It has been confirmed that there was indeed an eighth person present during Trump Jr’s meeting with the Russians last year at Trump Tower, confirmed by this eighth person’s own personal lawyer, Scott Balber. This person remains unidentified, but the person’s lawyer Balber, has confirmed today, that they are fully cooperating with Mueller and his special investigators.
“The eighth person has been identified by prosecutors and we arecooperating fully with prosecutors as a result of the investigation. To preserve the integrity of the investigation we are declining to identify him at this time,” Balber told CNN.
Note that this eighth and unidentified person’s lawyer referred to Mueller’s team as prosecutors. I’m not sure if this is a typo, or a real or Freudian slip by Attorney Balber. If he really meant prosecutor, that means Mueller is indeed bringing charges on someone, and it’s not just an investigation anymore, they’ve found hard evidence of crime. Balber said his client is a long time US citizen who speaks fluent Russian and has “never had any engagement with the Russian government in any capacity.” He was brought to Trump Jr’s meeting to serve as a translator.
This person could easily punch a hole through Trump Jr’s lies about the meeting. If there was indeed collusion during the meeting, as is strongly implied by the email chain that was released that resulted in the setting up of the meeting, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya’s claims about the meeting may turn out to be lies as well. And if this eighth person really has no ties to the Russian government, and is a long time citizen, perhaps he is trying to be a true patriot and report on the collusion he saw.
At minimum, this is the first character at the meeting who is independent enough from the Trump team, and Russia (by claim), that is likely outside the collusion and in a position to help take down and expose the Trump team’s collusion. The fact that he is cooperating, is an excellent sign.
Even more positive, is the fact that this man has remained unidentified. Last Friday, Adam Goldman at the New York Times, tweeted that they had learned the identity of the eighth man and were publishing it shortly. But since then, we’ve heard absolutely nothing from them.
We know that in the past, FBI investigators and the NSA have specifically requested that newspapers sit on or kill stories, if it would jeopardize the ongoing investigation or sources or methods (as the NSA did with the Intercept story on the hacking). It reasonably possible that someone reached out to the NYT and asked them not to publish because the identity of this eighth man is significant.
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