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Russian Who Attended Trump Tower Meeting Charged With Obstruction of Justice
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=30101"><span class="small">Jon Swaine, Guardian UK</span></a>   
Tuesday, 08 January 2019 13:56

Swaine writes: "A Russian lawyer who met senior aides to Donald Trump in 2016 had previously 'secretly schemed' with the Russian official who was purportedly offering damaging information on Hillary Clinton, US authorities have alleged."

Russian lawyer Veselnitskaya speaks during an interview in Moscow. (photo: Thomson Reuters)
Russian lawyer Veselnitskaya speaks during an interview in Moscow. (photo: Thomson Reuters)


Russian Who Attended Trump Tower Meeting Charged With Obstruction of Justice

By Jon Swaine, Guardian UK

08 January 19


Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met Trump advisers in 2016, accused of fabricating evidence in separate money-laundering case

Russian lawyer who met senior aides to Donald Trump in 2016 had previously “secretly schemed” with the Russian official who was purportedly offering damaging information on Hillary Clinton, US authorities have alleged.

Natalia Veselnitskaya was on Tuesday accused of fabricating evidence in a US money-laundering case she was working on when she attended a now-notorious meeting at Trump Tower in New York in June 2016.

A criminal indictment unsealed by federal prosecutors in Manhattan said Veselnitskaya worked on the bogus evidence in 2014 with the office of Russia’s prosecutor general, Yury Chaika. She was charged with obstruction of justice.

The June 2016 meeting was convened after Trump’s son, Donald Jr, was told by a representative for well-connected Russians that Chaika could provide incriminating material on Clinton, their Democratic opponent, to help Trump’s campaign.

The meeting, which Donald Jr attended with the campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, has been closely examined by Robert Mueller, the special counsel, who is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and any coordination with members of Trump’s team.

Veselnitskaya’s obstruction charge relates to her work representing Prevezon Holdings, a Russian investment company. Prevezon was sued by the US government in New York for allegedly laundering part of $230m stolen by a Russian criminal network into upscale Manhattan condominiums.

Angel Melendez, a senior FBI official in New York, said on Tuesday: “Veselnitskaya secretly schemed with a senior Russian prosecutor to provide false information to US law enforcement in an attempt to influence the legal proceedings in the Southern District of New York.”

During the Prevezon case, Veselnitskaya cited the report of a supposedly independent investigation by Russian authorities, which she said exonerated her clients. In a declaration to court signed under penalty of perjury, Veselnitskaya claimed she had “gone to great lengths” to obtain the report.

In fact, US prosecutors said on Tuesday, Veselnitskaya secretly worked with Chaika’s office to draft and edit the report. Then Chaika’s office also helped Veselnitskaya file a phoney legal complaint against itself to make it appear she was obtaining the report through formal procedures, the indictment said.

Veselnitskaya allegedly inserted 29 paragraphs into a draft of the report she received from Chaika’s office on 1 August 2014. The indictment said many of these additions made it into the final report passed to the US by Russian authorities.

US authorities went on to allege that in June 2015, a prosecutor in Chaika’s office sent Veselnitskaya an email from his personal account containing a draft legal filing that she could use for her phoney complaint to Chaika’s office, in which she would pretend to demand the report she had helped to write.

The US justice department announced in May 2017 that Prevezon would pay a $5.9m settlement to halt the government’s legal action. No wrongdoing was admitted and Prevezon maintained its innocence.

The US attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey Berman, said in a statement that Veselnitskaya’s act “undermines the integrity of the judicial process” and threatened the enforcement of justice.

Berman said: “We take seriously our responsibility to protect the integrity of the judicial proceedings in this district, and we will not stand idly by while outside influences seek to corrupt and pervert that process.”

Melendez said Veselnitskaya was now “a wanted person” in the US, was “now on notice and will have to answer for her futile actions”.

Russian authorities are unlikely to cooperate with the US attempt to prosecute Veselnitskaya while she remains in her home country. She will, however, no longer be able to travel to the US without risking arrest.

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-8 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-08 14:25
This is almost funny -- it is so absurd. So "US authorities" cannot find anything illegal to charge her with regarding the meeting with Trump Jr at Trump Tower, so they go back to an earlier case and find something they question about the material she submitted to the court. This is on par with the Manafort "bank fraud" charge. Manafor applied to a loan. The bank was OK with the financial disclosure he submitted, but Mueller's Probers claimed he left off a few assets and charged him with fraud.

These are cases which only prove that Mueller has found nothing to substantial the original claim of a Trump-Russia collusion to rig the 2016 election.

Omitted here is the role of Fusion GPS in all the activities of the Russian lawyer. And if Mueller is interested in fraudulent document submitted to a US court, why not look at the FISA application and 3 renewals that were based on the Steele Dossier.
 
 
+1 # Robbee 2019-01-09 11:51
Quoting Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-08 14:25:
if Mueller is interested in fraudulent document submitted to a US court, why not look at the FISA application and 3 renewals that were based on the Steele Dossier.

- comrade? if you have evidence that contradicts the Steele Dossier, why don't you just say so? and what?

and if you have evidence that Manafort did not commit bank fraud, why don't you just say so? and what?

and if you have evidence that Veselnitskaya DID NOT secretly scheme with a senior Russian prosecutor to provide false information to US law enforcement, why don't you just say so? and what?

you wouldn't be trying to duck putin's accountability, would you, comrade?

cherchez putin?
 
 
0 # lfeuille 2019-01-09 13:07
You got it backwards. What's she's being charged with is real and serious. The meeting is bullshit.
 
 
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-10 09:49
Ife -- don't think so. Mueller and his surrogates are charging a lawyer for the kind of defense she presented. Lawyers confer with and woek with many others, even government officials, in the course of a case. And they have clients and contracts that have nothing to do with a particular case.

What Mueller is trying to do via his surrogate prosecutors is establish a connection between Veselnitskaya and Russian government officials. That has been the weak link in the Trump Tower meeting. The offer from MI6 asset Rob Goldstone was that there was Russian Dirt on Hillary from the Russian government, as if these were hacked emails from Hillary. There's never been a connection between anyone at the meeting and anyone in the Russian government. Now this indictment appears to make that case.

Still, the true linkages go to MI6 and Fusion GPS. Outside of the Trump campaign people, everyone in the room had a close link to Fusion GPS and MI6. Fusion has close links to the FBI and DOJ. The linkages simply don't go to the Russian government.

Nothing she's been charged with is serious. It is normal work for an attorney. And she will never see a trial. This indictment serves the function of a leak to the US news media.

We don't need to fall for cynical tricks like this. She won't be tried and Mueller knows this. If he really wanted to try her, he could have baited her into the US and then arrested her. By releasing the indictment, he guarantees she won't come here.
 
 
0 # Robbee 2019-01-10 14:55
Quoting Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-01-10 09:49:
If he really wanted to try her, he could have baited her into the US and then arrested her.

- pravda? comrade?

butina gets convicted and imprisoned?

then whelen gets arrested and imprisoned?

then putin allows v to fly to america?

so you believe putin woulda fallen for da ol bait and arrest? what a pushover putin must be? hero of the russian pushovers?

pravda? comrade?

why don't you get putin on the line and tell him what a sweet innocent he is? how he's far too carefree to run a country? how he should step down?

is this your new conspiracy theory? putin is too sweet to run a country? he conspires to hide his sweetness behind a veil of faux masculinity?

please introduce us to this sweet child? so we may know him better?
 
 
0 # Robbee 2019-01-11 09:44
lfeuille alert!

**note that v is a putinesque story that comrade dogs?

so if you have a question or comment for comrade?

if you file it here, whether comrade answers it or not, comrade reads and follows it?