The Russia-Trump story accelerated this week as it was revealed that Don Jr.’s now infamous June 9 meeting at Trump Tower had little to do with adoptions, as he first claimed. Instead, he expected to meet a “Russian government attorney” who possibly had “very high level” and “ultra sensitive” information that could incriminate Hillary Clinton and that was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” as his own emails indicate. Details about the meeting and the events surrounding it are still unknown, especially as the White House continues to deny and obfuscate, but a clearer picture is coming into focus. We now have a much better idea of who was really in the room, who helped set it up, and perhaps what was discussed.

To help readers sort through the latest, and get prepared for whatever comes next, we’ve compiled and organized the week’s news surrounding this particular moment in the Russia investigation.


The Basics: What happened?

Russian Dirt on Clinton? ‘I Love It,’ Donald Trump Jr. Said by Jo Becker, Matt Apuzzo, and Adam Goldman

The New York Times


Read the Emails on Donald Trump Jr.’s Russia Meeting

The New York Times


Russian lawyer: Trump aides wanted info ‘so badly’ by David Wright



Recreating June 9: A very consequential day in the 2016 campaign by Dan Merica



Who was in the room?

We now have information that there were at least eight people in the room for the June 9 meeting, including Rob Goldstone, who helped facilitate the meeting, an unnamed translator, and “a representative of the Russian family who had asked Goldstone to set up the meeting,” CNN reported July 14. 


Don Jr.

Donald Trump Jr. tells Sean Hannity: ‘In retrospect I probably would have done things a little differently’

Fox News


Trump Jr. attorney: He ‘did nothing wrong’ by meeting with Russian lawyer by Nolan D. McCaskill



Trump calls son ‘high-quality person’ amid Russian lawyer scandal by Matthew Nussbaum



Donald Trump Jr.’s ever-shifting excuses on Russia: a clear timeline by Dara Lind



Grassley to send Trump Jr. letter asking him to testify by Manu Raju



Jared Kushner

Kushner under fire for role in meeting after Trump Jr. email release by Zachary Cohen



Kushner pushed for more aggressive defense of Trump Jr. meeting by Tara Palmeri



Jared Kushner added more than 100 names to his list of foreign contacts in updated security clearance forms by Eliza Relman

Business Insider


Paul Manafort

Senate Judiciary to call Manafort to discuss Trump Jr. email chain by Seung Min Kim and Austin Wright



Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort Registers As A Foreign Agent by Jim Zarroli



Natalia Veselnitskaya

Natalia Veselnitskaya, Lawyer Who Met Trump Jr., Seen as Fearsome Moscow Insider by Neil MacFarquhar and Andrew E. Kramer

The New York Times


Donald Trump Jr.’s Russian Connection Has Ties to Former Kremlin Spies by Lachlan Markay

The Daily Beast


Russian Lawyer Who Met Trump Jr. Saw a Clinton Scandal in Tax Inquiry by David Kocieniewski, Greg Farrell, Peter Robison and Bob Van Voris



Democrats Ask DOJ About Settlement Involving Trump-Linked Lawyer by Billy House



Rinat Akhmetshin

Former Soviet Counter Intelligence Officer at Meeting With Donald Trump Jr. and Russian Lawyer by Ken Dilanian, Natasha Lebedeva, and Hallie Jackson

NBC News


Russian-American lobbyist says he was in Trump son’s meeting by Desmond Butler



Trump Team Met Russian Accused of International Hacking Conspiracy by Kevin Poulsen, Nico Hines and Katie Zavadski

The Daily Beast


Background characters

There are a handful of people who reportedly helped facilitate the meeting and that are mentioned in the emails Don Jr. exchanged with the intermediary, Rob Goldstone.


Rob Goldstone

Inside the Semi-Secret Life of Rob Goldstone, the Playboy Who Could Bring Down Trump by Gideon Resnick and Kelly Weil

The Daily Beast


Rob Goldstone: who is the man who set up Trump Jr’s meeting with a Russian lawyer? By Jon Swaine and David Smith

The Guardian


Aras Agalarov

Exclusive: Video shows Trump with associates tied to email controversy



Trump has deep ties to Putin-connected billionaire who offered dirt on Hillary by Steve Reilly and Oren Dorell

USA Today


Emin Agalarov

The pop star at the center of the latest Russia controversy

The Washington Post


How a Pageant Led to a Trump Son’s Meeting With a Russian Lawyer by Megan Twohey and Steve Eder

The New York Times


Yury Chaika

What the Heck Is a Russian ‘Crown Prosecutor’? by Julia Ioffe

The Atlantic


Did Yuri Chaika, Russia’s top prosecutor, want to help Donald Trump? by Max Seddon

Financial Times


Was Yury Chaika, a Putin Loyalist Accused of Corruption, Behind the Don Jr. Meeting? by Katie Zavadski

The Daily Beast


Rhona Graff

Who is Rhona mentioned in Donald Trump Jr.’s emails? By Angelica LaVito



What did they talk about?

When the Kremlin Says ‘Adoptions,’ It Means ‘Sanctions’ by Amanda Taub

The New York Times


There’s a very specific reason why the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr. wanted to talk about adopting babies by Natasha Bertrand

Business Insider


Donald Trump Jr welcomed offer of Russian help to damage Clinton by Demetri Sevastopulo and David J Lynch in Washington and Max Seddon

Financial Times


What did the president know when (an evolving story)?

White House: Trump didn’t know about his son’s meeting with Russian lawyer by Dan Merica



Exclusive: Trump says he does not fault son for meeting Russian lawyer by Steve Holland



Excerpts of transcripts between Trump and press on Air Force One



Trump lawyer: President didn’t see email until Trump Jr. released it by Eli Watkins



Russian Officials Overheard Discussing Trump Associates Before Campaign Began by Shane Harris

The Wall Street Journal


Other Trump-Russia stories not to be missed this week:

Peter W. Smith, GOP operative who sought Clinton’s emails from Russian hackers, committed suicide, records show by Katherine Skiba, David Heinzmann and Todd Lighty

Chicago Tribune


Trump-Russia investigators probe Jared Kushner-run digital operation by Peter Stone and Greg Gordon

McClatchy Washington Bureau


Image: Ethan Miller/Getty