Russian lawyer in Trump Tower meeting charged with obstruction

Lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya during an interview

Russian Lawyer Veselnitskaya Charged With Obstruction of Justice in US- Reports Sputnik Evgeny Biyatov

Federal prosecutors in New York's Southern District said on Tuesday that Veselnitskaya submitted to the court an "intentionally misleading declaration in opposition to a government motion".

The indictment claims that Ms Veselnitskaya, representing a firm court up in the scandal, did "corruptly influence, obstruct and impede" the process of justice through her statements.

Natalya Veselnitskaya was accused in an indictment of submitting deceptive declarations to a judge in a civil proceeding involving a Russian tax refund fraud scheme. President Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort agreed to take a meeting with Veselnitskaya, her translator, a Russian lobbyist and music producer Rob Goldstone.

He said 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" a federal court in Manhattan. Magnitsky - the namesake for the US law - died in Russian prison after reportedly investigating tax fraud that affected a company belonging to financier William Browder. Browder has been convicted of tax fraud in Russian Federation, but has avoided extradition by campaigning in the West to brand Moscow a human rights violator over the death of his accountant, Sergey Magnitsky - after whom the far-reaching U.S. sanctions legislation was dubbed the Magnitsky Act. While this case doesn't seem directly related to the Trump Tower gathering, it does establish her connections with Russian government officials and other individuals who've been sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act. The son of a former Moscow regional transport minister, he was sole owner of Prevezon Holdings, which was named in the US indictment alleging that some proceeds from the tax fraud scheme were laundered through the purchase of New York City real estate.

Veselnitskaya is based in Moscow at the law firm Camerton Consulting. Magnitsky was then arrested and died in prison under suspicious circumstances. The case was settled in 2017, with Prevezon paying a $5.9 million fine without admitting any wrongdoing.

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Veselnitskaya was with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson on the morning before the Trump Tower meeting. Browder launched a campaign to have those allegedly involved in his death blacklisted by the U.S.

Browder went on to push for the passage of two laws: the 2012 Magnitsky Act, which penalized the Russian officials involved in Magnitsky's case; and the 2016 Global Magnitsky Act, which imposes sanctions on foreign individuals and entities for human rights abuses.

Both Fusion and Veselnitskaya were working for Prevezon in the NY case.

Natalia Veselnitskaya, 43, was among a group of Russians who met with top Trump campaign figures in June 2016 after an intermediary suggested they had incriminating information on Hillary Clinton.

She said in the questionnaire that she attended the meeting to lobby for a re-examination of the Magnitsky Act. In April 2018, however - just over a year after the Prevezon case was settled and closed - U.S. government propaganda outlet RFE/RL reported the existence of the emails, sourcing them to Dossier, an outfit run by Browder's fellow ex-oligarch and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

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