Russian lawyer at Trump Tower worked with Kremlin

An organization established by an exiled Russian tycoon says it has obtained emails showing collaboration between Russian government officials and the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump 2016.

The newly discovered communications between Veselnitskaya and the Russian government indicate that the lawyer held a level of influence within the Kremlin, undercutting her long-held insistence that she was merely a private attorney.

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

The screening, at Washington's Newseum, happened on June 13, 2016, four days after Veselnitskaya attended a meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, and other officials from Trump's election campaign.

"I operate independently of any governmental bodies", she wrote in a November statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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 Times said that the Russian prosecutor general's office did not respond to requests for comment and that Veselnitskaya said she would respond in two weeks.

The Times reported that Natalia Veselnitskaya detailed in an interview with NBC News, set to air Friday, her previously undisclosed relationship with Yuri Chaika, Russia's prosecutor general.

Trump Jr. has said the meeting was unproductive and that instead of providing dirt on Clinton, Veselnitskaya tried to lobby the Trump campaign on repealing 2012 sanctions.

She said in a letter to a U.S. Senate committee previous year that she "operate [s] independently of any government bodies".

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's Russian Federation investigation has reportedly focused on the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan and alternating narratives related to the sit-down.

The relationship between Veselnitskaya and Chaika's office also backs up a June 2016 email to Trump Jr. that claimed the "crown prosecutor of Russia" wanted to get information about Clinton to Trump's campaign.

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 USA legal request.

Dossier is an arm of tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

On Saturday, a CNN panel discussing the revelation got heated after guests started talking about just how shocking it is that the campaign team for an American presidential candidate met with someone tied to a foreign power to discuss getting dirt on an opponent, as the younger Trump admitted nearly a year ago.

  • Joey Payne