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Lazaro Gamio / Axios

NBC News' Ken Dilanian and Nathasha Lebedeva report this morning: "The Russian lawyer who met with the Trump team after a promise of compromising material on Hillary Clinton was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist."

  • They did not name that lobbyist, who they report is a former Soviet counter-intelligence officer. They also add that the lobbyist is suspected of maintaining ties to Russian intelligence, per their sources in U.S. government.
  • "Veselnitskaya acknowledged to NBC News that she was accompanied by at least one other man, though she declined to identify him."
  • Why it matters: Matt Miller, an MSNBC contributor and former Obama Justice Department official, tells Axios' Mike Allen: "This is important: means there is someone [Russia probe special counsel Robert] Mueller can subpoena who is not part of the Trump family/staff to find out what happened. He probably couldn't get his hands on the Russian lawyer, but he can get his hands on this person."

Then the wrinkle: NBC's Hallie Jackson spoke with Trump Jr. lawyer Alan Futerfas.

He told her:

  • "The person was described as a friend of Emin [Agalarov]'s and maybe as a friend of Natalia [Veselnitskaya]'s."
  • "He is a U.S. citizen. He told me specifically he was not working for the Russian government, and in fact laughed when I asked him that question."
  • Futerfas claimed Trump Jr. was not aware of the man's background, although "for the purpose of security or otherwise, the names were reviewed."
  • "I have absolutely no concerns about what was said in that meeting."

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

7 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

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