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Former Russian Counterintelligence Officer Confirmed To Be Present During Donald Trump Jr Meeting

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When Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Rob Goldstone, and who knows how many others met with Kremlin-affiliated lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016 at Trump Tower, she did not come alone. Veselnitskaya was accompanied by Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist who is suspected by the U.S. intelligence community of maintaining ties to Russian intelligence.

The Associated Press was the first to identify Rinat Akhmetshin, and he denies having any current ties to Russian spy agencies. The Russian-born lobbyist served in the Soviet military and emigrated to the United States. He now holds dual citizenship.

He told the AP that he had served in the Soviet Army from 1986-1988 in a unit that was part of the Soviet counterintelligence branch, but that he was never formally trained as a spy.

In March, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, said in a letter letter that Akhmetshin has “reportedly admitted to being a ‘Soviet counterintelligence officer’ and has a long history of lobbying the U.S. government for pro-Russia matters.”

Per the Associated Press, “Veselnitskaya said the Justice Department prodded him several months ago to register as a foreign agent because of his lobbying work, though he said he doesn’t believe he needs to do so. He has previously registered with Congress for the lobbying, and he plans to raise this issue before Grassley’s committee.”

When Mr. Akhmetshin was asked why he did not come forward with this information, he said he didn’t think it was going to be a big deal. He is also quoted by the Associated Press as saying, “Veselnitskaya brought with her a plastic folder with printed-out documents that detailed what she believed was the flow of illicit funds to the Democrats.”

Both Veselnitskaya and Veselnitskaya are known opponents of the Magnitsky Act.

Since this scandal broke, Trump Jr has said that he wishes he had handled things differently. Oh, you mean like not colluding with the Russians on election influencing, then getting caught in the act Donnie Jr?


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