Russian lawyer in Trump Tower meeting charged with obstruction


She attended a meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law, in June 2016 on the premise of offering "dirt" on...

Trump Jr. has acknowledged that he met with Veselnitskaya because he had been told she could offer damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. "Veselnitskaya is now on notice and will have to answer for her futile actions".

Louise Shelley, the director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center at George Mason University, who was due to serve as an expert witness for the prosecution in the Prevezon case, said she was unsurprised by the indictment against Veselnitskaya and said it was a prime example of how Russian officials are able to undermine the integrity of prosecutions that are potentially politically sensitive.

The charge was, at least on the surface, unrelated to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation in the 2016 election.

As U.S. officials in NY pursued the financial investigation, they asked Russian prosecutors for assistance. Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller's office, declined comment on the case.

It was not immediately clear whether Veselnitskaya has retained a defense attorney. Federal prosecutors have accused her of submitting to the court an "intentionally misleading declaration in opposition to a government motion" in regards to that case. In the wake of his death, the US passed a law in his name that brought sanctions against Russian oligarchs suspected of money laundering.

The son of a former Moscow regional transport minister, he was sole owner of Prevezon Holdings, which was named in the USA indictment alleging that some proceeds from the tax fraud scheme were laundered through the purchase of New York City real estate.

In 2013, United States prosecutors brought a civil lawsuit against the company that sought to recover millions of dollars' worth of NY real estate and other property on the grounds that it was tainted by money laundering. The money allegedly came from an elaborate scheme in which the Russian criminal organization stole the identities of companies and filed fake lawsuits to obtain refunds for losses that they never incurred.

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Veselnitskaya was retained to assist the defendants.

Federal prosecutors in NY said on Tuesday that Veselnitskaya and a senior Russian official drafted a bogus investigation report that she presented in court as supposed evidence that exonerated her client, Prevezon.

When the U.S. 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.

That company was Hermitage Capital, whose owner Bill Browder gave up his United States citizenship in 1998 to avoid paying taxes on billions he was making on shadowy business dealings in Russian Federation.

After Magnitsky discovered the alleged fraud, he was arrested and held for nearly a year in pretrial detention in Moscow, where he eventually died at age 37, the US indictment filed at the time alleges. Congress passed the Magnitsky Law in 2012 to target those allegedly involved in his arrest and death with financial sanctions.

The case does not relate to the infamous Trump Tower meeting.

Prevezon owner Denis Katsyv helped fund a lobbying effort carried out by Akhmetshin that sought to poke holes in Magnitsky's story.