Can Anyone Find a Pattern?

Evan Vucci/AP

Let me highlight a few details from stories touching on June 2016, December 2016 and February 2017 …

June 2016

During the meeting, Akhmetshin said Veselnitskaya brought with her a plastic folder with printed-out documents that detailed what she believed was the flow of illicit funds to the Democratic National Committee. Veselnitskaya presented the contents of the documents to the Trump associates and suggested that making the information public could help the Trump campaign, he said …

Akhmetshin said he does not know if Veselnitskaya’s documents were provided by the Russian government. He said he thinks she left the materials with the Trump associates. It was unclear if she handed the documents to anyone in the room or simply left them behind, he said.

December 2016

Intercepts of Russian communications show Ambassador Sergey Kislyak said Kushner suggested setting up the secure backchannel and even proposed using communications equipment in stateside Russian diplomatic facilities, according to the report, which cited anonymous U.S. officials briefed on the intercepts.

Kislyak was taken aback by Kushner’s proposal to use Russian equipment, according to the Washington Post, and reported it to his superiors in Moscow in intercepted communications that U.S. officials later reviewed.

February 2017

As Allegra Kirkland explains here, back in early February, Cohen and mafia-linked Trump Organization associate Felix Sater met at the Loews Regency hotel in Manhattan with Andrii Artemenko, a Trumpish, pro-Russian Ukrainian parliamentarian to discuss a ‘peace plan’ for Ukraine. The story emerged in mid February and received a decent amount of attention. But key facts look quite different after what we learned during the consequential month of May.

Artemenko allegedly gave Cohen a package of paper documents to hand deliver to Michael Flynn. Cohen said he did so, though he later denied doing so and ran through several contradictory stories about what he did with the dossier before refusing to discuss it anymore. Almost certainly he hand delivered it just as Artemenko asked and as he said he did in the initial interviews.