Attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner, among others at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, previously counted Russia’s FSB security service as a client. The revelation is expected to be part of the ongoing probe by United States intelligence officials into whether President Donald Trump’s campaign worked with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential election.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Paper trail: Court documents seen by Reuters show that Veselnitskaya represented the spy group in a dispute over property in northwest Moscow between 2005 and 2013.
- Spies: The FSB is a successor to the KGB service and was headed by Russian President Vladimir Putin before he became president.
- The meeting: Trump Jr.’s meeting with Veselnitskaya is considered the first evidence that members of Trump’s campaign were at least willing to work with Russians during the 2016 election. The meeting, which was confirmed by Trump Jr., allegedly was brought together because Veselnitskaya promised to deliver damaging information about then-candidate Hillary Clinton, according to emails Trump Jr. released.
- Why it matters: The news of Veselnitskaya’s former clients comes during a tense period between Trump and Robert Mueller, the special counsel charged with investigating any possible ties between the president’s campaign and Russia. In the last few days, Trump’s team has been reportedly been looking into ways to discredit Mueller and his team of investigators and also have been discussing the pardon power Trump has as president. Mueller reportedly will be looking into Trump’s financials as part of the probe.
You can read all of Reuters’ report here.