Who Is Rhona Graff? Trump's Personal Secretary May Be Roped Into The Russia Investigation
Emails Donald Trump Jr. exchanged regarding a meeting with a Russian attorney offering the Trump campaign dirt on then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton may be leading investigators closer to President Donald Trump. According to a new report from ABC News, Congressional investigators reportedly want to question Rhona Graff, Trump's longtime personal secretary who has long been considered a gatekeeper to Trump.
As part of their probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and allegations of collusion with the Trump campaign, investigators have zeroed in on a series of emails exchanged by Trump Jr. and music publicist Rob Goldstone in June last year. These emails have reportedly sparked investigators' interest in Graff, a woman many have called "Trump's right hand."
In the emails that Trump Jr. released July 11 on Twitter, Goldstone notes a Kremlin attorney has "offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary" and offers to set up a meeting between Trump Jr. and Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya.
"I can also send this info to your father via Rhona, but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first," Goldstone wrote in his first email to Trump Jr. He refers to the information as "obviously very high level and sensitive" and "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."
Congress should ask Manafort, Kushner, Rhona Graff etc. to release their own Russia meeting emails ASAP, like Jr did. Transparency, right?— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) July 11, 2017
To be clear, it is not known whether Goldstone ever did reach out to Graff and she has not been accused of any wrongdoing. However, some congressional investigators have expressed a strong desire to speak with Graff to see if there is a possibility the president knew about Russia's efforts to aid his presidential campaign.
"The committee has cast and will continue to cast a wide net," Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr told ABC News, refraining from confirming or denying reports about Graff. But Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee, Reps. Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff, told ABC News they wanted to hear from everyone mentioned in Trump Jr.'s emails — including Graff.
According to ABC News, Graff has worked at Trump Tower for nearly 30 years. She is currently a senior vice president at the Trump Organization and, according to Politico, remains "a conduit for those who want to quietly offer advice, make personnel suggestions or get on the president's calendar when he's at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida" even though he's now working in (and through) the White House.