What the cryptic notes Paul Manafort took on his iPhone during the Trump Tower meeting could mean

Win McNamee/Getty ImagesPaul Manafort.
  • Mysterious notes written by the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort were released by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.
  • Manafort jotted the notes down on his iPhone during a controversial June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer.
  • The notes were released as part of an 1,800-page document dump that included transcripts from congressional investigators’ interviews with Donald Trump Jr. and others who were at the meeting.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday released a page of mysterious notes that the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort jotted down during a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer.

The notes were part of some 1,800 pages of documents that included transcripts of interviews with several of the meetings’ attendees, including Donald Trump Jr., the music publicist Rod Goldstone, the Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, a translator named Anatoli Samochornov, and the Russian executive Ike Kaveladze.

Trump Jr. initially agreed to the meeting because Goldstone said a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, Trump’s election opponent. But at the meeting, Veselnitskaya is said to have ended up talking about Russian adoption policy.

Manafort gave over his notes to the Senate Intelligence Committee last July when he appeared before the panel to testify. He has since been indicted as part of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation on charges related to money laundering, tax fraud, and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

On Wednesday, the committee released them to the public.

Here’s what Manafort typed on his iPhone:

Paul manafort notesSenate Intelligence CommitteeThe notes Manafort took on his iPhone during a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer.

Here’s what some of the notes could mean:

‘Bill browder’

William Browder is a British citizen responsible for the 2012 Magnitsky Act, the US law that imposed sanctions designed to punish Russian officials suspected of human-rights abuses.

Browder was the largest foreign investor in Russia until he became a prominent Russia critic. He had retained a lawyer named Sergei Magnitsky who later died in a Moscow prison; he was said to have been mistreated and denied medical care.

‘Offshore – Cyprus’

According to testimony from Glenn Simpson, the cofounder of the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS, “Cyprus Offshore” likely referred to Browder’s hedge fund’s practice of setting up companies in Cyprus “to engage in inward investment into Russia.” Simpson added that it was “a common structure, both partially for tax reasons but also to have entities outside of Russia, you know, managing specific investments.”

‘Illici’

It’s unclear what “illici” refers to, but some have speculated that it was a typo of “illicit.”

‘Browder hired Joanna Glover’

Simpson said he believed this note was a mistaken reference to Juleanna Glover, a Republican lobbyist who worked on the Magnitsky Act.

‘Tied into Cheney’

This is most likely a reference to Glover’s previous position as an aide to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

‘Russian adoption by American families’

The adoption issue refers to a ban on Americans adopting Russian children as a retaliatory measure for passing the Magnitsky Act. The Russians accused Americans of violating the human rights of Russians after an adopted Russian child died in a hot car in Virginia in 2008.

The other notes

The remaining notes – “133m shares,” “Companies,” “Not invest – loan,” “Value in Cyprus as inter,” and “Active sponsors of RNC” – remain unclear.

Natasha Bertrand contributed reporting.

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