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Russian lawyer from Trump Tower meeting charged in money laundering case

A Russian lawyer who attended a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower under scrutiny in the U.S. special counsel's Russia probe was charged with obstruction of justice in a money laundering case, the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan said on Tuesday.

Charge related to her statements in money laundering case involving a Russian-controlled company

Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya had downplayed ties to the Kremlin following news reports in 2017 that revealed a meeting with Trump campaign officials the previous years. The charge Tuesday involves her work on behalf of a Russian company accused of laundering money through real estate, including in New York City. (Dmitry Serebryakov/Reuters)

A Russian lawyer who attended a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower under scrutiny in the U.S. special counsel's Russia probe was charged with obstruction of justice in a money laundering case, the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan said on Tuesday.

According to an indictment unsealed on Tuesday, Natalia Veselnitskaya was charged with obstructing justice by filing a misleading statement in the money laundering case, which was settled in 2017.

U.S. President Donald Trump has denied knowing about the 2016 meeting his oldest son Donald Trump Jr. and other campaign staff held at Trump Tower in June 2016 with a group of Russians.

Donald Trump Jr. has said he agreed to the meeting after being promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton, Trump's Democratic opponent in the 2016 election. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and senior campaign aide Paul Manafort also took part in the June 9, 2016, meeting.

Veselnitskaya represented Prevezon Holdings Ltd, a Russian-controlled real estate company, which in 2017 agreed to pay nearly $6 million US to settle a U.S. government lawsuit accusing it of laundering proceeds of a $230 million tax fraud.

Veselnitskaya is believed to be living in Russia.

In a release, Angel M. Melendez, head of the New York office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations division, said Veselnitskaya "is now a wanted person in the United States for intentionally misleading U.S. investigators."

The U.S. and Russia do not share an extradition treaty.

With files from The Associated Press

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