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Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr. says she is an informant

Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr. says she is an informant

The Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, said in an NBC News interview that aired Friday that she is both a lawyer and "an informant" after newly surfaced emails indicated she once worked with Russia's chief legal office in an attempt to thwart a request from the Justice Department.

Veselnitskaya is a well-connected Moscow lawyer, but the extent of her government ties has been unclear.

In June 2016, Veselnitskaya met at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, and Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, among others.

Dossier, which provides information about officials and business leaders it considers part of the "Kremlin political group", said Friday it had been sent a series of emails from 2014 that show Veselnitskaya set out strategies for responding to a United States request for assistance in a money-laundering case involving her client.

The June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower is an area of inquiry in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether anyone from the Trump campaign colluded with Russians to meddle in the election.

"I am a lawyer, and I am an informant", she said.

Trump Jr. initially claimed the sit-down in his father's Fifth Avenue tower was about Russian adoptions, before tweeting out emails that showed he was aware Russians were offering dirt on Clinton.

Senate Intelligence Committee investigators, who are looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign interviewed Veselnitskaya in Berlin recently, according to the AP.




"I operate independently of any governmental bodies", she told the committee.

"Since 2013, I have been actively communicating with the office of the Russian prosecutor-general", Veselnitskaya was quoted as saying.

Veselnitskaya's comments to NBC News' Richard Engel came after he showed her emails obtained by an organization founded by Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, a former Russian oil tycoon and opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the Times. "She's a spy", he said. She told the Russian news agency Interfax on Wednesday that her email accounts were hacked this year by people determined to discredit her, and that she would report the hack to Russian authorities.

Veselnitskaya disclosed that she was a "source of information" for Russian prosecutor general Yuri Chaika, a close ally of Putin.

Veselnitskaya has previously told The Wall Street Journal that she exchanged information with Chaika during her lobbying efforts against the Magnitsky Act, a law that sanctions Russians accused of violating human rights.

The encounter at Trump Tower in NY took place after Donald Trump Jr. was told the Russian lawyer had potentially incriminating information about Trump's election opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Goldstone told Donald Trump Jr. that "the crown prosecutor of Russia" was offering "to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russian Federation and would be very useful to your father".

Putin nominated Chaika to serve as prosecutor general in 2006, and he has served in that position ever since.

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