Russian lawyer charged by NY prosecutors

11 January, 2019, 12:43 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya speaks during an interview in Moscow Russia

A Russian lawyer who famously attended a meeting with top Trump campaign aides in 2016 has been charged in a separate obstruction of justice case.

The indictment notes that Veselnitskaya "was a Russian national and attorney" who advised "the defendants and claimants" in the case United States v. Prevezon Holdings.

Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya was charged with obstruction of justice by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York Tuesday.

You can read the indictment for yourself here.

That language in the indictment further cements Veselnitskaya's ties to the Russian government, which were also suggested in the original emails that served to line up the Trump Tower meeting.

A court filing Tuesday says former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared polling data during the 2016 presidential campaign with an associate accused of having ties to Russian intelligence and lied to federal investigators about it.

U.S. President Donald Trump has denied knowing about the 2016 meeting his oldest son Donald Trump Jr. and other campaign staff held at Trump Tower in June 2016 with a group of Russians.

That scheme was uncovered by the Russian accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who later died in jail and has become a cause célèbre of Russian anti-corruption activists.

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It was not immediately clear whether Veselnitskaya has retained a defense attorney. The U.S. government was seeking to recover millions of dollars' worth of property, much of it tied up in NY real estate, on the ground that it was connected to the scheme.

Although the filing does not say whether the polling information was public or what was done with it, it raises the possibility that Russian Federation might have used inside information from the Trump campaign as part of its effort to interfere with the election on Trump's behalf.

The U.S. attorney's office in NY sought millions of dollars from Prevezon as part of a civil case involving a massive money laundering scheme.

Veselnitskaya, according to the filing, worked closely with the Russian prosecutors as they rebuffed the US request, and sought to pin blame for the original tax fraud on a British-American investor named Bill Browder. A politically and financially damaging investigation, the case alleged that part of the proceeds from a $230 million tax refund fraud scheme ended up in New York City real estate.

In Tuesday's indictment, prosecutors claim Veselnitskaya submitted a document in the civil case against Prevezon she claimed was based on an independent analysis that supported the company.

When the USA government asked the Russian government for help in investigating the Prevezon case, the Russian government refused and sent over a memo that sought to exonerate Prevezon.

In a filing on January 8, Manafort's defense lawyers revealed that he shared Trump campaign polling data with a Russian-Ukrainian man whom USA intelligence suspect of being tied to Russian spy agencies.

It alleges the 43-year-old "secretly" worked with a Russian prosecutor to draft the response. Browder launched a campaign to have those allegedly involved in his death blacklisted by the U.S.

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