Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer who met with officials of Trump's presidential campaign in Trump Tower in 2016, was charged by federal prosecutors in New York with obstruction of justice on 8 January. According to the published court documents, she attempted to sabotage the Justice Department's investigation into a case of money laundering by Prevezon Holdings.
🚨 MAJOR: Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian attorney in the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, charged with obstruction of justice in the Prevezon case.— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) January 8, 2019
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said she fabricated evidence. pic.twitter.com/3ppojsFo9Q
She is indicted for deliberately presenting fabricated evidence to the court, leading to her clients being exonerated. Prosecutors claim that the evidence, which was believed to have been drafted by the Russian authorities, was actually fabricated by Veselnitskaya, who had ties to a senior Russian prosecutor allegedly responsible for drafting the papers.
"Fabricating evidence — submitting false and deceptive declarations to a federal judge — in an attempt to affect the outcome of pending litigation, not only undermines the integrity of the judicial process, but it threatens the ability of our courts to ensure that justice is done," Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Bernman said.
As a result of committing the offense, Veselnitskaya is ordered to forfeit all property and if proven guilty of obstruction of justice faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.
Veselnitskaya's client, Prevezon Holdings, was suspected of laundering the money obtained by means of a tax refund scheme in Russia.
Donald Trump, Jr. met with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in New York City in 2016. He said that the conversation was focused on the issue of US nationals adopting Russian children and the Magnitsky Act. However, the Democrats accused Trump's team of coordinating the presidential campaign with Russia, claiming that Veselnitskaya was a Kremlin lawyer.
Veselnitskaya herself denied the allegations and confirmed that she had provided Trump Jr. with information about the Magnitsky case. She also rejected claims about her being a Kremlin lawyer, pointing out that she was "more than willing, to share the information" on Magnitsky with the US Congress, but that didn't make her a "US Congress lawyer".