There is a new reason to be concerned about that 2016 meeting that Donald Trump Jr. took with Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Music publicist Rob Goldstone invited Trump Jr. to meet with Veselnitskaya by saying that she would be bringing dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government, although it remains unclear at this point what, if any, information was actually passed off during their meeting.
Trump Jr. has maintained that nothing substantive came of the meeting, and Veselnitskaya has maintained that she has no connections to the Russian government. Now, however, a new Reuters report raises further questions about the truthfulness of Veselnitskaya’s assertions to that effect, although there were already plenty of reasons to doubt them.
According to Reuters, Veselnitskaya has had the successor agency to the KGB as her client for years, having represented them in a “legal wrangle over ownership of an upscale property in northwest Moscow between 2005 and 2013.” Reuters notes that there is no indication that Veselnitskaya is an employee of either the Russian government as a whole or the Russian intelligence services in particular, but her lawyer-client connection to the Russian government will no doubt “raise questions among some U.S. politicians.”
Just because she isn’t an actual employee of the Russian government doesn’t mean she wouldn’t or couldn’t do work on their behalf, as the revelation of her legal work for a military unit under the control of the KGB indicates. Veselnitskaya and her firm Kamerton Consulting worked on behalf of “military unit 55002,” whose listed address is right behind the FSB’s own headquarters.
Reuters says that they couldn’t find what entity had initially lodged the complaint against the FSB affiliated military unit or what the ultimate outcome of the case was. Pretty unsurprisingly, Veselnitskaya did not return requests for comment.
Someone who works with Reuters apparently went to the building at the center of the controversy and attempted to find out what company occupies it at present, but they weren’t exactly successful. Reuters reports:
‘When asked which organization was located there, an unidentified man who answered a speakerphone at the main entrance laughed and said: “Congratulations. Ask the city administration.”‘
The website of an electronic components supplier called Elektronintorg, which is owned by state conglomerate Rostec, states that they are the ones who occupy the building. That information, however, wasn’t immediately able to be confirmed, and it’s the closest that anyone has got thus far to uncovering the exact nature of Veselnitskaya’s work for Russian intelligence services.
According to court documents, the Russian government claimed that the property in question had been illegally sold to private firms. There is no apparent indication if the building was, in fact, illegally sold, however.
Veselnitskaya has characterized the reaction to her meeting as “mass hysteria,” which is close to the response of the Trump team itself. Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who also participated in the meeting with Veselnitskaya, will be testifying next week in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer for themselves while the Special Counsel’s office continues to try and uncover exactly where Veselnitskaya’s information came from.
Featured Image via SAUL LOEB/ AFP/ Getty Images