Reuters: Lawyer Who Met Don Jr. Counts Russian Spy Agency Among Her Clients

Yury Martyanov/Kommersant
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Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met Donald Trump, Jr. in June 2016 to discuss damaging information on Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government campaign of support for his father’s presidential bid, represented the Russian FSB security service in a lawsuit with the Russian government, Reuters reported Friday.

Reuters says there is no evidence currently connecting Veselnitskaya to the FSB, however. Veselnitskaya did not respond to the news agency’s request for comment.

According to Russian court records, Veselnitskaya’s firm, Kamerton Consulting, represented the defense in what Reuters described as “a legal wrangle over ownership of an upscale property in northwest Moscow.” The news agency said Kamerton’s client, “military unit 55002,” was founded by the FSB, the successor agency to the KGB, and was physically located behind the FSB’s own headquarters.

The lawsuit dragged on for eight years: The FSB claimed the property, which was originally government-owned, had been illegally sold to private firms despite having been privatized in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

To those who have followed the Russian art world in recent years, “Military unit 55022” is a familiar designation for the Russian government intelligence agency. In 2015, Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky set fire to the door of the Lubyanka, the popular name for the FSB’s headquarters, in an effort to draw attention to the spy agency’s activities. The entity that took him to court for damages was designated “military unit 55022.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sam Thielman is an investigative reporter for Talking Points Memo based in Manhattan. He has worked as a reporter and critic for the Guardian, Variety, Adweek and Newsday, where he covered stories from the hacking attacks on US and international targets by Russian GRU and FSB security services to the struggle to bring broadband internet to the Navajo nation. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son and too many comic books.
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