A Russian lawyer whose participation in a 2016 meeting with top officials of President Donald Trump’s election campaign has given rise to allegations of collusion has been charged with obstruction of justice in an unrelated case in New York, U.S. prosecutors said.
According to an indictment released on January 8, Natalya Veselnitskaya was accused of submitting deceptive declarations to a judge in a civil proceeding involving a Russian tax-refund fraud scheme.
Angel M. Melendez, head of the New York office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations division, said Veselnitskaya "is now a wanted person in the United States for intentionally misleading U.S. investigators."
Veselnitskaya represented Prevezon Holdings Ltd., a Russian-controlled real estate firm that in 2017 agreed to pay nearly $ 6 million to settle a U.S. government lawsuit accusing it of laundering proceeds of a $ 230 million tax fraud.
Trump has denied knowing about the meeting his oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, held at Trump Tower in June 2016 with a group of Russians, including Veselnitskaya.
Donald Trump Jr. has acknowledged that he agreed to the meeting after being promised damaging information on Trump’s election rival, Hillary Clinton.
Veselnitskaya has denied acting on behalf of Russian officials.
Veselnitskaya is believed to be living in Russia.