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russian intrigue

Lawyer who met with Trump Jr. closer to Russian officials than she let on

Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, famous for her meeting with Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016, is even closer to top Russian government officials than previously thought, The Associated Press reports.

AP was able to look at emails, legal documents, and transcripts related to Veselnitskaya obtained by the Dossier Center, a London-based investigative unit. Veselnitskaya allegedly met with Trump Jr. after promising dirt from the Russian government on Hillary Clinton; she has denied acting on behalf of the Kremlin. The emails show she received help from senior interior ministry officials in a case involving a major client, and she also was a ghostwriter for top government lawyers, AP reports. Bill Browder is a businessman and critic of the Kremlin, and emails show that she was part of an effort to get information on his former law firm's finances. Her office prepared a draft version of an affidavit sent from Russian Deputy General Prosecutor Mikhail Alexandrov's to Cypriot authorities, which surprised Browder.

"If her office is drafting replies for Russian-Cyprus law enforcement cooperation, in my opinion that effectively shows that she's an agent for the Russian government and not an independent lawyer as she claims," Browder said. The Russian Embassy in Cyprus told AP it had "no idea who is Nataliya Veselnitskaya." Read more about the documents and Veselnitskaya's connections at The Associated Press.