Russian who promised Clinton dirt to Team Trump has deep Kremlin ties
The Russian lawyer who huddled with Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner at a Trump Tower sitdown in June 2016 after promising to deliver dirt on Hillary Clinton has deeper ties to the Kremlin than she has admitted, a new report said Friday.
Natalia Veselnitskaya — who had portrayed herself as a private lawyer — worked closely with the office of Russia’s top prosecutor to stop a US Justice Department civil fraud case against a Kremlin-connected Russian firm, the New York Times reported, citing newly released emails.
Veselnitskaya also contradicted her earlier denials of Russian government ties during an interview that will be broadcast Friday by NBC News.
“I am a lawyer, and I am an informant,” she said.
“Since 2013, I have been actively communicating with the office of the Russian prosecutor general,” she told the network, referring to a top Kremlin official, Yuri Y. Chaika, the country’s prosecutor general.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is scrutinizing the meeting, which was also attended by others, including a former Russian intelligence officer and a pal of Trump Jr.’s whose Azeri oligarch father is tight with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Times reported that the emails were obtained by Dossier, an organization set up by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an anti-Putin former tycoon who was stripped of his oil holdings, jailed and exiled from Russia.
The email exchanges are about Chaika’s response to a request from the feds in 2014 for help with a civil fraud case against a real estate firm, Prevezon Holdings, and its owner, Denis P. Katsyv, a well-connected Russian businessman, the paper reported.
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