As much as people are tired of hearing about Trump Jr. and Kushner’s meeting with a Russian lawyer, more juicy tidbits keep popping up as the investigation goes along. NBC News learned that accompanied with said lawyer and the group was a Russian-American lobbyist and former Soviet counterintelligence officer. The officer is said to still have ongoing ties to Russian intelligence.
The Lobbyist is Identified
The lobbyist that accompanied Natalia Veselnitskaya was identified as Rinat Akhmetshin. Akhmetshin denies any connection to Russian spy agencies currently but he does have dual citizenship after he immigrated to the U.S. Akhmetshin served in the Soviet military and has not responded to inquiries made by NBC but has told the Associated Press that the meeting was not substantive and “I never thought this would be such a big deal, to be honest.”
Why Was He There?
Akhmetshin accompanied Veselnitskaya because they have been working on a campaign together against the Magnitsky Act. The act is a series of sanctions against Russian human rights violators. The issue is also related to the ban on American adoptions of Russian children and Veselnitskaya said that was what she discussed with Trump’s team. Given the email evidence, the presence of a lobbyist with possible ties to Russian intelligence should be of interest to Robert Mueller. As previously reported Rob Goldstone set up the meeting and told them she was a “Russian government attorney” which she herself has denied and said the information she had was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Honestly, no one around the world has done what Russia has done in regards to election “support” so your argument is invalid in the first place.
Akhmetshin has also failed to register as a foreign agent since he had been lobbying in the U.S. for Russian interests. All in all? There was another person there that wasn’t immediately identified and it’s things like this that make you go hmm.