Democrats contend a more rigorous investigation would have shown otherwise. In their “Minority Views” report that was also released Friday, they point to a strong possibility that then-candidate Donald Trump himself was communicating with his son as he worked to schedule the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting in June of 2016 with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer.
Their report also details how George Papadopoulos, dismissed by Trump advisors as a low-level “coffee boy,” was regularly in touch with Kremlin-linked individuals and top Trump officials during both the campaign and transition. Papadopoulos was informed in April 2016 that the Kremlin had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of emails, well before the Clinton campaign or DNC officials were aware of hacking.
And the Democrats’ findings include efforts by the Kremlin to establish a “first contact” with the Trump campaign through an intermediary at the National Rifle Association. In May 2015, the NRA member reached out to Rick Dearborn, a longtime aide to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., now the attorney general, to inform him of Russia’s interest in connecting with the campaign..