Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr. admits she's a Kremlin 'informant'

by Garry Watts April 29, 2018, 12:26
Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr. admits she's a Kremlin 'informant'

The lawyer who met with President Trump's oldest son and other top Trump campaign officials is now admitting that she is a Russian informant.

The previously undisclosed details about Ms. Veselnitskaya rekindle questions about who she was representing when she met with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and others at Trump Tower in Manhattan during the campaign.

"I am a lawyer, and I am an informant", Veselnitskaya told NBC correspondent Richard Engel in an interview that aired Friday.

The newly discovered communications between Veselnitskaya and the Russian government indicate that the lawyer held a level of influence within the Kremlin, undercutting her long-held insistence that she was merely a private attorney.

All these circumstances and denials cast Veselnitskaya as a woman willing to help her country in any way, even if it is to the detriment of the US government.

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who joined a controversial meeting with top officials of President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, now admits she has deeper ties to the Kremlin than her previous statements indicated.

The admission also comes despite testimony Veselnitskaya submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee in November, in which she claimed no connection to Russian President Vladimir Putin's government.

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Newly released e-mails from a Russian lawyer involved in a US money-laundering case showed the lawyer had close contact with officials from the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office, even as she portrayed herself as a private citizen.

Dossier published screen shots of what it said were emails about the case between Veselnitskaya and Sergei Bochkarev, head of the criminal investigation division of the prosecutor-general's office.

"Many things included here are from my documents, my personal documents", Veselnitskaya said.

"I operate independently of any governmental bodies", she told the committee. She could not immediately be reached for comment on the emails Friday.

It was previously reported that Rob Goldstone, a British music producer who set up the meeting between Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya, told Trump Jr. that the information the lawyer could provide was "part of Russian Federation and its government's support for Mr. Trump". The meeting, one focus of the special counsel investigation into Russia's election interference, was organized after an intermediary promised that Ms. Veselnitskaya would deliver documents that would incriminate Mrs. Clinton. The encounter took place after Donald Trump Jr. was told she had potentially incriminating information about Trump's election opponent, Hillary Clinton.

The email was sent by former campaign surrogate and British tabloid journalist Rob Goldstone, explaining the use of the English term for a prosecutor general.

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