DOJ let Russian lawyer into US before she met with Trump team
TheHill, July 13, 2017
The Russian lawyer who penetrated Donald Trump’s inner circle was initially cleared into the United States by the Department of Justice under “extraordinary circumstances” before she ensnared the president’s eldest son last year, according to court and Justice Department documents and interviews.
This revelation means it was the Obama Justice Department that enabled the newest and most intriguing figure in the Russia-Trump investigation to enter the country without a visa.
Later, a series of events between an intermediary for the attorney and the Trump campaign ultimately led to the controversy surrounding the president’s eldest son.
Just five days after meeting in June 2016 at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and then Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Moscow attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya showed up in Washington in the front row of a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Russia policy, video footage of the hearing shows.
And Veselnitskaya also attended a dinner with the chairman of the House subcommittee overseeing Russia policy, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and roughly 20 other guests at a dinner club frequented by Republicans.
In an interview with NBC News earlier this week, Veselnitskaya claimed that her contacts with Donald Trump Jr. and in Washington were part of a lobbying campaign to get members of Congress and American political figures to see «the real circumstances behind the Magnitsky Act.”
That work was a far cry from the narrow reason the U.S. government initially gave for allowing Veselnitskaya into the U.S. in late 2015, according to federal court records.
The Moscow lawyer had been turned down for a visa to enter the U.S. lawfully but then was granted special immigration parole by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch for the limited purpose of helping a company owned by Russian businessman Denis Katsyv defend itself against a Justice Department asset forfeiture case in federal court in New York City.
During a court hearing in early January 2016 as Veselnitskaya’s permission to stay in the country was about to expire, federal prosecutors described how rare the grant of parole immigration was as Veselnitskaya pleaded for more time to remain in the United States.
“In October the government bypassed the normal visa process and gave a type of extraordinary permission to enter the country called immigration parole,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Monteleoni explained to the judge during a hearing Jan. 6, 2016.
There are no other records in the court file indicating what happened with that request or how Veselnitskaya appeared in the country later that spring.
Justice Department and State Department officials could not immediately explain how the Russian lawyer was still in the country in June for the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and the events in Washington D.C.
Magnitsky became a cause celeb in the United States after his death in a Russian prison, but Russian officials have disputed his version of events and in 2011 posthumously convicted him of fraud in Russia.
The Russian lawyer used a music promoter friend to get an audience June 9 with Trump’s eldest son promising dirt on Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
Sources close to the lobbying effort to rename the Magnisky Act, conducted over the summer of 2016, said it fizzled after only a month or two. They described Veselnitskaya, who does not speak English, as a mysterious and shadowy figure. They said they were confused as to whether she had an official role in the lobbying campaign, although she was present for several meetings.
The sources also described their interactions with Veselnitskaya in the same way that Trump Jr. did. They claimed not to know who she worked for or what her motives were.
“Natalia didn’t speak a word of English,” said one source. “Don’t let anyone tell you this was a sophisticated lobbying effort.”
COMMENT AL: The US Department of Justice (DOJ) theoretically oversess the FBI – one of the main elements of the vicious US secret political police. They — and the Obama administration — allowed this pawn into the country – WITHOUT A VISA.
This dirty episode is another part of the “Russian connection” provocation engineered by the US secret political police and ultra-reactionary operatives. The “Russian hacking” and “Russian election interference” campaigns are only secondarily directed against Donald Trump. The main thrust is to incite anti-Russian hysteria in the United States.
Preparing for what? More sanctions for sure. And more US provocations in Syria? Inciting the CIA – fascist junta in Kiev to intensify aggression? Greater NATO build-up on Russia’s borders, no doubt.
Здешние политиканы, «эксперты», подконтрольные ЦРУ СМ»И» нахваливают псевдодемократическую, якобы процветающую Америку.
Те, кто любит «наших американских (государственных) партнеров», «забывают» о грязных, злых уродах США. О таких, как коварный и опасный мошенник и неофашист Дональд Трамп. И о таких, как лживые, русофобские американские СМ»И», порочный Конгресс, нацистские ФБР — ЦРУ, кровавые милитаристы США >>>
Арнольд Локшин, политэмигрант из США