National Security

Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr. was in touch with top Russian prosecutor

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Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump campaign members, was in touch with the Russian prosecutor general’s office as part of her fight against a U.S. sanctions law, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The White House and President Trump’s eldest son have repeatedly said that Veselnitskaya was not working for the Russian government when she met with Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in June 2016.

Trump Jr. agreed to meet with Veselnitskaya after an intermediary, publicist Rob Goldstone, told him  the attorney had dirt on then-candidate Trump’s Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. He also told Trump Jr. that the information was “part of Russia and its government’s support for” his father.


But the attorney told The Wall Street Journal that she was in regular contact with the Russian prosecutor general’s office and with Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika himself, with whom she shared information about American hedge fund manager William Browder, who pushed for the passage of the sanctions law known as the Magnitsky Act. 

“I personally know the general prosecutor,” Veselnitskaya told The Wall Street Journal. “In the course of my investigation [about the fund manager], I shared information with him.”

The Russian prosecutor general’s office denied that Chaika had any role in Veselnitskaya’s meeting with the Trump campaign members, saying it “does not exchange information and does not conduct any meetings at the international level outside the framework regulated by international legal agreements and Russian procedural legislation.”

Veselnitskaya said she wanted to share allegations with the Trump campaign that an American financial firm that Browder worked with had dodged taxes in Russia and later gave money to Democrats in the U.S. 

Trump Jr., however, said his meeting with Veselnitskaya produced no information useful to the Trump campaign and called it a “waste of time.”

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Russia

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