described by NBC — Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-born lobbyist who has been working with the lawyer, Veselnitskaya, to overturn the Magnitsky Act since at least last year.
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The former senior Trump campaign official and White House adviser was present and crucial during the firings of Michael Flynn and James Comey.
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Former U.S. senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama joined Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser in February 2016. Sessions was nominated to be U.S. attorney general by President Trump and was then confirmed by the Senate. Reports then emerged that Sessions had spoken twice with Sergey Kislyak while he was senator -- a fact that he left out of his Senate hearing testimony. Instead, he said in writing that he had not communicated with any Russian officials during the campaign season. Sessions defended himself saying he had spoken with Kislyak specifically in a senate capacity.
Paul Manafort signed on as Donald Trump's campaign manager in March 2016. A longtime Republican strategist and beltway operative, Manafort had previously served as an adviser to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich -- a pro-Russia leader who was violently ousted in 2014. Manafort resigned from his campaign position in August 2016 amid questions over his lobbying history in Ukraine for an administration supportive of Russia. The former campaign manager reportedly remained in Trump's circle during the post-election transition period.
Gen. Michael Flynn was named President Trump's national security adviser in November of 2016. Flynn reportedly met and spoke with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December, at one point discussing sanctions. Flynn originally told Vice President Pence he did not discuss sanctions -- a point the Department of Justice said made the national security adviser subject to blackmail. Flynn resigned from his position in February.
2016 election winner Donald Trump is at the center of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russia's handlings.
Clovis, a former member of the Trump campaign, arrives on at the U.S. Capitol December 12, 2017 to appear before a closed meeting of the House Intelligence Committee. Clovis worked with George Papadopoulos, a former Donald Trump campaign foreign policy advisor who struck a plea deal on charges of lying to the FBI.
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Stone is a longtime Republican political consultant who served as a campaign adviser to Trump who continued to talk with the then-GOP candidate after stepping away from his adviser role. Stone claimed last year that he had knowledge of the planned WikiLeaks release of emails pertaining to Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. Stone recently admitted to speaking via direct message with "Guccifer 2.0" -- an online entity U.S. officials believe is tied to Russia. Stone says the correspondence was “completely innocuous.”
Page worked for Merrill Lynch as an investment banker out of their Moscow office for three years before joining Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser. During his time with Merrill Lynch, Page advised transactions for two major Russian entities. Page has called Washington "hypocritical" for focusing on corruption and democratization in addressing U.S. relations with Russia. While Page is someone Trump camp has seemingly tried to distance itself from, Page recently said he has made frequent visits to Trump Tower.
Before Gordon joined the Trump campaign as a national security adviser in March 2016, he served as a Pentagon spokesman from 2005 through 2009. Like others involved in Trump-Russia allegations, Gordon met with ambassador Kislyak in July at the Republican National Convention, but has since denied any wrongdoing in their conversation. He advocated for and worked to revise the RNC language on and position toward Ukraine relations, so it was more friendly toward Russia's dealings in the country.
Former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo (L)
Caputo waves goodbye to reporters after he testified before the House Intelligence Committee during a closed-door session at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center July 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Caputo resigned from being a Trump campaign communications advisor after appearing to celebrate the firing of former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Denying any contact with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign, Caputo did live in Moscow during the 1990s, served as an adviser to former Russian President Boris Yeltsin and did pro-Putin public relations work for the Russian conglomerate Gazprom Media.
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Stephen Miller, White House Senior Advisor for Policy
Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer
Donald Trump Jr.
White House Senior adviser Jared Kushner
Executive assistant to Donald Trump Rhona Graff
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski
US Vice President Mike Pence
Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci
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The AP later confirmed Akhmetshin's presence at the meeting.
Matthew Miller, a former Justice Department spokesman under President Barack Obama, said the new revelations would make it easier for FBI special counsel Robert Mueller to subpoena someone from outside Trump's inner orbit "for an independent account" of the meeting.
"Until today, the only people we knew were in the meeting were three people connected to Trump and a lawyer who is not an American citizen and is probably beyond the reach of law enforcement," Miller told Business Insider on Friday, referring to the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
"Mueller could subpoena Trump, Jr., Kushner, and Manafort, but if they all told the same story or said they didn't remember what happened, Mueller would have no way of independently verifying their accounts of the meeting," Miller continued. "Now there are two other people who were in the meeting who may not have the same incentives to protect the president, or who at the very least, may not be willing to risk perjury to do so."
Trump Jr. said he agreed to meet withVeselnitskaya last June at Trump Tower to discuss compromising information she said she had on Clinton, but did not mention that Veselnitskaya was accompanied by at least two other people.
Trump Jr. has said in recent days that he was disappointed that the meeting instead focused on Russia's adoption policy. Veselnitskaya later told NBC that she didn't have derogatory information on Clinton and asked for the meeting to talk about the Magnitsky Act.
The Magnitsky Act was passed to punish those suspected of being involved in the death of Russian tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who uncovered a $230 million tax fraud scheme in 2008 that implicated high-level Kremlin officials and allies of President Vladimir Putin. The scheme quickly snowballed into one of the biggest corruption scandals of Putin's tenure. The act authorizes the US president to deny visas to, and freeze the assets of, Russians believed to have been complicit in Magnitsky's death.