What We Know About the Alleged Russian Operative Present at the Trump Jr. Meeting


Rinat Akhmetshin

On  June 9, 2016, Donald Trump Jr. met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, an unregistered lobbyist opposing the Magnitsky Act. Hillary Clinton was also opposed to the Magnitsky Act Notably that was after lucrative speeches in Russia were offered to Bill.

Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and Rob Goldstone also attended. NBC reported, via another leak, that Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin was in attendance. There might be a sixth person yet to be revealed. Akhmetshin came as a friend of Veselnitskaya’s.

NBC News reported that Akhmetshin is suspected of being a former Soviet intelligence officer. He is a registered lobbyist of about 20 years. In that role, he supports the interests of Russian clients and others from Soviet satellite nations. Officials need to investigate how he obtained U.S. citizenship, but that’s an aside.

While suspected of shady dealings, he has worked with the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Harper’s Magazine and the Guardian according to his own list. He provided the list during a mining case where he was suspected of hacking.

He has worked with at least one group funded by George Soros

A lawyer who worked with Akhmetshin, Patrick Salisbury, said under oath during an investigation of an international hacking conspiracy, that Akhmetshin worked for Global Witness, an alleged anti-corruption watchdog group he described as being “funded by George Soros and others.” Akhmetshin “obtains research information” from the Soros-backed group, Salisbury said.

Among Akhmetshin’s shady dealings was a case in which he helped Ashot Egiazaryan gain asylum in the U.S. to avoid criminal corruption charges. Akhmetshin spread false stories and rumors to reporters to make it happen.

More information on this case is available at Radio Free Europe. They describe Akhmetshin as a “Russian gun-for-hire” who lurks in the shadows of the D.C. lobbying underworld.

He is tied to Russian interests through an organization he founded, the Azeri Democracy Initiative Foundation. He’s also connected to the Kazakhstan 21st Century Foundation and the Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative Foundation.

He’s working against the Magnitsky Act

Putin appears to have operatives in the U.S. fighting the Magnitsky Act. Akhmetshin is believed to be one of those though it’s not yet proven.

Politico and The Daily Beast reported last year that Akhmetshin was seen on Capitol Hill meeting with U.S. lawmakers to lobby against the Magnitsky Act. Former Democratic California Rep. Ron Dellums was also hired onto the lobbying effort.

California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican who has praised Putin in the past, has acknowledged meeting with Akhmetshin. CNN also reported earlier this year that Rohrabacher and Akhmetshin were spotted meeting in Berlin.

They are both tied to Fusion GPS, the Russia dossier firm

Natalia Veselnitskaya brought Akhmetshin to the Donald Trump Jr. meeting. Both are tied to Fusion GPS, the Democrat-led firm that did opposition research for the largely discredited Russia-Trump dossier. The sources for the dossier were mainly operatives in the Kremlin.

They were both involved in the Fusion GPS lobbying push for the anti-Magnitsky Act. Fusion GPS was hired for the push by a law firm, Baker Hostetler, to investigate Bill Browder, a London financier who pushed for the Magnitsky Act.

Magnitsky was Browder’s Russian lawyer and a whistleblower who died in a Russian prison. The Magnitsky Act exposed corruption under Putin and is said to have infuriated him.

Veselnitskaya’s client Denis Katsyv and his firm Prevezon Holdings were implicated in the scheme Magnitsky blew the whistle on.

The Grassley hearing

This has come to the attention of Senator Grassley who will hold a hearing next week regarding the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS will not accept the invitation to appear but Browder will.

Veselnitskaya entered the U.S. without a visa under exceptional circumstances granted by Loretta Lynch. She returned with someone’s permission by early June and by the 9th, met with Donald Jr. on the promise of having damaging information against Hillary Clinton but was apparently there to discuss the Magnitsky Act.

She is not registered as a foreign agent lobbyist but she did lobby. Fusion’s Simpson says he didn’t know about the Trump Tower meeting. Akhmetshin says he’s not tied to the Russian government but Browder says he doesn’t buy it.

This campaign against the Magnitsky Act is to remove sanctions against Russian torturers and murderers.

Akhmetshin attended the same Halifax International Security Forum which Senator John McCain attended though there is no evidence the two met. It was at this conference that McCain was first told of the Steele Russia dossier. McCain obtained a copy of the dossier and gave it to Jim Comey, the FBI director at the time. McCain is also being sued for possibly leaking the dossier to 12 media outlets.

The information for this article came from The Daily Caller, Radio Free Europe, Heavy, Daily Beast and CNN.

President Trump has expressed full support for this son and the media says it’s not believable that he didn’t know all about this. Trump is concentrating on his agenda in tweets. The most recent tweet by Donald Jr. on the issue is this one:

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6 years ago

Trump Jr. should have revealed the attendee’s from the beginning, it gives the media and left more to chew on like what else are they hiding? Goldstone’s e-mail says dirt on Clinton, but they talk about adoptions, and he is there with them? I suspect more leaks comming