Emails revealing the US President’s son was offered Russian information to “incriminate” Democratic rival Hillary Clinton were published by Donald Trump Jr himself on Tuesday.
According to investigative reporter Jared Yates Sexton, the bombshell disclosure is “everything people have been looking for” as proof of collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.
Mr Yates Sexton, who has branded the emails “the smoking gun”, told Sky News: “At the very, very least this shows an intention to collude if it doesn’t give us the parameters of exactly how this worked.”
The investigator described Mr Trump Jr’s decision to publish the emails on his Twitter account as a “very bizarre, odd situation” as it reveals “behaviour that’s unethical and troubling”.
The son of the president just released the smoking gun and the people are laughing about it on the news.
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) July 11, 2017
He said: “What comes next is more proof, more definition for the story, but this definitely seems to be the tip of the iceberg.”
The chain of emails published by the US President’s eldest son show Mr Trump Jr was last year offered “very high level and sensitive information” designed to damage Mrs Clinton.
Mr Trump Jr was told the information was “very useful” to his father and “part of Russia and its government’s support” for the Trump campaign.
Mr Yates Sexton, who is writing a book based on his reporting during the 2016 US election, said the emails showed the Trump camp “were perfectly fine with colluding with the Russians” and “actively engaged and actively sought it out”.
With the US President now facing huge questions in Washington, Mr Yates Sexton suggested the emails mean “we’re about to find” whether or not “there were quid pro quo agreements with the Russian government”.
He said it was “very far-fetched” Mr Trump would not have known about his son’s activities, with the US President a “hands on boss”.
The US President praised his son for his “transparency” over the emails, and Mr Trump Jr’s subsequent meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
In a statement on Twitter, Mr Trump Jr said he released the emails in order to be “totally transparent”.
He said “the woman” he met “had no information to provide and wanted to talk about adoption policy”, as well as Russian sanctions.
Mr Trump Jr has also mocked the “desperation” of the media and Democrats over the “nonsense meeting”.
Natalia Veselnitskaya has said she “never had compromising information” on Mrs Clinton and “could not have had”.
Moscow has also denied having any connection with her.
But Mr Yates Sexton claimed there is now a “redefining of what collusion is” from the Trump campaign.
He insisted Moscow’s denial of involvement “doesn’t matter” because “Donald Trump Jr was told this was an effort of the Russian government and he proceeded forward knowing that”.
Mr Yates Sexton claimed there’s “an entire team of Russian lawyers that have been under suspicion of colluding with the Trumps or at least communicating with them outside the proper channels”.