U.S. Department of Justice
Attorney Work Product // May Contain Material Protected Under Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)
With no response forthcoming, Foresman twice sent reminders to Graff—first on April 26 and again on April 30, 2016. Graff sent an apology to Foresman and forwarded his April 26 email (as well as his initial March 2016 email) to Lewandowski. On May 2, 2016, Graff forwarded Foresman's April 30 email—which suggested an alternative meeting with Donald Trump Jr. or Eric Trump so that Foresman could convey to them information that "should be conveyed to [the candidate] personally or [to] someone [the candidate] absolutely trusts"—to policy advisor Stephen Miller.
No communications or other evidence obtained by the Office indicate that the Trump Campaign learned that Foresman was reaching out to invite the candidate to the Forum or that the Campaign otherwise followed up with Foresman until after the election, when he interacted with the Transition Team as he pursued a possible position in the incoming Administration. When interviewed by the Office, Foresman denied that the specific "approach" from "senior Kremlin officials" noted in his March 31, 2016 email was anything other than Kobyakov's invitation to Roscongress. According to Foresman, the "concrete things" he referenced in the same email were a combination of the invitation itself, Foresman's personal perspectives on the invitation and Russia policy in general, and details of a Ukraine plan supported by a U.S. think tank (EastWest Institute). Foresman told the Office that Kobyakov had extended similar invitations through him to another Republican presidential candidate and one other politician. Foresman also said that Kobyakov had asked Foresman to invite Trump to speak after that other presidential candidate withdrew from the race and the other politician's participation did not work out. Finally, Foresman claimed to have no plans to establish a back channel involving Trump, stating the reference to his involvement in the Bush-Putin back channel was meant to burnish his credentials to the Campaign. Foresman commented that he had not recognized any of the experts announced as Trump's foreign policy team in March 2016, and wanted to secure an in-person meeting with the candidate to share his professional background and policy views, including that Trump should decline Kobyakov's invitation to speak at the Forum.
2. George Papadopoulos
George Papadopoulos was a foreign policy advisor to the Trump Campaign from March
- See TRUMPORG_16_00137 (4/26/16 Email, Foresman to Graff); TRUMPORG_16_00141 (4/30/16 Email, Foresman to Graff).
- See TRUMPORG_ 16 00139 (4/27/16 Email, Graff to Foresman); TRUMPORG_16_00137 (4/27/16 Email, Graff to Lewandowski).
- TRUMPORG_16_00142 (5/2/16 Email, Graff to S. Miller); see also TRUMPORG_16_00143 (5/2/16 Email, Graff to S. Miller) (forwarding March 2016 email from Foresman).
- Foresman's contacts during the transition period are discussed further in Volume I, Section IV.B.3, infra.
- Foresman 10/17/18 302, at 4.
- Foresman 10/17/18 302, at 8-9.