( h/t GWP ) At the heart of the current media Russian narrative du jour is a story about Donald Trump Jr. meeting with a Russian attorney named Natalia Veselnitskaya. That meeting took place on June 9th 2016 in Trump Tower.
Now it is discovered via video and images, that only 5 days later, June 14th 2016, Ms. Veselnitskaya was a guest of former Obama administration Russian Ambassador Michael McFaul in Washington DC for a House of Representatives hearing on U.S. Policy Toward Putin’s Russia. [Video HERE – and Video HERE]
Ms. Natalia Veselnitskaya is pictured seated in the front row directly behind former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Mr. Michael McFaul at the House Foreign Affairs Committee. This is June 14th, 2016, five days after the reported meeting with Donald Trump Jr.
Link to Ambassador McFaul’s testimony (confirming date) is HERE
It should be noted that Ambassador McFaul was very publicly discussing the ‘Muh Russia’ conspiracy narrative in the media and appeared on numerous NBC and MSNBC broadcasts during the 2016 campaign, and immediately after the election.
Ambassador Michael McFaul immediately caused quite a bit of controversy while in Russia as he indulged with various anti-Putin operatives.
Michael McFaul, the U.S. ambassador in Moscow from 2012-2014, was accused by Russian state television of seeking to orchestrate the overthrow of President Vladimir Putin after hosting opposition activists and Kremlin critics at the embassy in his second day on the job. (Politico Link)
Another example of McFaul’s in-your-face antagonism is HERE.
On the heels of the 2011 WikiLeaks State Department Cables release (example below) Ambassador McFaul was kicked out of Russia:
(C) On January 14, National Security Council Senior Director for Russia Michael McFaul met with Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov of the Solidarity Movement, Grigoriy Bovt of the political party Right Cause, and Vladimir Ryzhkov, former head of the now defunct Russia’s Republican Party and professor at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics. All four leaders view Barack Obama as a highly pragmatic president focused on external cooperation with Russia, but supposedly not willing to pressure the Russian government for greater political freedom. President Medvedev is not seen as a viable alternative to Prime Minister Putin, who they believe will likely retake the Presidency in 2012. This, according to them, will ensure that a corrupt and unresponsive government continues to run Russia. They agreed that the aim of the political opposition over the next two years should be to prevent the return of Putin to the presidency. According to them, however, given Putin’s control over society only an emergency situation could bring about his fall from grace.
[…] McFaul opined that “de-Putinization” must come from within Russia, from a focus on civil education to broaden demands within society for increased freedom. Though the President may not be as vocal about his support for civil society within Russia as opposition members in Russia might prefer, McFaul made clear to this group, all of whom he has known throughout his career, that the President fully supports democratic reform in Russia. All agreed that dramatic change in the Russian political landscape would not take place in the near future.
5. National Security Council Senior Director for Russia Michael McFaul has cleared on this cable. (WikiLeaks Cable Link)
It should also be noted that Ambassador McFaul’s friend, Ms. Natalia Veselnitskaya, was initially denied an entry visa into the United States in 2016 and appealed her situation to the U.S. District Court of New York. She was granted a parole letter allowing her to enter the United States on behalf of a client.
Here’s her filing to the U.S. District Court in New York.
The actual date of the arguments in the case U.S. -v- Prevezon Holdings was the EXACT SAME date as the meeting in Trump Tower – June 9th 2016 CASE LINK
And look at the participating attorneys. A smorgasbord of anti-Trumpers writ large. Attorney(s) appearing for the case:
JACOB W. BUCHDAHL (Cory S. Buland, on the brief), Susman Godfrey LLP, New York, NY, for Movant-Appellant Hermitage Capital Management Ltd.
PAUL MONTELEONI, Assistant United States Attorney (Cristine Phillips, Margaret Garnett, Assistant United States Attorneys, on the brief), for Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, for Plaintiff-Appellee the United States of America.
MICHAEL B. MUKASEY (Jennifer F. Mintz, Jarrod L. Schaeffer, on the brief), Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP, New York, NY, for Defendants-Appellees Prevezon Holdings Ltd., Prevezon Alexander, LLC, Prevezon Soho USA, LLC, Prevezon Seven USA, LLC, Prevezon Pine USA, LLC, Prevezon 1711 USA, LLC, Prevezon 1810 LLC, Prevezon 2009 USA, LLC, and Prevezon 2011 USA, LLC.
Before: POOLER, LOHIER, and CARNEY, Circuit Judges.
Yes, THAT Preet Bharara:
Natalia Veselnitskaya was/is also a very vocal anti-Trump person on all of her social media accounts – SEE FACEBOOK ARCHIVE HERE – So why would someone with a disposition of being anti-Trump want to deliver information to Donald Trump Jr? …Especially considering Ms. Veselnitskaya was never identified within the original email request for a meeting? ….and Donald Trump Jr. said, correctly it appears, that he had no idea whom he would be meeting with(?) .
It’s enough to make you wonder what exactly is the nature of the relationship between Natalia Veselnitskaya and President Obama’s appointees such that they would be visibly working together only a few days after her reported meeting with Donald Trump Jr. in Trump Tower….
Curiouser and Curiousor…
As Jeans2nd aptly notes: Natalia Veselnitskaya could have known Michael McFaul going all the way back to 2008 when McFaul was in Russia as an Obama campaign advisor.
“Michael McFaul, who served as U.S. ambassador to Russia during the Obama administration, said that he was in Moscow meeting with officials in the weeks leading up to Obama’s 2008 election win.” (Washington Post)
Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) have ties to Azerbaijan going back to at least 2010, if not before, during Clinton’s many trips to Azerbaijan.
Hillary Clinton arrives in Baku for talks on Caucasus
AFP, Jul 4, 2010, 02.51am IST (link)
Azerbaijan: Clinton meets bloggers Posted 4 July 2010 17:04 GMT (link)
Azerbaijan is also mentioned in the Wikileaks emails:
“In April 2015, the Clinton team had to decide whether to accept campaign donations from US lobbyists representing foreign states…like Iraq, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Libya and the United Arab Emirates.”
“After a great deal of back and forth, Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook said he decided they should just accept the donations” (link)
“Azerbaijan: Could Baku Have Access to a Clinton White House? – A lobbyist connection between Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and Azerbaijan could create the appearance of a conflict of interest”.
“(since 2009) the Podesta Group, a high-powered Washington lobbying firm, has handled networking and image-building for Azerbaijan’s embassy in the United States.” (link)
“Azerbaijan, a country the State Department said in an official report was infused with “corruption and predatory behavior by politically connected elites.”” “including slavery” (link)