MOSCOW (Sputnik) — US media reported on Wednesday that Manafort’s house was searched in late July for tax documents and foreign banking records as part of the inquiry of US Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, which has been flatly denied by Moscow.
"First of all, who said that the search was related to my meeting? According to the media, special counsel [Mueller] is carrying out an investigation into Manafort’s finance deals. It is also known that [Mueller] is investigating into the alleged interference into the US presidential election. This is his work. I have not heard any statement from Mueller’s team to the media that those actions had any relation to my meeting with the son of the one of several then-[US presidential] Republican candidates," Veselnitskaya said.
The lawyer added that the interest of the media in Manafort’s participation in the meeting is caused by the fact that "at the moment of the meeting he had kept a certain position in Trump’s team."
US media reported in early July that Manafort had participated in a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya in June 2016. The Russian lawyer had allegedly promised to provide Trump Jr. with compromising information about Trump's then-election rival, Hillary Clinton. The claim has been denied by Veselnitskaya, the White House and the Kremlin.
Veselnitskaya also pointed out that information about the work of the grand jury involved in Mueller’s investigation must not be leaked to the media.
"The grand jury is often engaged in investigations of both the prosecutor’s office and the FBI. However it is a secret part of the investigation. It is preserved by the law and is not subject to disclosure until the open court hearing," Veselnitskaya said.
The lawyer explained that the grand jury works to get evidence of crimes and to decide whether there is basis for indictment.
"This is not what is published in the titles of the tabloid papers, as you can see. This contradicts entirely the essence of the work with the grand jury," Veselnitskaya added.
"From my point of view, it is manipulators and Cold War architects who must become objects of such investigations," Veselnitskaya pointed out.
US media reported that Mueller had impaneled a grand jury to investigate Russia's alleged interference in the election on August 3. US Senator Lindsey Graham said on Friday that Mueller should be held accountable for any leaks coming out of the grand jury process.