Report: Russian Lawyer Who Met With Trump Jr. Has Represented Russia’s Spy Agency

REUTERS/Kommersant Photo/Yury Martyanov

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met last June with Donald Trump Jr., has represented Russia’s domestic spy agency, the FSB, according to court documents reviewed by Reuters.

Veselnitskaya successfully represented FSB in property disputes in Moscow from 2005 to 2013, Reuters reports.

While there is no indication that Veselnitskaya is an employee of the Russian government, her past work for FSB, the successor to the Soviet KGB, is sure to stoke the interest of federal and congressional investigators looking into the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting.

Veselnitskaya was described as a “Russian government attorney” in a June 3, 2016, email sent to Trump Jr. offering up the Trump Tower meeting.

Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who knew Trump Jr., said that the lawyer wanted to provide derogatory information about Hillary Clinton. In the email, he said that the information originated with Russia’s “Crown Prosecutor,” an apparent reference to Yury Chaika, the chief prosecutor.

Since the existence of the meeting was revealed earlier this month, Veselnitskaya has acknowledged having contact with Chaika, who has a reputation of compiling blackmail materials, or kompromot, on political targets.

Veselnitskaya says that her goal in the meeting was to lobby the Trump campaign against the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 law that blacklists Russian businessmen accused of human rights abuses.

Veselnitskaya is an attorney for Denis Katsyv, a Russian businessman who potentially faced sanctions under the Magnitsky Act.

Last year, the lawyer helped form a Delaware-based non-profit called the Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative Foundation to lobby against Magnitsky. The group hired Rinat Akhmetshin to lobby some U.S. lawmakers against the law. Some U.S. officials believe that Akhmetshin, who also attended the Trump Tower meeting, is connected to Russia’s intelligence agencies.

Akhmetshin, who denies being a Kremlin spy, has extensive contacts with Washington, D.C. reporters and frequently provides them with opposition research on behalf of his clients.

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