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giftedviz.com January 19, 2019


Russian lawyer in Trump Tower meeting has ties to Kremlin

09 January 2019, 08:02 | Darnell Patrick

Natalia Veselnitskaya speaks to a journalist in Moscow Nov. 8 2016

Veselnitskaya speaks to a journalist in Moscow Nov. 8 2016

Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who in 2016 met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower, was charged on Tuesday in a separate case that showed her close ties to the Kremlin.

She has denied meddling in election issues.

It alleges that Veselnitskaya presented the court with exculpatory evidence that she said were findings by the Russian government.

In the meeting, Veselnitskaya sought to discuss USA sanctions against Russia, a policy staunchly opposed by Putin's government, and the Kremlin's response prohibiting Americans from adopting Russian children.

Mr Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, and top campaign aide Paul Manafort also attended the June 9, 2016, meeting. This indictment appears unrelated to that and was handed down by a grand jury in the Southern District of NY.

Major media outlets - not just in the United States - therefore made sure to include a "Trump Tower" reference in reporting on Veselnitskaya's indictment, which was filed on December 20 in the Southern District of NY and made public on Tuesday.

Prevezon settled the civil case in 2017 but balked at a negotiated payment. In the case, the government sought to prove that Veselnitskaya's clients had received and laundered a portion of the proceeds of a Russian tax refund fraud scheme involving corrupt Russian officials. Magnitsky - the namesake for the USA law - died in Russian prison after reportedly investigating tax fraud that affected a company belonging to financier William Browder. But a federal indictment returned in Manhattan seemed to confirm that Veselnitskaya had deep ties to senior Russian government officials.

TPM called a number listed for Veselnitskaya at a Russian law firm.

Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, Ms Veselnitskaya said she would "defend her professional honour" but declined to comment further.

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The Russian response appears to have accused Browder himself of perpetrating the fraud. Browder launched a campaign to have those allegedly involved in his death blacklisted by the U.S.

The companies that claimed they had been defrauded by Prevezon were owned by Hermitage Capital Management, whose CEO William Browder aided the government's case.

Browder went on to push for the passage of two laws: the 2012 Magnitsky Act, which penalized the Russian officials involved in Magnitsky's case; and the 2016 Global Magnitsky Act, which imposes sanctions on foreign individuals and entities for human rights abuses.

Veselnitskaya's legal work for Prevezon is also connected to another Trump Tower meeting participant, Rinat Akhmetshin.

It was not immediately clear whether Veselnitskaya has retained a defense attorney.

Veselnitskaya "is now a wanted person in the United States for intentionally misleading USA investigators", said Homeland Security investigator Angel Melendez.

Donald Trump Jr. has said he agreed to the meeting after being promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton, Trump's Democratic opponent in the 2016 election.

The case in question is unrelated to the Trump Tower meeting.



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