WASHINGTON— The Russian attorney who met with Donald Trump Jr. in 2016 has been charged with obstruction of justice over an unrelated money-laundering case.
The attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was representing defendants accused of laundering Russian money from an alleged tax fraud scheme through U.S.-based real estate purchases.
In 2015, Veselnitskaya submitted investigative findings that she claimed were compiled independently by the Russian government as potentially exculpatory evidence.
According to an indictment unsealed Tuesday by the Southern District of New York, Veselnitskaya allegedly worked with a senior Russian prosecutor to draft the findings and misled the court.
Veselnitskaya made headlines in 2017 after it was revealed that she had attended a Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. during the heat of the 2016 campaign.
Now-White House adviser Jared Kushner and former campaign chair Paul Manafort were also in attendance.
Music publicist Rob Goldstone initially proposed the meeting to Trump Jr., telling the then-candidate’s son in an email exchange that the attorney was aligned with the Russian government and had information that could hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
“If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. replied, according to copies of the conversation he released publicly.
Participants later said the meeting focused almost exclusively on adoption policy and yielded nothing of value to the Trump campaign.
President Donald Trump has denied knowledge of the meeting beforehand, but has dismissed concerns surrounding it, stating bluntly that it represented opposition research efforts that anybody in politics would jump on.
If convicted in the money laundering case, Veselnitskaya faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.