Russian Lawyer Had Ties to DNC, Anti-Trump Dossier
By Wanda Carruthers
President Donald Trump’s legal team suggested the meeting that took place between Donald Trump, Jr., and a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin may have been set up by opposition forces to try to create the appearance of impropriety, Circa reported.
Those responsible for arranging the meeting with Donald Trump, Jr., may have connections with Fusion GPS, a U.S. political firm with ties to former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, who produced a now-discredited dossier on Trump.
“We have learned from both our own investigation and public reports that the participants in the meeting misrepresented who they were and who they worked for,” said Mark Corallo, a spokesman for President Trump’s legal team.
“Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the President and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier,” he said.
“These developments raise serious issues as to exactly who authorized and participated in any effort by Russian nationals to influence our election in any manner,” Corallo added.
On June 9, 2016, Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman at the time, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, along with Donald Trump, Jr., met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower, two weeks after Trump secured the Republican nomination, The New York Times reported Saturday.
“After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton,” Donald Trump Jr. said, according to the Times.
“Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information,” Donald Trump, Jr., said, the Times reported.
The encounter lasted only about 20 minutes and the Trump team had no further contact with her.
Veselnitskaya is identified in court documents as a former Russian prosecutor and lawyer in Moscow who had been representing Russian businessman and Prevezon Holdings in a case against the U.S. department of Justice.
The law at issue in the Prevezon Holdings case was the Magnitsky Act, which punished Russian officials from entering the U.S. or using the American banking system due to the death of Russian Sergei Magnitsky, who had uncovered a money-laundering scheme.
The law also prevented Americans from adopting Russian babies. Veselnitskaya reportedly brought up the issue of the Magnitsky Act and Russian adoption in her meeting with Donald Trump, Jr.