06:53 GMT +316 January 2019
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    Lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya during an interview

    Russian Lawyer Veselnitskaya Charged With Obstruction of Justice in US - Reports

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    A Russian lawyer has been accused of allegedly establishing ties between officials in Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Moscow, during the 2016 meeting in the Trump Tower.

    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.

    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.

    READ MORE: Trump Tells Mueller He Had No Knowledge of Trump Tower Meeting — Reports

    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".    

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    Russian Lawyer Veselnitskaya Denied US Temporary Immigration Status
    Tags:
    Money Laundering, obstruction of justice, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Sergei Magnitsky, United States, Russia
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