Donald Trump Jr. should be “very concerned,” about secret wiretaps by Spanish police that include conversations by Alexander Torshin, a deputy governor of Russia’s central bank, a top Spanish prosecutor claimed Friday.
Why should he be concerned?
The FBI asked for and received copies of the conversations, according to Yahoo News.
Torshin is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also has ties to some U.S. lawmakers and the National Rifle Association. In 2016, the NRA helped him get a meeting with Trump, Jr., during its annual convention, according to the report.
Jose Grinda, a Spanish prosecutor, told Yahoo News the FBI requested and received wiretapped conversations between Torshin and Alexander Romanov, a convicted Russian money launderer.
“Just a few months ago, the wiretaps of these telephone conversations were given to the FBI,” Grinda said said in response to a question from Yahoo News during a talk he gave at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington.
He did not indicate why the FBI requested the information, the report stated.
Grinda also said Donald Trump, Jr., should be concerned about the tapes.
According to the report, Torshin may be a part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. That investigation includes whether Moscow conspired with the Trump campaign.
Torshin and other Russian oligarchs and political figures were sanctioned in April by the U.S. for alleged “ongoing and increasingly brazen malign” activity.
Torshin is a regular NRA convention attendee, and a member of the group, according to Yahoo News. He tried but did not succeed in setting up a meeting between Putin and Donald Trump when he was seeking election, according to Yahoo News.
Torshin did meet briefly with Trump Jr. at a private dinner in Louisville, Kentucky, during the May 2016 NRA annual convention, the report stated.
In 2017, Torshin was scheduled to meet with President Trump during a National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, but the National Security Council canceled the meeting.
Why are Spanish police involved?
Spanish police tried to arrest Torshin in 2013 because he was expected to travel to the Spanish island of Mallocora to attend the birthday party of Romanov, the convicted Russian money launderer.
The police planned to arrest Torshin as part of Grina's probe into Russian organized crime and money laundering. But Torshin never arrived and was not arrested.