The honey pot thickens.
In yet another twist in the ongoing revelations involving Fusion GPS, it now looks like Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya took a report developed by the research firm into her now-infamous Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Trump campaign officials.
Fusion GPS was the opposition research firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign to develop the so-called “Trump dossier.”
The four-page memo was ordered by a Russian businessman who, along with the Kremlin, opposed a 2012 sanctions law called the Magnitsky Act. It included opposition research on London-based financier Bill Browder, a key proponent of the law, according to Reuters.
The research had been presented to Yuri Chaika, Russia’s prosecutor general, by Veselnitskaya in October 2015. Although the New York Times reported this, they did not include the fact that it was Fusion which had produced it.
Then, on June 9, 2016, Veselnitskaya brought the memo to the Trump Tower meeting that included Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, and which has since been a significant part of Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Although it could be argued that no serious political candidate would decline solid opposition research, no matter where the source came from, some believe since Fusion has also worked with Veselnitskaya, the whole meeting could have been a setup from the beginning meant to expose the Trump campaign.
Trump Jr. did accept the meeting based on the prospect of opposition research, but he has since insisted that the Russians in the meeting provided nothing of value to the Trump campaign and has strongly denied allegations of collusion.
Fox News recently reported that, before and after the Trump Tower meeting, Veselnitskaya met with former Wall Street Journal reporter and Fusion founding partner Glenn Simpson, who was in charge of both the Trump dossier and the Browder opposition research, and even attended a court hearing in Manhattan with him before her visit to Trump Tower.
All of which raises even more suspicions of a setup. Or, as The Daily Caller puts it, “Another less nefarious possibility would be that Veselnitskaya told Simpson about the meeting with the Trump team and he funneled the information to Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the dossier.”
The Trump dossier’s first memo was written only 11 days after the infamous Trump Tower meeting, and includes allegations by Steele that negative information provided to the Trump campaign about Hillary Clinton was part of a well-designed collusion scheme.
And in fact, the memo that Veselnitskaya brought into the meeting referenced Clinton at least once, claiming that Browder made illegal campaign contributions to Hillary Clinton’s campaign through a private equity firm, Ziff Brothers.
When it comes to international espionage, the Russians should never be underestimated. Timing, comrades, is everything.
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