Magnitsky Act agenda.The constant coverage of a meeting Donald Trump Jr. and other presidential associates had with a Russian lady last year isn’t going to stop for several weeks. And by the time it does, we’ll all be just a little bit dumber. Here’s an effort to provide a little clarity to the conversation.
The constant yammering from the press over Trump administration officials meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya ahead of the 2016 election has but one purpose: It’s an effort to solidify yet unconfirmed claims that the current president won the White House by directly enlisting the Kremlin’s help.
Still, the current narrative has the same lack of answers to the most basic journalistic questions.
Who is involved?
So far, we know that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort attended a meeting with Veselnitskaya at the urging of music producer and former tabloid journalist Rob Goldstone.
There’s been much examination of Veselnitskaya’s past since news of the meeting broke.
We know that she’s primarily a Russian lawyer, as reported by National Post:
Veselnitskaya spends most of her time practising law in Russia, but represents her countrymen’s interests in the United States. Last year, she flew to New York to represent Denis Katsyv, a Russian client and family friend, according to the Financial Times. Katsyv owns the investment firm Prevezon Holdings, which allegedly helped launder money linked to the $230 million tax fraud exposed by Russian account Sergei Magnitsky, The New York Times reported. The Russian whistleblower died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after being arrested and charged by some of the very officials he accused of malfeasance.
At the time of the fated meeting last summer, Veselnitskaya was reportedly in the U.S. to speak to any U.S. lawmakers who would listen about the The Magnitsky Act, which allows the U.S. government to penalize high-profile Russians it expects of human rights abuses.
Is, as the media claims, Veselnitskaya an official employee of the Kremlin?
There’s really no indication that she is, but Russia is a funny place. Still, for the media to provide a definitive ‘yes’ doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. When asked to comment about Veselnitskaya , Russian officials close to Vladimir Putin said they were unaware of her.
While we don’t know whether the lawyer interacted with top Russian officials. We know she interacted with some top officials in the U.S.
According to an ethics complaint filed by Sen. Chuck Grassley, the lawyer met with several members of Congress in attempting to further her Magnitsky Act agenda.
That means Trump Jr. is only one of may people who took a meeting with a foreigner looking for favors.
That Trump Jr. decided to take the meeting with a Russian lawyer is at the heart of the media’s “collusion” claims. In emails leading up to the meeting Goldstone claimed the the lawyer had damaging information on Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump Jr., after releasing the emails, said in a statement that Veselnitskaya provided no such information.
And Veselnitskaya says she had no such information.
So the what of the meeting, until someone provides information proving otherwise, was an effort to further her Magnitsky Act agenda.
The timing of the meeting is interesting, because Veselnitskaya had no business being in the country at the time.
Where did she get permission to be here?
From the Obama administration Department of Justice.
As The Hill reported:
The Russian lawyer who penetrated Donald Trump’s inner circle was initially cleared into the United States by the Justice Department under “extraordinary circumstances” before she embarked on a lobbying campaign last year that ensnared the president’s eldest son, members of Congress, journalists and State Department officials, according to court and Justice Department documents and interviews.
This revelation means it was the Obama Justice Department that enabled the newest and most intriguing figure in the Russia-Trump investigation to enter the country without a visa.
Why did she get the visa waiver?
Well, it’s beginning to look increasingly likely that someone close to the Obama adminstration wanted her to have an opportunity to have meetings with certain people during the campaign. And here’s something that’s pretty important to remember– if the lawyer had the say to get an extraordinary visa waiver from the Obama administration, why wouldn’t she have set her Trump Jr. meeting up herself?
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