The lawyer who met Donald Trump Jr. is well-connected in Russia

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Natalia Veselnitskaya
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Natalia Veselnitskaya / Facebook

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who took a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016, denied to NBC on July 11 that she worked for the Russian government, or that she had connections to the Russian government, answering “Nyet” to both questions in a TV interview.

Trump Jr. says he met with Veselnitskaya because he thought she was going to give him negative information from Russian “opposition research” about Hillary Clinton. The meeting “went nowhere,” Trump Jr. said last night, as Veselnitskaya had no information to give. “It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes,” Trump Jr. said.

But the US Senate Judiciary Committee will hear next week from a source who believes Veselnitskaya has several connections to the Russian government, according to The Daily Beast.

That source is William Browder, an American hedge fund investor whose Moscow lawyer was beaten to death in a Russian prison in 2009 after he discovered a fraud in which Russian government officials had divided $230 million in bogus tax refunds amongst themselves. The lawyers’ name was Sergei Magnitsky, and the US Magnitsky Act – named after him – prevents the Russian officials responsible for his death from entering the US.

According to Browder, Veselnitskaya’s clients and colleagues include: