Email #217: “I love it”?

Donald Trump Jr said yesterday in his Twitter release of his June 2016 emails that led to his meeting with Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya: “The woman, as she has said publicly, was not a government official.” But Rod Goldstone in the email exchange identifies her as not only “the Russian attorney” but “The Russian government attorney.” More importantly, Goldstone begins the exchange by apparently referencing Yuri Yakovlevich Chaika, Russia’s prosecutor general appointed by President Putin in 2006:

“The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with [Emin Agalarov’s] father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin.

“What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?

“I can also send this info to your father via Rhona, but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.”

If I understand correctly, Emin and Aras Agalorov are Russian businessmen who have worked with the Trumps since 2013, Rod Goldstone is the Agalorovs’ British publicist, and Rhona Graff has been Donald Trump’s secretary for almost thirty years. More importantly, Trump Jr. has confirmed that he sought damaging information about Clinton even though he understood the information was coming from Russia and that the Russian government supported Donald Trump. He responded to Goldstone: “if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”

Republican Senator Graham expressed immediate concern: “Anytime you’re in a campaign, and you get an offer from a foreign government to help your campaign, the answer is no…. that email was disturbing … on its face this is very problematic…. We cannot allow foreign governments to reach out to anybody’s campaign, and say ‘We’d like to help you.’”

Republican Rep. Zeldin tweeted: “I voted for @POTUS last Nov. & want him & USA to succeed, but that meeting, given that email chain just released, is a big no-no.”

Republican Senator McCain said there would be “more shoes that will drop.”

Associate dean of Cornell Law School Jens David Ohlin told the Washington Post: “It’s a shocking admission of a criminal conspiracy. The conversation will now turn to whether President Trump was personally involved or not. But the question of the campaign’s involvement appears settled now. The answer is yes.”

As usual, I’ve heard nothing about this development from you. While Senator Graham and others were responding to this extraordinary development yesterday afternoon, you were posting pictures of your female interns on your Facebook page:

“A big thank you to our interns from Liberty University, University of Virginia, and James Madison University who just wrapped up their time in my D.C. office! We appreciate your help and service to folks in the Sixth District.”

The contrast would be comical if the situation weren’t so serious. But I hope your interns had a great time working in DC with you!

Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an associate professor at W&L University, comics editor of Shenandoah, and series editor of Bloomsbury Critical Guides in Comics Studies. He has published two novels: School for Tricksters (SMU 2011) and Pretend I’m Not Here (HarperCollins 2002); and six books of scholarship: On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa 2015), Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017), Superhero Thought Experiments (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Iowa 2019), Revising Fiction, Fact, and Faith (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Routledge 2020), Creating Comics (with Leigh Ann Beavers, Bloomsbury 2021), and The Comics Form (Bloomsbury forthcoming). His visual work appears in Ilanot Review, North American Review, Aquifer, and other journals.

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