Russian lawyer who met Trump Jr. charged in unrelated case

Natalia Veselnitskay met with Donald Trump Jnr Jared Kushner and other members of the 2016 campaign team- Kommersant

Natalia Veselnitskay met with Donald Trump Jnr Jared Kushner and other members of the 2016 campaign team- KommersantMore

Veselnitskaya, who became a focal point of the investigation into whether there was collusion between Russians and U.S. President Donald Trump's election campaign, was charged with obstruction of justice on Tuesday in an unrelated case.

She is believed to be living in Russian Federation.

The indictment accuses Veselnitskaya of secretly collaborating on the drafting of a legal assistance response US prosecutors sought from the Russian government as part of the Prevezon case.

The criminal case relates to real estate firm Prevezon Holdings Ltd and its role in an alleged US$230 million tax-fraud scheme that federal officials say was "perpetrated by a criminal organization that included in its ranks corrupt Russian officials".

Natalia Veselnitskaya was charged with obstructing justice by filing a misleading statement in a money laundering case, which was settled in 2017.

You can read the indictment for yourself here.

In the indictment revealed on Tuesday, Ms Veselnitskaya's involvement in a separate incident - her work defending a company caught up in a money laundering scandal - was outlined in detail.

Veselnitskaya was also working with another entity involved in the Trump-Russia saga on the Prevezon case - Fusion GPS, a D.C. -based private intelligence firm that gained notoriety for commissioning the Steele dossier.

"Veselnitskaya's declaration presented supposed investigative findings by the Russian government - findings purportedly exonerating Veselnitskaya's clients - under the false pretence that these findings had been independently drafted by the Russian government", the indictment says. Browder has championed sanctions against Russia, accusing its officials of collaborating in the imprisonment that led to the death of his Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

Trump Jr. has acknowledged that he met with Veselnitskaya because he had been told she could offer damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.

The U.S. government was seeking to recover millions of dollars' worth of property, much of it tied up in NY real estate, on the ground that it was connected to the scheme.

U.S. President Donald Trump has denied knowing about the 2016 meeting his oldest son Donald Trump Jr. and other campaign staff held at Trump Tower in June 2016 with a group of Russians.

This is not the first time that Veselnitskaya has attracted the attention of US investigators. Yet, the USA government pushed back on that characterization.

"No, we do not know who it is, and, of course, we can not track the meetings of all Russian lawyers, both inside the country and overseas", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters at the time, when asked if her meeting at Trump Tower was coordinated with Russian authorities. In the meeting, Veselnitskaya lobbied against the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 law that placed sanctions against Russian human rights abusers.

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