House Judiciary Dems demand answers on settlement of major case involving Trump Jr.’s Russian lawyer

House Judiciary Dems demand answers on settlement of major case involving Trump Jr.’s Russian lawyer
Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Source: Yury Martyanov/AP
Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Source: Yury Martyanov/AP

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are demanding answers from Attorney General Jeff Session and the Justice Department about a decision to settle a major lawsuit involving the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of President Donald Trump.

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr., top White House adviser Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in the now infamous meeting, had been an attorney for one of the Russian parties in a major money laundering case being tried in the U.S.

The alleged fraud in the case was uncovered by Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was later arrested by the Russian government and died while in custody.

His death inspired the U.S. Magnitsky Act, which placed sanctions on several Russians who were involved in the case. In response to the Magnitsky Act, Russia disallowed adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens.

When describing his meeting with Veselnitskaya, Trump Jr. claimed that she quickly changed the discussion to adoption policy between the United States and Russia.

The $230 million fraud case was being overseen by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Manhattan Preet Bharara. In March, the Trump administration abruptly asked for the resignation of all 46 U.S. attorneys across the country. Bharara refused to resign and claimed the Trump administration had previously indicated he could remain in office. The Trump administration then fired Bharara.

Two months after that, the $230 million fraud case was settled for less than $6 million.

A letter signed by all 17 Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee requests that the Justice Department say whether or not Veselnitskaya had any involvement in the settlement and explain why the case settled for less than $6 million.

They also request that the Justice Department disclose any conversations between the Trump White House or campaign and the Justice Department concerning the case and asks whether it was discussed during the transition or during Sessions’ meetings with the Russian ambassador.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Andrew Joyce

I cover politics and policy.

MORE FROM

Sean Spicer said he resigned to avoid having “too many cooks in the kitchen”

Sean Spicer said he wanted to give new communications director Anthony Scaramucci a "clean slate."

Report: Jeff Sessions talked about matters related to the Trump campaign with Russian ambassador

Intercepted conversations suggest Sessions may have spoken about campaign-related issues, despite denying that was the case.

Obamacare repeal bill dealt yet another possibly fatal blow by Senate parliamentarian

Republicans will need to find 60 votes in support of their Obamacare repeal bill, or else strip it of abortion restrictions and a provision that defunds Planned Parenthood.

Don’t cry for Sean Spicer. He knew what he was doing when he took a job working for Donald Trump.

At the end of the day, the former press secretary took a job telling lies in support of a terrible president. Next, he'll probably take a more lucrative one and continue to defend him.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders named White House press secretary after Sean Spicer’s resignation

The shakeup in the White House press shop comes just six months and a day since Donald Trump was sworn in.

3 things to know about Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director

Scaramucci is a former hedge fund manager who was named Yahoo Finance's 2016 "Wall Streeter of the Year."

Sean Spicer said he resigned to avoid having “too many cooks in the kitchen”

Sean Spicer said he wanted to give new communications director Anthony Scaramucci a "clean slate."

Report: Jeff Sessions talked about matters related to the Trump campaign with Russian ambassador

Intercepted conversations suggest Sessions may have spoken about campaign-related issues, despite denying that was the case.

Obamacare repeal bill dealt yet another possibly fatal blow by Senate parliamentarian

Republicans will need to find 60 votes in support of their Obamacare repeal bill, or else strip it of abortion restrictions and a provision that defunds Planned Parenthood.

Don’t cry for Sean Spicer. He knew what he was doing when he took a job working for Donald Trump.

At the end of the day, the former press secretary took a job telling lies in support of a terrible president. Next, he'll probably take a more lucrative one and continue to defend him.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders named White House press secretary after Sean Spicer’s resignation

The shakeup in the White House press shop comes just six months and a day since Donald Trump was sworn in.

3 things to know about Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director

Scaramucci is a former hedge fund manager who was named Yahoo Finance's 2016 "Wall Streeter of the Year."