Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Russian tied to Trump Tower meet indicted in separate US case

Russian tied to Trump Tower meet indicted in separate US case

Officials have confirmed Ms Veselnitskaya is now wanted by the US Attorney's Office in NY.

In Russia, Veselnitskaya told Rossiya 24 television on Tuesday that she only learned of the indictment from the media.

The meeting caused headaches for the White House and is a topic of inquiry by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his probe into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates in the 2016 presidential election.

Today special counsel spokesman Peter Carr declined to say if Mueller's team was involved in the Veselnitskaya case or if the office had referred the matter to prosecutors in NY.

Federal prosecutors in NY indicted Veselnitskaya for seeking to hamper a Justice Department investigation into an alleged money laundering operation that involved an elaborate Russian tax-fraud scheme and implicated high-level Kremlin officials. The case was settled in 2017, with Prevezon paying a $5.9 million fine without admitting any wrongdoing.

Magnitsky was then arrested and died in custody.

However, U.S. authorities have been investigating whether Manafort's prior work - mainly for pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians and business interests - may have helped influence Trump's policy positions on Russia.

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The allegation that Ms Veselnitskaya covertly worked with a Russian prosecutor in drafting a misleading statement to the court solidified the notion that Ms Veselnitskaya was an agent of the Kremlin, a former federal prosecutor said.

Russian prosecutors accuse Magnitsky of participating in the largest tax fraud in Russian history worth $200 million.

Now, American prosecutors allege that Veselnitskaya provided edits to that document, many of which were incorporated entirely.

She cooperated with a senior Russian prosecutor 'in secret'. Yet, the US government pushed back on that characterization. However, sharing details of the request and involving a defense attorney in the crafting of its response can undermine the prosecution's evidence and potentially put witnesses at risk.

According to the unsealed indictment, Veselnitskaya hid from US officials her role in manufacturing and producing information from the Russian government that allegedly exonerated her clients in United States v. Prevezon Holdings, 13-civ-6326. Was it about getting dirt on Hillary to help Trump? In a written questionnaire submitted to a Senate committee in 2017, she claimed that Trump Jr. asked her for evidence of illegal conduct by the Clinton Foundation, but Veselnitskaya said in the questionnaire that she had no such evidence.

"If it's what you say I love it", Trump Jr. replied.

Veselnitskaya has said in interviews that she has a working relationship with Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika and that they exchanged information during her lobbying efforts against the Magnitsky Act. "It's through our legal process, which is the heart of our society and our commitment to democracy", Shelley said.

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