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Changing her tune: Russian lawyer Veselnitskaya now says Don Jr. promised sanctions relief in meeting

Russian lawyer allegedly representing the Kremlin now says Donald Trump Jr. offered to review Magnitsky sanctions in return for Clinton info

(Reuters) – A Russian lawyer who met Donald Trump Jr. during the 2016 election campaign said the U.S. president’s son told her his father, if elected, could return to the issue of a U.S. law which imposes sanctions on Russian officials related to the death of a Russian lawyer, Bloomberg reported.

New York attorney Alan Futerfas, who represents Donald Trump Jr., did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A representative for the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, did not answer calls seeking comment.

The June 2016 meeting in New York between Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Jr, along with other senior Trump campaign officials, has become part of an investigation into allegations Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election. Trump has denied his campaign colluded with Moscow.

Bloomberg quoted Veselnitskaya as saying in an interview in Moscow that she was lobbying against the so-called Magnitsky law, adopted by Washington in response to the 2009 death of Sergei Magnitsky, a whistle-blowing lawyer and auditor.

Supporters of Magnitsky say the Russian state murdered him by denying him adequate medical care while he was in prison on tax evasion charges. The Kremlin denies the allegation.

In the interview with Bloomberg, Veselnitskaya quoted Donald Trump Jr as saying during their meeting, in reference to the Magnitsky law: “Looking ahead, if we come to power, we can return to this issue and think what to do about it.”

According to Bloomberg, Veselnitskaya also recalled the future president’s son as saying: “I understand our side may have messed up, but it’ll take a long time to get to the bottom of it.”

Veselnitskaya said that at their meeting she offered to pass on information pertaining to alleged tax evasion by wealthy Democratic Party donors. She said Trump Jr. had asked for documents proving the tax evasion, that she did not have any such documents and described the 20 minute meeting as a failure.

(Reporting by Katya Golubkova in Moscow and Karen Freifeld in New York)

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