Quid pro quo: Democrats ask DOJ about Katsyv settlement involving Trump-linked lawyer

Bloomberg reports: Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee asked the Justice Department to explain a decision to settle a money-laundering case in May that involved the Russian lawyer who held a controversial meeting last year with Donald Trump Jr.

Democrats are interested because one of the lawyers involved in the case was Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with President Donald Trump’s son in an encounter arranged with the promise of damaging Russian government information on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Veselnitskaya worked with a Cyprus-based company, Prevezon Holdings Ltd., that is controlled by a Russian businessman and was accused of a tax theft and money laundering scheme.

The U.S. agreed on May 12 to take $5.9 million to settle the lawsuit tied to a $230 million Russian tax fraud, avoiding a trial that was set to begin the following week.

The 17 House Democrats asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a Wednesday letter whether the involvement of Veselnitskaya, who they called a “Kremlin-connected attorney,” may have helped prompt the settlement, given her meeting with Donald Trump Jr. The president’s son said Veselnitskaya didn’t share anything related to Clinton and that the discussion centered mostly around adoption policy.

“We write with some concern that the two events may be connected — and that the department may have settled the case at a loss for the United States in order to obscure the underlying facts,” they wrote in the letter. [Continue reading…]

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