Donald Trump Jr. agreed to consider re-evaluating the Magnitsky law: report

Trump Jr. may have been closer to Russia than he initially let on

Published November 6, 2017 9:18AM (EST)

 (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Kremlin-connected lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016, says the president's son was willing to re-examine sanctions against Russia if his father was elected.

Veselnitskaya claimed during a two-and-a-half hour interview in Moscow that she broached the subject of the so-called Magnitsky law to Trump Jr. at their June 2016 meeting, according to Bloomberg. Trump Jr.'s response, she claimed, was to indicate that his father would be willing to reevaluate the law if he was elected.

"Looking ahead, if we come to power, we can return to this issue and think what to do about it. I understand our side may have messed up, but it’ll take a long time to get to the bottom of it," Trump Jr. told Veselnitskaya, according to her recollection.

Trump Jr. also asked Veselnitskaya for proof of her claim that Hillary Clinton's campaign had received money which had avoided taxation, and she admitted she did not have the documentation to back that up at that time.

The meeting, which was also attended by then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner, had been arranged by British publicist Rob Goldstone. While Veselnitskaya's precise relationship with the Russian government remains unclear, one comment from Goldstone's email suggested that she was working on their behalf. As Goldstone set up the meeting, he wrote, "This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump."

Veselnitskaya has stated that she would be willing to say both these and other things to the Senate Judiciary Committee in her testimony, so long as her answers were made public. The Senate Judiciary Committee has not agreed to her request.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Donald Trump Jr. Magnitsky Law Natalia Veselnitskaya Russia