Lanterns: Who is Natalia Veselnitskaya:  Five Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Who is Natalia Veselnitskaya:  Five Fast Facts You Need to Know

The Russian lawyer at the center of the Donald Trump Jr. meeting controversy has been described as a Kremlin insider, a low-level lawyer, and everything else in between.  Just who is Natalia Veselnitskaya?  Four Fast facts you need to know: 

1)  Business Class: 

Veselnitskaya is hardly a Kremlin VIP.  She spent most of her law career litigating business disputes in the suburbs surrounding Moscow.  Notwithstanding, Natalia had taken on a notable case that aligned with the goals of the Kremlin and became increasingly friendly with Russia's most powerful government prosecutor. 

2)  Passion for Magnitsky: 

The Magnitsky Act passed in 2012, imposed sanctions on Russia for the death of a Russian lawyer in prison for whom the act is named.  Veselnitskaya was the attorney for the defendant, Denis Katsyv, who was charged with laundering money from a $230 million tax fraud discovered by lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who later died in prison.  She was passionate about getting The Magnitsky Act repealed, and in turn, having Russia lift the ban on adoption of Russian children by Americans.  The meeting with Donald Trump Junior may have been her way of trying to bend a sympathetic ear to a cause near to her heart.   

3)  Say What? 

The email sent to Donald Trump Jr by Australian publicist, Ron Goldstone, suggested this Russian lawyer had the goods on Hillary Clinton.  During the brief meeting, no goods were delivered.  Natalia contends that no one in the Russian government had anything to do with setting up this conference.  "My meeting with Trump's son was a private one," she said, "no one in the government had anything to do with it."  

According to social media posts and photographs, Veselnitskaya attended at least two Anti-Trump rallies and was interested in American politics.  She was also linked to the Democratic psyops research firm, Fusion GPS.  President Trump's legal team put out this statement: "We have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm, which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the President and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier.”  These facts have led some to speculate that Trump Jr. was set-up by Ms. Veselnitskaya and some in the Democrat party. 

5)  Obama's Special Access 

Natalia Veselnitskaya received a waiver to enter the US from the Department of Justice — during the Barack Obama administration.  According to The Hill's John Solomon: 

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 means it was Obama’s Justice Department headed by Loretta Lynch, who enabled the woman at the center of this controversy to enter the country without a Visa.  With both her Visa denied and parole expired, what was Veselnitskaya still doing in the US in June? She may have been in the US illegally. 

Is Natalia Veselnitskaya an innocent lawyer who lied her way into the Trump campaign to advocate for a cause?  Or, is Natalia Veselnitskaya a shady operative working for the Democrats or as a spy for a foreign government?  

List your take below in the comments.

Written by Traci Belmonte

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