Russia

Infamous “Russian Lawyer” Confirms She’s a Spy

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

I think we already knew this, but now it's official.

Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, the so-called "Russian lawyer" who coordinated the meeting with Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort at Trump Tower during the 2016 election, has decided to stop pretending for some reason.

Emails show she has worked with Russia's equivalent of an attorney general to obstruct cases against Russian firms and she has spilled the truth to NBC News by saying "I am an informant."

But newly released emails show that in at least one instance two years earlier, the lawyer, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, worked hand in glove with Russia’s chief legal office to thwart a Justice Department civil fraud case against a well-connected Russian firm.

Ms. Veselnitskaya also appears to have recanted her earlier denials of Russian government ties. During an interview to be broadcast Friday by NBC News, she acknowledged that she was not merely a private lawyer but a source of information for a top Kremlin official, Yuri Y. Chaika, the prosecutor general.

“I am a lawyer, and I am an informant,” she said. “Since 2013, I have been actively communicating with the office of the Russian prosecutor general.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes released a report this morning that says they found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow but, as you know, the Intelligence Committee shut down their investigation earlier this year and didn't even interview or subpoena a number of key witnesses.

The Washington Post reported this afternoon that Donald Trump Jr. placed a private call before the meeting at Trump Tower with Veselnitskaya. Democrats on the Intelligence Committee believe the call was for his father, but Devin Nunes refused to examine the records.

“We sought to determine whether that number belonged to the president, because we also ascertained that then-candidate Trump used a blocked number,” Rep. Schiff said in an interview. “That would tell us whether Don Jr. sought his father’s permission to take the meeting, and [whether] that was the purpose of that call.”

“The simple thing to do to find out whether Don Jr. called his father would be to subpoena the phone records to determine whether that phone number belonged to his father,” Schiff continued. “We asked Republicans to subpoena the records and they refused. They didn’t want to know whether he had informed his father and sought his permission to take that meeting with the Russians.”

Ranking Democratic committee member Adam Schiff has speculated that although Nunes refused to examine the records in their investigation, special prosecutor Robert Mueller probably has those records.

If Democrats retake control of the House in November, Adam Schiff will become the Intelligence Committee chairman and we can finally have a full investigation.

Tell everyone you know to vote when the time comes.

  • muselet

    Natalia Veselnikskaya isn’t merely a private lawyer, she is connected to the office of the prosecutor general.

    In other news, water is wet.

    I wonder why exactly she decided to drop the pretense now. She could have gotten on Aeroflot SU 105 to Moscow at any point after the 2016 election, after all, secure in the knowledge that she’d done her patriotic duty.

    And Devin Nunes is a professional chump. I wonder what he was promised in exchange for not conducting any actual oversight.

    –alopecia

    • Badgerite

      That recusal of Nunes lasted, what? Three minutes, maybe.
      I wonder if Mueller has evidence of her contacts and the Kremlin knows it.

      • muselet

        Three minutes? More like thirty seconds.

        Again, I can’t fathom why she decided now was the right time to announce herself as, effectively, a spy. Scampering back to Moscow and then announcing makes more sense to me (it would make the глупые американцы look particularly bad, as well). And I’d be very surprised if Robert Mueller doesn’t know everything about her and her contacts with all the various people around Donald Trump.

        –alopecia

        • Badgerite

          Whatever the motivation, she had to have Putin’s sign off on it, don’t you think? That would make it even more of a question mark.

          • muselet

            Vladimir Putin’s fingerprints are all over this story, from beginning to end. Guaranteed, he approved—or ordered—Natalia Veselnitskaya’s outing herself.

            Maybe Putin is sending Donald Trump a message: “I own you.” Or he’s needling American investigators, up to and including Robert Mueller.

            It is a puzzlement.

            –alopecia

          • Putin’s goal has always been to weaken us. He gave her permission to tell the truth because it will spur on the Mueller investigation and it will so doubt as to Trump’s guilt in the American people’s minds. And no matter what happens, whether we impeach him or not, it will distract us and further divide us. Putin is simply sewing more chaos for us and while we’re busy dealing with that internal chaos he will be trying to regain the former glory of the USSR.

          • ninjaf

            Plus, it has the added benefit of reminding the Trumps who own them.

  • ninjaf

    Shorter Republicans: “We don’t even want to take the bare minimum of steps to conduct a real investigation because we’re already pretty sure of the truth and would rather not shed any light on it.”

    Ranking Democratic committee member Adam Schiff has speculated that although Nunes refused to examine the records in their investigation, special prosecutor Robert Mueller probably has those records.

    You’re damned right they do. This is kindergarten level investigation stuff. This was probably a task they farmed out to a student at the academy.