Goldstone seems to have garbled things a bit; in the United Kingdom a Crown prosecutor is one that works for the Crown, i.e., a federal prosecutor. There’s no such position in Russia technically, but the analogue would be the top federal prosecutor of Russia, and that is Yury Chaika, the prosecutor-general of the Russian Federation. Goldstone was likely translating a foreign title into its local equivalent. Translated into American titles, Chaika could be referred to as Russia’s attorney general.
That loyalty has been rewarded amply. Chaika is part of the bloc of siloviki—or people allied with security services, literally the people who settle disputes through force—inside the Kremlin, as is Putin himself. Chaika has been protected from being pushed out by more powerful members of the clan, and Putin has willfully turned a blind eye as Chaika’s two adult sons have made a killing, accumulating hundreds of millions of dollars in business and choice government contracts. According to an investigation released by opposition politician Alexey Navalny in December 2015, the Chaika brothers used the protection afforded to them by their father’s office and the prosecutors he oversaw to rig state auctions of choice assets and extort whole businesses from people, including from one man who ended up strangled to death. (Though he is a politician, Navalny’s investigations are well-documented and thorough, and he has often filled the void left by the death of independent journalism in Russia. One opposition activist once described him to me as “the last investigative journalist in Russia.”) According to Navalny, the Chaika brothers then squirreled away their money in houses in Switzerland, where they obtained a residency permit, and in a luxury hotel in Greece.
Navalny’s investigation implicated the elder Chaika, as well, alleging that his deputy had done business with the Tsapok clan in southern Russia. The Tsapok clan was one of the most violent in Russia and, using protection from local prosecutors, literally raped and pillaged locals until a mass murder—the Tsapoks slaughtered 12 people in one house, including four children—shocked the country forced the Kremlin to intervene.
Chaika was central to the fusing of Russian organized crime and the siloviki, which has resulted in a kind of nationalization of extortion, racketeering, and other targeted violence. A thorough profile in the independent Russian news site Meduza alleges that Chaika’s ties to organized crime in Russia go back decades to when he was a prosecutor in eastern Siberia in the early 1990s. It was the era of privatizing the Soviet economy, and it was often violent, especially in Siberia. While Chaika spoke often about fighting “bandits,” the ones who operated in the areas he was responsible for were often mysteriously escaping prosecution. At the end of the decade, he came under scrutiny himself for two things: In one case, he was under government investigation for accepting a gold Longine watch worth thousands of dollars as a bribe, and in the second, $1 million of the money he asked the government to allot to build a local law school disappeared. (When a local newspaper reported on the government’s investigation, according to Meduza, their offices were raided by the special police, who planted pornography on the editor in chief. Chaika has never denied the substance of the profile; after other newspapers reported on the story, the police backed off the local editor.)
This is the man who made an oblique appearance in emails to Trump Jr. Natalia Veselnitskaya, the lawyer who conducted the meeting with Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort in Trump Tower last summer, is very close with the Chaika family, having gone to law school with the Chaika’s oldest son, Artem, according to a source familiar with the parties involved. And when Navalny’s expose of the Chaika family’s dealings broke, it was none other than Aras Agalarov—a Russian businessman and one of Russia’s richest men— who defended the Chaika family in a column in Russia’s biggest newspaper. Aras Agalarov is the person to whom Chaika, according to Trump Jr.’s emails, offered potentially damaging information on Clinton. And it’s Agalarov’s son, middling Russian pop star Emin Agalarov, who is also mentioned in the emails, and who was acquainted with the Trumps through his family’s role in setting up the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013.