aside How Many More Lies About Russian Connections And Meetings, Can The Trump Family Tell?

The following report by the NY Times is a big deal. It details a meeting between the Trump family members with a Russian attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who is a very well-known Kremlin operative charged with spearheading a campaign to do away with the Magnitsky Act. Because of her history, it is just not feasible that she was interacting with the Trump family without regards to this act, and there is no way that anyone could reasonably buy excuses that this contact was innocent or accidental. There is nothing innocuous about this woman.

Image result for photos of Sergei Magnitsky
Sergei Magnitsky

Background:

As per Wikipedia, “The Magnitsky Act, formally known as the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012, is a bipartisan bill passed by the US Congress and President Obama in November–December 2012, intending to punish Russian officials responsible for the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow prison in 2009.”

“In 2009, Russian lawyer and auditor Sergei Magnitsky died in a Moscow prison after investigating fraud involving Russian tax officials. While in prison, Magnitsky developed gall stones, pancreatitis and calculous cholecystitis and was refused medical treatment for months. Finally, after almost a year of imprisonment and on the verge of death, Magnitsky was transferred to a Moscow hospital. There he was greeted not by a doctor but by a number of Russian OMON who bludgeoned him to death.

Related image
Sergei Magnitsky

Image result for photos of Sergei Magnitsky“A Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, whose clients include Russian “state-owned businesses” and Petr Katsyv’s son, Denis Katsyv. The latter owns Prevezon Holdings, an investment firm and the former is the “vice president of the state-owned Russian Railways and a former deputy governor of the Moscow region”. Veselnitskaya is known for leading a “multi-pronged” attack against “the Magnitsky Act, which provoked a Cold War-style, tit-for-tat row with the Kremlin when President Barack Obama signed it into law in 2012.”

Image result for photos of Sergei Magnitsky“Veselnitskaya’s campaign included an unsuccessful attempt in Washington to repeal the Act and to “keep Mr. Magnitsky’s name off the Law. She was “also deeply involved in the making of The Magnitsky Act — Behind the Scenes — an anti-Magnitsky film that premiered in June 2016. She provided the film crew with “the real proofs and records of testimony” according to RussiaTV5, a “station whose owners are known to be close to Mr. Putin.” In response to the adoption of the Magnitsky Act, the Russian government denied Americans adoption of Russian children, issued a list of US officials prohibited from entering Russia, and posthumously convicted Magnitsky as guilty. In addition, the Russian government reportedly lobbied against the legislation acting through a public relations company led by Kenneth Duberstein.”

Image result for photos of Natalia Veselnitskaya

Here’s the rest of the story…

On July 8, 2017,  Jo Becker, Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman of the New York Times penned the following report, “Trump Team Met With Lawyer Linked to Kremlin During Campaign.” 

Excerpt:

“Two weeks after Donald J. Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination last year, his eldest son arranged a meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan with a Russian lawyer who has connections to the Kremlin, according to confidential government records described to The New York Times.”

“The previously unreported meeting was also attended by Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman at the time, Paul J. Manafort, as well as the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, according to interviews and the documents, which were outlined by people familiar with them.”

“While President Trump has been dogged by revelations of undisclosed meetings between his associates and Russians, this episode at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, is the first confirmed private meeting between a Russian national and members of Mr. Trump’s inner circle during the campaign. It is also the first time that his son Donald Trump Jr. is known to have been involved in such a meeting.”

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Donald Trump Jr

Representatives of Donald Trump Jr. and Mr. Kushner confirmed the meeting after The Times approached them with information about it. In a statement, Donald Jr. described the meeting as primarily about an adoption program. The statement did not address whether the presidential campaign was discussed.

“The Russian lawyer invited to the Trump Tower meeting, Natalia Veselnitskaya, is best known for mounting a multipronged attack against the Magnitsky Act, an American law that blacklists suspected Russian human rights abusers. The law so enraged Mr. Putin that he retaliated by halting American adoptions of Russian children.”

“The adoption impasse is a frequently used talking point for opponents of the Magnitsky Act. Ms. Veselnitskaya’s campaign against the law has also included attempts to discredit its namesake, Sergei L. Magnitsky, a lawyer and auditor who died in under mysterious circumstances in a Russian prison in 2009 after exposing one of the biggest corruption scandals during Mr. Putin’s rule.”

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Natalia Veselnitskaya,

“Ms. Veselnitskaya is married to a former deputy transportation minister of the Moscow region, and her clients include state-owned businesses and a senior government official’s son, whose company was under investigation in the United States at the time of the meeting. Her activities and associations had previously drawn the attention of the F.B.I., according to a former senior law enforcement official. “

 In his statement, Donald Trump Jr. said: “It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up.”

He added: “I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.”

Image result for PHOTO OF JARED KUSHNER AND PAUL MANAFORT
JARED KUSHNER

“Donald Trump Jr. had denied participating in any campaign-related meetings with Russian nationals when he was interviewed by The Times in March. “Did I meet with people that were Russian? I’m sure, I’m sure I did,” he said. “But none that were set up. None that I can think of at the moment. And certainly none that I was representing the campaign in any way, shape or form.”

“Asked at that time whether he had ever discussed government policies related to Russia, the younger Mr. Trump replied, “A hundred percent no.”

“The Trump Tower meeting was not disclosed to government officials until recently, when Mr. Kushner, who is also a senior White House aide, filed a revised version of a form required to obtain a security clearance. The Times reported in April that he had failed to disclose any foreign contacts, including meetings with the Russian ambassador to the United States and the head of a Russian state bank. Failure to report such contacts can result in a loss of access to classified information and even, if information is knowingly falsified or concealed, in imprisonment.”

Image result for PHOTO OF JARED KUSHNER AND PAUL MANAFORT
PAUL MANAFORT

Mr. Kushner’s advisers said at the time that the omissions were an error, and that he had immediately notified the F.B.I. that he would be revising the filing. They also said he had met with the Russians in his official transition capacity as a main point of contact for foreign officials.

“In a statement on Saturday, Mr. Kushner’s lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, said: “He has since submitted this information, including that during the campaign and transition, he had over 100 calls or meetings with representatives of more than 20 countries, most of which were during transition. Mr. Kushner has submitted additional updates and included, out of an abundance of caution, this meeting with a Russian person, which he briefly attended at the request of his brother-in-law Donald Trump Jr. As Mr. Kushner has consistently stated, he is eager to cooperate and share what he knows.”

Image result for photos of donald trump jr“Mr. Kushner’s lawyers addressed questions about his disclosure but deferred to Donald Trump Jr. on questions about the meeting itself.”

“Mr. Manafort, the former campaign chairman, also recently disclosed the meeting, and Donald Trump Jr.’s role in organizing it, to congressional investigators who had questions about his foreign contacts, according to people familiar with the events.”

“Because Donald Trump Jr. does not serve in the administration and does not have a security clearance, he was not required to disclose his foreign contacts. Federal and congressional investigators have not publicly asked for any records that would require his disclosure of Russian contacts. It is not clear whether the Justice Department was aware of the meeting before Mr. Kushner disclosed it recently. Neither Mr. Kushner nor Mr. Manafort was required to disclose the content of the meeting in their government filings.”

“During the campaign, Donald Trump Jr. served as a close adviser to his father, frequently appearing at campaign events. Since the president took office, the younger Mr. Trump and his brother, who have worked for the Trump Organization for most of their adult lives, assumed day-to-day control of their father’s real estate empire.”

Related image“But a quick internet search would have revealed Ms. Veselnitskaya as a formidable operator with a history of pushing the Kremlin’s agenda. Most notable is her campaign against the Magnitsky Act, which provoked a Cold War-style, tit-for-tat row with the Kremlin when President Barack Obama signed it into law in 2012.”

“Under the law, some 44 Russian citizens have been put on a list that allows the United States to seize their American assets and deny them visas. The United States asserts that many of them are connected to fraud exposed by Mr. Magnitsky, who after being jailed for more than a year was found dead in his cell. A Russian human rights panel found that he had been assaulted. To critics of Mr. Putin, Mr. Magnitsky, in death, became a symbol of corruption and brutality in the Russian state.”

“An infuriated Mr. Putin has called the law an “outrageous act,” and, in addition to banning American adoptions, compiled what became known as an “anti-Magnitsky” blacklist of United States citizens.”

Image result for photo of preet bhararaAmong those blacklisted was Preet Bharara, then the United States attorney in Manhattan, who led high-profile convictions of Russian arms and drug dealers. Mr. Bharara was abruptly fired in March, after previously being asked to stay on by Mr. Trump.”

“One of Ms. Veselnitskaya’s clients is Denis Katsyv, the Russian owner of a Cyprus-based investment company called Prevezon Holdings. He is the son of Petr Katsyv, the vice president of the state-owned Russian Railways and a former deputy governor of the Moscow region. In a civil forfeiture case prosecuted by Mr. Bharara’s office, the Justice Department alleged that Prevezon had helped launder money tied to a $230 million corruption scheme exposed by Mr. Magnitsky by parking it in New York real estate and bank accounts. As a result, the government froze $14 million of its assets. Prevezon recently settled the case for $6 million.”

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Denis Katsyv

“Ms. Veselnitskaya and her client hired a team of political and legal operatives that has worked unsuccessfully in Washington to repeal the Magnitsky Act. They also tried but failed to keep Mr. Magnitsky’s name off a new law that takes aim at human-rights abusers across the globe.”

“Ms. Veselnitskaya was also deeply involved in the making of an anti-Magnitsky film that premiered just weeks before the Trump Tower meeting. Titled “The Magnitsky Act — Behind the Scenes,” the film echoes the Kremlin line that the widely accepted version of Mr. Magnitsky’s life and death is wrong. The film claims that he was not assaulted and alleges that he never testified that government officials conspired to steal $230 million in fraudulent tax rebates.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF William F. Browder,
William F. Browder

“In the film’s telling, the true culprit of the fraud was William F. Browder, an American-born financier who hired Mr. Magnitsky to investigate the fraud after he had three of his investment funds companies in Russia seized. On RussiaTV5, a station whose owners are known to be close to Mr. Putin, Ms. Veselnitskaya was lauded as “one of those who gave the film crew the real proofs and records of testimony.”

“Mr. Browder, who stopped the screening of the film in Europe by threatening libel suits, called the film a state-sponsored smear campaign.”

“She’s not just some private lawyer,” Mr. Browder said of Ms. Veselnitskaya. “She is a tool of the Russian government.”

“John O. Brennan, the former C.I.A. director, testified in May that he had been concerned last year by Russian government efforts to contact and manipulate members of Mr. Trump’s campaign.”

7 comments

  1. Dear Mz. Gronda,
    “”Mr. Kushner’s advisers said at the time that the omissions were an error, and that he had immediately notified the F.B.I. that he would be revising the filing.””
    Statements like that seem to be an on going theme of this administration. Do they not realize how shallow those words sound when in truth they only did so after they were caught in a “misspeak” or as we in the real world call it a “lie”! It is amazing that the folks connected with this administration, who allegedly have very high intelligence, can act and claim to be so ignorant of the law and even simple truth when they file government forms under oath?
    No to an amusing observation. In the photo of Donnie Jr. next to the tRump, did anyone else notice how tiny that Donnie Jr. hands are? There have been hundreds of comments about how small the tRumps hands were, but I have never heard mention of the family trait of small hands! Have you heard anyone mention the fact that the tRump is actually pretty bald under that massive comb forward? As vain as the tRump is do you think he might put out a contract with one of his mob buddies if a reporter actually reported that in the news? 😉

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      There have been lots of meets with Russians by the Trump family which they have been spinning as inconsequential because they meet so many folks, that an error could be made.

      This is one where that spin begs the credulity of anyone with an ounce of common sense. Any republican who covers for DDT on this one is not being intellectually honest. I will be tweeting this to Senator Ben Cardin and anyone else who created the 2012 Magnitsky Act.

      I’ll have to take a look at those photos.

      Hugs, Gronda

  2. “Oh, you mean that meeting with the Russians!” This is the statement made after the denial and reiteration once said Trump official Is apprised there is evidence of a meeting. This has happened multiple times. Call me crazy, but when caught in a lie, it is best to stop lying. The sad truth is the President does not know this and it has not hurt him.

    • Dear Keith,

      You are right. Every time this happens, you can write the script of what the Trump family will be saying.

      This has the potential to blossom into a major story. This lawyer is what gives the seriousness away. She is a Kremlin operative who has been out to do away with the Magnitsky Act for years without success. President Putin sees red when he sees this man’s name.President Putin had stopped the adoption of Russian children by Americans because of this

      This lawyer was meeting to make a trade. this was no innocent contact.She makes the devil look nice.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Gronda, we continue to get deeper into what is at best very sloppy and unethical behavior. Yet, based on the lying and purposeful obfuscation, it is far worse in my view. It is not hard to see collusion from here. Keith

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