The anti-Trump liberals who seem determined to find evidence of “collusion” between the Russian government and the 2016 campaign of President Donald Trump have long keyed in on a 2016 meeting in Trump Tower involving Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian attorney named Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Recently uncovered emails obtained by a group devoted to opposing the Russian government appear to show that Veselnitskaya has close ties to Russian government officials, countering her claim that she works “independently” and met with Trump Jr. of her own accord, not on behalf of the Russian government.
In a lengthy report from The Associated Press, emails, legal documents and transcripts related to Veselnitskaya appear to show that she was a well-connected attorney that worked as a ghostwriter for high-level Russian lawyers and even received assistance from the Russian Interior Ministry on at least one of her cases.
The documents were obtained by a London-based investigation group known as the Dossier Center. Led by Russian opposition figure Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Dossier Center works to expose Russians who have benefited from corruption.
Veselnitskaya and others met with Trump Jr. and others at Trump Tower in New York City in June 2016, allegedly to dish “dirt” about Hillary Clinton obtained by Russia, though the “official” reason for the meeting was to discuss ending the U.S.-implemented Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russia and counter-ban on U.S. adoptions of Russian orphans.
The Russian attorney had previously denied working for the Russian government in any official capacity and cited her independence, but she had also admitted serving as an “informant” for the government on occasion and the documents would appear to show a semblance of ties to Russian authorities.
It is worth noting that the source of the materials obtained by the Dossier Center is unknown — Veselnitskaya has claimed her emails were hacked — as the group utilizes anonymous digital drop boxes, but the AP claimed to have authenticated and verified at least some of the documents they reviewed.
It should also be pointed out that there could be an underlying motive to the Dossier Center’s release of this information about Veselnitskaya, as the group is allied with ex-American British citizen Bill Browder, who lobbied on behalf of the same Magnitsky Act sanctions that Veselnitskaya is lobbying against.
Those two individuals have been engaged in something of a feud and, interestingly enough, the Democrat-aligned opposition research firm Fusion GPS played a role in aiding Veselnitskaya’s efforts at discrediting and undermining Browder.
Of course, Fusion GPS is the opposition research firm behind the questionable anti-Trump dossier that fueled that whole conspiratorial “collusion” narrative regarding Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.
The Russian attorney declined to respond to requests from the AP for comment on the materials obtained from the Dossier Center, and the Dossier Center themselves make no claim as to the authenticity of the materials.
This could ultimately prove bad for Trump Jr. and his father, but it could also just be another odd thread that is part of the unraveling narrative about Trump/Russia collusion that some increasingly suspect was a set up designed to make the Trump campaign look dirty.