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(THREAD) I found myself in a position today to do what Congress and Mueller weren't able to do—ask Emin Agalarov questions. Thanks to THE NEW YORK OBSERVER for agreeing to put to Emin 4 questions I recently tweeted out. Here are my thoughts on his answers. observer.com/2019/01/emin-a…
1/ Emin says that he told Trump he could meet Putin during the 2013 Miss Universe pageant not because he'd *ever* spoken to anyone in the Kremlin about the possibility but because it was a natural thing to say regarding such a big event.

Great!—because that was a trick question.
2/ The invitation Emin extended to Trump to meet Putin that I wanted to catch Emin in a lie about was a *different* one involving...wait for it...a birthday party. Emin's claim that he only would've thought he could get to Putin because it was the Miss Universe pageant was a lie.
3/ Emin extended the invitation to Trump for him to meet Putin at a birthday party through his agent, Rob Goldstone. That invitation underscores what Emin implicitly acknowledges to THE NEW YORK OBSERVER—that it'd be *crazy* to promise Putin at any event but an international one.
4/ And yet here was Emin promising a Putin appearance at a birthday party. So Emin saying he had no authority to ever promise Putin, and never sought any authority, *works* for the example he chose—the Miss Universe pageant—but *not* for the interesting event: the birthday party.
5/ The fact is, you don't promise a presidential candidate or the president-elect of the United States a meeting with Putin unless you can deliver—and you don't risk angering Putin by promising he'll attend *a birthday party* unless you *damn well know it's okay* via the Kremlin.
6/ Emin says, "It’s not like I could call President Putin and say, 'Hey, will you meet Mr. Trump?' It doesn’t work like that." And *yet*, Yury Chaika, the Prosecutor General of Russia, *was* able to call the Agalarovs and ask them to pass stolen documents to Trump in Trump Tower.
7/ I think it's clear that Emin has *no* intention of ever being honest about the relationship his family has with the Kremlin. Which brings me to the second interesting thing Emin said in response to my Twitter questions, on the subject of his relationship with the Crocus Group.
8/ For the sake of his musical career, Emin has not only sought to distance himself from the Kremlin (falsely) but also (equally falsely) from the Crocus Group—because it was this business entity that his father Aras used to enter into a Trump Tower Moscow deal with Donald Trump.
9/ It's not *just* that Emin used the plural first-person pronoun ("we") in speaking of the Crocus Group—and did so *6 times*, at least—it's *also* that he at one point in his answers refers to "somebody *else* at the company [Crocus Group]." (Emphasis supplied.) That's critical.
10/ Moreover, Emin says that he has a particular "jurisdiction" in the company—which I know Congress would love to talk to him about because we know he *directly* engaged in business negotiations with Trump, Trump Jr., Eric, and possibly Ivanka in at *least* 2013, 2014, and 2017.
11/ Any witness in a criminal case who's both cagey about his business and cagey about his connections to government and who—also—shuts down immediately a question on whether his ex-sister-in-law allegedly called him (on his ex-wife's say-so) a "spy" is going to arouse interest.
12/ It's tough to tell if Emin immediately ended his NEW YORK OBSERVER interview when asked about his ex-wife's allegations he's a Russian spy, but it certainly wasn't a good look for Emin either way—given that he'd already been less than candid about both the Kremlin and Crocus.
13/ On the absolutely critical question of whether, when, and why Trump signed a Letter of Intent with Crocus, Emin says, "I'm just not sure whether we signed. I don’t know why." How is someone in his position in the company not able to get—or unwilling to relay—this information?
14/ There's an inadvertent message to journalists in Emin's evasions—he says inquiries about the Trump-Agalarov Trump Tower Moscow are "irrelevant," as "the project never went through." Well, the Trump-Rozov tower "never went through" to the *exact same extent*—but we still care.
15/ The point is one I made yesterday: the tower deals aren't legally, politically and journalistically significant because they "went through"—in fact that question is only tangentially relevant to whether there's evidence of criminality, political scandal, or news in the deals.
16/ That Emin sees the danger in a deal that "never went through" is evidenced by him claiming to THE NEW YORK OBSERVER that he knows for *certain* a contract was never signed between Trump and Crocus—but is bewildered, confused, and unsure about whether a *Letter of Intent* was.
17/ Imagine the "jurisdiction" you'd have to have at the Crocus Group to *know* whether a contract was signed between two multi-billionaires but *not* whether a Letter of Intent was—especially when you previously told Forbes an LOI *was* signed and were *present* for the signing.
18/ And the fact that Emin says he *knows* that "somebody else" at Crocus was handling the Trump transaction means that either Emin can name the person for Mueller and/or Congress *or* he has it within his power to look internally within Crocus to determine the person's identity.
19/ So Emin created a cloud of suspicion and mystery in his answers to just *four questions* I provided. Imagine what would happen if he were in a pressure-filled situation being asked *scores* of questions by federal agents who know even more about all this than I do—much more.
20/ I've been saying it all week: media is wrong to say there was only the Trump-Rozov tower deal and that the Agalarov deal—in active talks through 2017—can be ignored. Emin's OBSERVER interview and refusal to enter the U.S. is more evidence of this. /end
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