Russian-American lobbyist at Junior Trump meeting denies spy past

Vastavam web: A Russian-American lobbyist revealed to have attended a meeting by Donald Trump Jr seeking damaging information on Hillary Clinton has strongly denied working for Russian intelligence.It emerged yesterday that Rinat Akhmetshin, a Washington lobbyist with dual citizenship, accompanied Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya to the June 2016 meeting, at which Trump Jr expected to receive secret information that would hurt Clinton in the 2016 election.But the lobbyist rejected that allegation as “maliciously false,” telling AFP he “never worked for any intelligence service.”

The June 9 meeting has become the focus of allegations that the Trump election campaign collaborated last year with a covert effort by Moscow to turn voters away from Clinton.Those allegations are currently under investigation by a high-powered Justice Department investigation led by former FBI chief Robert Mueller.The encounter was also attended by Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and son-in-law Jared Kushner, underscoring how important the campaign apparently thought it could be.

One year on, emails showing the younger Trump’s willingness to meet the lawyer are viewed in some quarters as a possible “smoking gun” in the ongoing federal investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to get the Republican elected.Accompanying Veselnitskaya at the meeting were Akhmetshin, an interpreter, and according to the Washington Post, Goldstone.But according to Trump Jr, Veselnitskaya did not produce damaging information on Clinton after all and instead focused the discussion on the US “Magnitsky” sanctions against a Russian company she represented.

Akhmetshin has also lobbied against the Magnitsky sanctions placed on a number of high-level Russian officials.The Post also reported that Akhmetshin had served in the Russian military and may have worked in intelligence.”That claim is maliciously false and designed to shift attention from my campaign in Congress” against the Magnitsky law, he told AFP. Trump Jr’s lawyer, Alan Futerfas, told NBC News his client did not know any of the other people in the meeting beforehand.