Dec 15, 2017 - Politics

The eighth person in Trump Jr.'s Russia meeting

Richard Drew / AP; Ike Kaveladze / Twitter

The Washington Post has identified the eighth person in the room for the Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer: Ike Kaveladze, a U.S. citizen who works as a vice president for the Crocus Group, the real estate firm owned by Russian Trump associate Aras Agalarov.

Why he was there: Kaveladze's lawyer told the Post he believed he would be acting as a translator during the meeting, but found that Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer, had brought her own. Kaveladze was also there as a representative for the Agalarov family.

One big revelation: Robert Mueller, the special counsel for the government's Russia probe, requested Kaveladze's identity from his attorney over the weekend — the first confirmation that Mueller is looking at the Trump Tower meeting.

What's next

Honoring Kobe Bryant: Sports stars, politicians and celebrities mourn NBA great

Kobe Bryant on court for the Los Angeles Lakers during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night, part of 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend at American Airlines Center in Dallas in February 2010. Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Sports stars, politicians and celebrities paid tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a California helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others on Saturday. He was 41.

What they're saying: Lakers great Shaquille O'Neal said in an Instagram post of his former teammate, "There's no words to express the pain I'm going through now with this tragic and sad moment of losing my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie. I love you brother and you will be missed."

Bolton alleges in book that Trump tied Ukraine aid to investigations

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton alleges in his forthcoming book that the president explicitly told him "he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens," the New York Times first reported.

Why this matters: The revelations present a dramatic 11th hour turn in Trump's Senate impeachment trial. They directly contradict Trump's claim that he never tied the hold-up of Ukrainian aid to his demands for investigations into his political opponent Joe Biden.

Impeachment: Then & now

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We are living in a measurably different political and media landscape than when the Senate acquitted President Bill Clinton of impeachment charges in 1999.

The big picture: These dynamics are setting the pace as President Trump’s legal team speeds through arguments to seek a fast acquittal.