Today the identity of the eighth attendee at Donald Trump Jr.’s Russia meeting was revealed, and he’s a Russian immigrant to the United States with a major history of alleged Russian money laundering – which is about to become a whole new Donald Trump scandal of its own. But for the moment, the most salient detail may be how his identity was revealed so quickly, and it’s a development that Trump won’t like.
The mystery eighth person at the meeting was Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze. He was outed this morning by the Washington Post (link). It’s long been posited that the eighth person is an employee of Aras and Emin Agalarov, the father and son duo who helped set up the meeting. And so Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office was able to obtain Kaveladze’s identity simply by calling up the Agalarovs and asking them. This tells us two major things.
First, this confirms that the Special Counsel is knee-deep in investigating Donald Trump Jr. and his Russia meeting. This was probably already assumable, but now it’s official. It’s still not entirely clear if Mueller and team were already looking into the meeting before it was leaked to the media, or if they first learned about it from the media like the rest of us. But either way, the Special Counsel’s office is wasting no time diving into the new details of the meeting as they surface in the media.
Second, this means that on at least some level, the Agalarovs are cooperating with the Special Counsel; they gave up the name of their own employee without hesitation. And it makes sense that they would cooperate. Although they helped set up this meeting, there doesn’t appear to be anything to specifically implicate them in the Trump-Russia election rigging conspiracy. The best way for businessman Aras Agalarov and pop star Emin Agalarov to demonstrate their innocence, and thus protect their public reputations, is to make a point of helping out investigators. So what else about Donald Trump might the Agalarovs be giving up? Stay tuned.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report