From Russia with love: Memo tries, fails, to exculpate Donald Trump Jr.

Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya claims this memo proves her meeting with Jr. was about Russian adoptions

By Taylor Link

Published October 16, 2017 4:53PM (EDT)

Donald Trump Jr. (AP/Kathy Willens)
Donald Trump Jr. (AP/Kathy Willens)

The meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya really was about Russian adoptions, at least according to a memo obtained by Foreign Policy. Although emails between Trump Jr. and music promoter Rob Goldstone had already confirmed that the objective of the meeting was to acquire dirt on Hillary Clinton, Veselnitskaya insists the new memo proves their innocent intent.

At the top of the memo, which Veselnitskaya claims to have prepared for the meeting, the Russian lawyer mentioned the controversial Magnitsky Act, a law that blocked 44 Russian government officials and businessmen from entering the United States and froze their assets held in the U.S.

"In December 2012, after a massive three-year lobbying campaign, the United States passed Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 setting forth the never-existent story of a 'lawyer' Sergey Magnitsky, who allegedly exposed corruption crimes and embezzlement from the Russian treasury, for which he was arrested, tortured and beaten to death in November 2009," the memo said.

"This Act was in fact the beginning of a new round of the Cold War between the United States and Russia, putting on the scales the interests of a group of scammers," the document added.

Veselnitskaya shared the memo with Foreign Policy amid a campaign to clear her name of wrongdoing. Her shady meeting with Trump Jr. has come under the scrutiny of Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump administration during the 2016 presidential election.

In July, Trump Jr. revealed screenshots from an email exchange with Goldstone, which piqued the interest of investigators. One excerpt from their conversation proved the most damning: an email from Goldstone discussing a meeting with a Russian prosecutor offering sensitive information on the Clinton campaign. "The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father," Goldstone wrote to Trump Jr.

Taylor Link

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Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr. Russia Russia Election Interference Russia Hacking Russia Investigations