Tampa Bay Times
Russia lawyer shared data with Kremlin
Natalia V. Veselnitskaya arrived at a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 hoping to interest top Trump campaign officials in the contents of a memo she believed contained information damaging to the Democratic Party and, by extension, Hillary Clinton. The material was the fruit of her research as a private lawyer, she has repeatedly said, and any suggestion that she was acting at the Kremlin’s behest that day is anti-Russia “hysteria.” But interviews and records show that in the months before the meeting, Veselnitskaya had discussed the allegations with one of Russia’s most powerful officials, the prosecutor general, Yuri Y. Chaika. And the memo she brought with her closely followed a document that Chaika’s office had given to a U.S. congressman two months earlier, incorporating some paragraphs
verbatim. The coordination between the Trump Tower visitor and the Russian prosecutor general undercuts Veselnitskaya’s account that she was a purely independent actor when she sat down with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, and Paul Manafort, then the Trump campaign chairman.