Don Jr. May Be Sweating as Russian Lawyer Offers to Talk

NOV. 4 2016 FILE

Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya has disclosed that President Donald Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., signaled to her that the Trump administration would consider repealing the Magnitsky Act during their meeting in June 2016.

Veselnitskaya has claimed the tax information she was peddling at the Trump Tower meeting relates to the firm.

The lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, said in a 2 ½-hour interview in Moscow that she would tell these and other things to the Senate Judiciary Committee on condition that her answers be made public, something it hasn't agreed to.

This is the first time Veselnitskaya has offered details of her version of the June 2016 sit-down at Trump Tower.

Four months ago, the New York Times published a report that changed the trajectory of the Trump-Russia scandal in a rather dramatic way.

But in the email chain that leaked in July, Donald Trump Jr. was offered "official documents and information that would incriminate" Hillary Clinton and would be "very useful to your father", as part of the Russian "government's support for Mr. Trump".

Trump Jr. later said the discussion was about Russian adoptions.

Veselnitskaya said she went to the NY meeting to lobby against the so-called Magnitsky law that punishes Russian officials for the murder of a Russian tax accountant who accused the Kremlin of corruption. Since the meeting was revealed, a Trump foreign policy advisor, George Papadopoulos has pled guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his role in handling apparent Russian outreach to arrange a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Veselnitsakaya asserted that Trump Jr. told her "Looking ahead, if we come to power, we can return to this issue and think what to do about it".

Veselnitskaya also claimed that he wanted "financial documents showing that money that allegedly evaded US taxes had gone to Clinton's campaign", according to Bloomberg. "With a quid pro quo, however, there is a feasible argument to also be made that there was a conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by way of exchanging changes in US sanctions law for the documentation on Hillary Clinton".

In the Bloomberg interview, Veselnitskaya said she was willing to speak with congressional investigators if her testimony was public and said she was willing to testify to the Justice Department special counsel probe led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller. Ziff Brothers Investments LLC invested in Russian Federation with Browder using offshore entities, Veselnitskaya has said. Jared Kushner-the president's son-in-law and top adviser-left after a few minutes and Manafort appeared to have fallen asleep, she said.

The brothers had invested money in Russia through William Browder, whose Hermitage Capital fund had employed Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who died in 2009 while in prison. After the Act was passed in 2012, Russian Federation banned adoption from Russian Federation to the U.S.

Without "strong proof" that the government's denial was made "irrationally or in bad faith", the judge said there is no basis for him to interfere with a decision that sits squarely within the purview of the Executive Branch.

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