Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya speaks to journalists in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 11, 2017. Veselnitskaya admits she met with Donald Trump Jr. during the 2016 presidential campaign, but insists that she had no compromising information on Hillary Clinton to offer in contrast to what the email exchange released by Trump’s eldest son suggested. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)


Today the Senate Judiciary Committee released the transcript and supporting documents from its hearing/inquiry about the meeting at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016.

This is probably the most overhyped part of an extraordinarily overhyped Russia probe. (FACT: if the head of the Russian SVR had shown up at the meeting and given Donald Trump, Jr., the sex tape of Hillary Clinton and John Podesta rutting like stoats as In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida played no law was broken.)

The background of the meeting was that Rob Goldstone, a British music publicist, approached Donald Trump, Jr., with a proposal to meet with people who had derogatory information on Hillary Clinton. Trump, Jr. agreed to take the meeting. It was set up for June 9, 2016, in Trump Tower. On the campaign side, there was Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort. Arriving to talk to them were Natalia Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin. Both are Russians. Veselnitskaya is connected to the Russian government. Akmetshin is a US citizen who used to be a KGB agent. Both Veselnitskaya and Akmetshin are stringers of Fusion GPS, which is the company that put together the Trump dossier and, to make the stew even tastier, Veselnitskaya met with Fusion GPS founder, Glenn Simpson, before and after the meeting.

Also there were Goldstone; Anatoli Samochornov, a translator for Veselnitskaya; and Ike Kaveladze, who has a business relationship with Goldstone.

I’ll just use Sean Davis’s hard work from here.

This is the bottom line. Trump, Jr., and Kushner showed up expecting info about Clinton financial shenanigans. Veselnitskaya didn’t have anything and wanted to talk about the Magnitsky Act. Everyone lost interest.

These are the gotcha items from the SecondMostSlappableFaceOnTheInternetTM

And CNN’s big brain weighs in on the latter because Trump, Jr. has consistently maintained he didn’t tell his father about the meeting:

Because only Trump has his phone configured to block their number from being shown.

I really don’t know what anyone was going to come out of this. You can make a case for saying that using information from foreigners is bad; you can’t do that and defend the use of the Trump dossier. You can’t say it is illegal for Trump, Jr., and Kushner to meet with a Russian lawyer and think using Russian intelligence officers as sources for derogatory information on Trump is something to be cheered… well, you can, but then you’d be an idiot.