Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign admits to being Kremlin informant

NOV. 4 2016 FILE

Veselnitskaya said in an interview with NBC a year ago that she received a phone call and was asked whether she had information on the Clinton campaign's finances: "I never knew who else would be attending the meeting, all I knew was that Donald Trump Jr. wanted to meet with me".

The previously undisclosed details about Ms. Veselnitskaya rekindle questions about who she was representing when she met with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and others at Trump Tower in Manhattan during the campaign. Veselnitskaya admitted to being hacked and told Russian news agency Interfax that people are trying to discredit her, and that she will be reporting the hack to Russian authorities.

But emails obtained by a former oil tycoon and vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin show Veselnitskaya worked closely with Chaika's office to help defend a real estate firm owned by a Russian businessman against Justice Department civil fraud charges, even though she said she was acting independently as an attorney on behalf of the firm, Prevezon Holdings.

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

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.

In a July 2017 interview with The Wall Street Journal, Veselnitskaya said she "personally" knows the prosecutor general.

Dossier published screen shots of what it said were emails about the case between Veselnitskaya and Sergei Bochkarev, head of the criminal investigation division of the prosecutor-general's office.

The Trump Tower meeting, which appeared to demonstrate the willingness of Trump campaign officials to coordinate with Russia in the election, has reportedly become a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian links to the 2016 campaign.

"If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer", Trump Jr. replied to Goldstone in one email.

The emails were obtained by Dossier, an organization set up by Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, a former tycoon who was stripped of his oil holdings, imprisoned and then exiled from his native Russian Federation. "I have no relationship with Mr. Chaika, his representatives and his institutions other than those related to my professional functions as a lawyer". He has emerged as a leading opponent of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russian Federation.

"Many things included here are from my documents, my personal documents", Veselnitskaya said.

But the e-mails, which were provided to RFE/RL, show her communicating with Sergei Bochkaryov, a top official in the office of Prosecutor-General Yury Chaika, about an official government response to a US legal request.

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