Russian Lawyer Who Met Trump Jr. Hit With Charges

Natalia Veselnitskaya has been charged in an unrelated case
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 8, 2019 12:05 PM CST
Lawyer Who Met Trump Jr. Charged in Unrelated Case
In this April 22, 2018 file photo, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Moscow.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov, File)

A Russian lawyer who became a focal point of the investigation into whether there was collusion between Russians and President Trump's election campaign was charged with obstruction of justice Tuesday in an unrelated case in New York, the AP reports. Natalia Veselnitskaya was accused in an indictment of submitting deceptive declarations to a judge in a civil proceeding involving a Russian tax refund fraud scheme. Veselnitskaya attended a 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner that was described to Trump Jr. as part of a Russian government effort to help his father's campaign. Trump Jr. and Kushner have acknowledged attending the meeting but have said it amounted to nothing. Veselnitskaya is believed to be living in Russia.

The head of the New York office of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations division said Veselnitskaya "is now a wanted person in the United States for intentionally misleading US investigators." The investigation had to do with a real estate firm, Prevezon Holdings, and its role in an alleged $230 million dollar tax fraud scheme that was "perpetrated by a criminal organization that included in its ranks corrupt Russian officials," said the official, adding that the investigation "brought to light how Veselnitskaya secretly schemed with a senior Russian prosecutor to provide false information to US law enforcement in an attempt to influence the legal proceedings." The court case originated in September 2013.

(More Natalia Veselnitskaya stories.)

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