The Plot Thickens

Russian Trump Tower Lawyer: ‘I Am an Informant’ for Kremlin

Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who notoriously met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower in June 2016—including Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort—has much closer ties to top Kremlin officials than was previously believed, The New York Times reported Friday. Emails obtained by an anti-Putin campaigner reveal that Veselnitskaya worked with Russia’s top legal office to thwart a U.S. Justice Department civil-fraud case against “a well-connected Russian firm.” The Trump Tower meeting is one focus of the special counsel investigation into Russia’s election interference, and was organized after a go-between promised Veselnitskaya—who previously claimed to be a private lawyer—would deliver documents that would incriminate Hillary Clinton. Additionally, in an interview to be broadcast Friday night by NBC News, Veselnitskaya acknowledges that she is not just a private lawyer but a source of information for a top Kremlin official, Yuri Y. Chaika, the prosecutor general. “I am a lawyer, and I am an informant,” she said. “Since 2013, I have been actively communicating with the office of the Russian prosecutor general.”