On June 9, 2016, Donald Trump Jr. sat in a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in Trump Tower and asked her if she had “evidence of illegal donations to the Clinton Foundation,” NBC News reported on Wednesday. In the meeting, Veselnitskaya was confused by the question and said she didn’t have any information on the Clintons. She recalled that, at this point, Trump Jr. was essentially ready to end their conversation.
It was clear that going into this meeting, Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya had two very different motives. Veselnitskaya was investigating the Magnitsky Act, a law that blocks 44 human rights abusers from entering the U.S., according to The Washington Post. Trump Jr. was reportedly there for dirt on the Clintons that had been promised to him by Rob Goldstone, a music promoter who worked for a family of Russian oligarchs, the Agalarovs, that has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The New York Times reports that Trump Jr. replied to Goldstone's offer of info on the Clintons by saying, “I love it especially later in the summer," suggesting that the timing would perfectly align with voters' increasing focus on the 2016 election.
Goldstone had also told Trump Jr. that Veselnitskaya worked for the Russian government but that was, in fact, not true. According to the Times, Veselnitskaya claims that nothing about the presidential election was discussed in their meeting and that she had "never acted on behalf of the Russian government." A spokesman for Putin has also confirmed that the president does not know Veselnitskaya.
In September, Trump Jr. released a statement about the meeting, saying he wanted to “hear the Russians out” to see if their information would reveal anything about Hillary Clinton’s “fitness, character or qualifications.” While it seems that his quest for these details didn't go very well, where’s the investigation into Trump Jr.’s dad’s “fitness, character and qualifications?”