Her name is Natalia Veselnitskaya. She is a 44-year-old Ukrainian, born in the former USSR and a graduate of the Russian State Legal Academy. She is also a confidant of Yuri Chaika, the Russian prosecutor general (the equivalent of the Attorney General). Her stated purpose for coming to the United States was to assist her client in a legal matter but instead seemed to steer her visit to work with the lobby to try to repeal the Magnitsky Act.

Background

In 2008, Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian tax-attorney and accountant, discovered that the law enforcement officials in Moscow had stolen $230 million from his client, William Browder, an American-born British investor. In typical Russian brutal fashion, Magnitsky was thrown in jail on what critics called "blatantly bogus charges" and that he was being punished for having the courage to accuse these powerful authorities. After 358 days behind bars, Magnitsky was beaten to death just seven days before his one-year sentence was served.

The news met with international outrage. The  United States reacted to this clear human rights violation. Congress passed a bipartisan bill, which was signed by President Obama late in 2012, called the Magnitsky Act, which punished the officials involved. Global assets of each of them were frozen by the U.S. government. Putin retaliated by ending the Russian adoption opportunities for the thousands of Americans looking to adopt there.

Former KGB counterintelligence operative-turned-naturalized U.S. citizen in 1988, Rinat Akmetshin, with the help of a shady Israeli/Russian businessman Denis Katsyv, set up a Washington-based lobbyist group described as a human rights watch called The Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative

One of the principle goals of this group was to repeal the Magnitsky Act.

Veselnitskaya allegedly came to America to assist her client Denis Katsyv with a significant legal issue but then also redirected her purpose here to assist this lobby group with regards to the Magnitsky Act. Her even being in the country is another mystery, wrapped up in this larger one. *We'll revisit that later in the article.

Keep in mind, Katsyv's father is a VP of the state-run rail monopoly in Russia and thought to be a close business associate of Vladimir Yakunin, who is a close confidant of Vladimir Putin.

Katsyv was facing federal charges of money laundering for the same officials under sanction. He was prosecuted in the Southern District of New York. Veselnitsyaya represented Katsyv overseas but for some reason, she insisted to attend the hearing even he was already represented by his powerful US attorneys at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP.

That hearing took place on June 9, 2016.

 

Fusion GPS

Fusion GPS is a commercial intelligence firm also based in Washington. GPS (Global research, Political insight, and Strategic advice) was founded in 2011 by Glenn Simpson, a former investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal and Roll Call.

Fusion GPS was originally hired to do Trump opposition research for the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative political journalism website, founded by three men: Michael Goldfarb, a former communications director for Senator John McCain; a Neo-Con Aaron Harrison, who formerly worked for Senator McCain's campaign; and editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti, son-in-law of Neo-Con and "Never Trumper" Bill Kristol.

The Washington Free Beacon was forever tarnished for their notorious deception when they reported that "Fusion GPS was being funded by an unknown GOP client while the primary was going on." Three days later the very same Washington Free Beacon was outed as the paying client.

The Washington Free Beacon testified to the House Intelligence Committee that they stopped funding the opposition research of Donald Trump with his presumed securing of the GOP nomination by mid-May of 2016.

Fusion GPS, though, conducted this probe of Donald J. Trump from May of 2015 until October 2016. When the Washington Free Beacon stopped the funding of the research, it was then funded by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC (Democratic National Committee) from April 2016 to the end. Perkins Cole, a law firm working on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, picked up the funding.

It was then, in May of 2016, that former British spy Christopher Steele was hired by Fusion GPS to go to Russia and ask his Kremlin connections for any information that would be detrimental to the candidacy of Donald Trump. The Steele Dossier is the primary source of information that led to the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian collusion.

The Concerning "Strange Bedfellows" Theory

I should also mention that Fusion GPS did some defense research in 2014 for the law firm Baker-Hostetler representing Denis Katsyv in the money laundering scheme. It is no small matter as you will see.

Let me cut to the chase: On June 9, 2016, Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson met with Russian operative Natalia Veselnitskaya at the Manhattan Federal courthouse, just two hours before she walked into a planned meeting with Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort, Donald Trump, Jr., and Jared Kushner at Trump Tower in Manhattan. She was presented to the Trump team as "the Crown prosecutor in Russia" by a British publicist, according to Donald Trump, Jr.

 

When the meeting was set up, Natalia Veselnitskaya  claimed to have pertinent information about Hillary Clinton that would be damaging to her candidacy. According to Donald Trump Jr, when she initiated the meeting, she said she was going to offer to them, proof that Hillary accepted illegal campaign funds from Russia. But instead, she refused to give them written proof and wanted to discuss the idea of the possibilities of Trump repealing the Magnitsky Act, if he were to be elected. 

Veselnitskaya has claimed that Donald Trump Jr said his father would reconsider the law. Big, fat, hairy deal? Well, the Democrats seemed to think it was and so did their loyal media.

However, the wiretap did not prove to show Trump Jr. was lying. Another indication that he was being truthful is that nothing she said about Clinton was ever used by the Trump campaign. She came, she left, seeing Fusion GPS founder Simpson before the meeting.. and again after this meeting, they met for dinner as Simpson testified.

The meeting between Trump's team and Veselnitskaya was being monitored by the FBI due to the opening of their investigation and only after obtaining a special warrant for a wiretap to enhance the surveillance on the Trump campaign office in Trump Tower. The extremely rare warrant was granted by a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) judge. The information the FBI presented to the judge came mostly (if not completely) from the Steele Dossier in Simpson's GPS Fusion research report.

How did Clinton's paid researcher Glenn Simpson seem to know that by merely sending Veselnitskaya into the Trump Tower to meet with campaign senior staff, the FBI would be documenting this and somehow feeding into its collusion investigation with this choreographed event?

Another Red Flag

In fact, how did Simpson even know to contact Veselnitskaya or that she was in the United States? She was denied a special visa to come to the United States for her client's (Katsyv) June 9, 2016 hearing a but got in anyway.

Reuters reported:

"She wasn’t admitted into the U.S. in June 2016 because of her role in the Prevezon case. In fact, then U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of Manhattan specifically refused Veselnitskaya’s request that the Justice Department authorize her trip via a mechanism known as immigration parole, which allows the attorney general to temporarily suspend immigration requirements on a case-by-case basis..."

She got here anyway when the Obama State Department went behind Bharara's back and got her a special visa to enter. An extraordinary act. Why would they do that? Also, how did a private citizen in Glenn Simpson even know about this unusual action taken by the State Department to over-rule the US District Attorney's denial and then, intercept her at the Federal courthouse?

It is not in question that the State Department (recently led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) got Veselnitskaya into the US for her client's hearing. The hearing just so happened to  fall on the same date that she planned to meet with Trump campaign officials. According to Reuters, The State Department refused to make a statement to Reuters confirming that they secured a special visa for Veselnitskaya

Simpson also "somehow" knew Veselnitskaya had a pre-planned meeting at Trump Tower. So, follow me here; the Russian operative coincidentally met with Clinton's opposition research lead investigator, just before going to the Trump Campaign office to discuss dirt on Simpson's client?

To me, the Trump team was silly to impulsively deny that Veselnitskaya met with them. There is no law against hearing what anyone has to say. I think they just thought the question was a 'hot potato', and they made a bad decision to try to deny it and not realizing the FBI was documenting every move and word (just my opinion).

But, the Democratic Party all throughout Washington as well as the liberal media seemed to be in chorus, all too ready to jump all over the denial, forcing hearings.

The FBI is not supposed to even acknowledge or deny a current investigation, let alone divulge such work to Glen Simpson, Fusion GPS and the entire political opposition of a presidential candidate's campaign! There is a 10-year sentence for such an action.

I propose to you that there was Russian collusion. There is somewhat clear, on top of clear evidence that the Clinton campaign had solicited the assistance of Russian operatives in an attempt to frame Donald Trump of the exact collusion for which they were guilty.

Based on Simpson's actions, someone within the the Federal Bureau of Investigations appears to have kept Fusion GPS apprised of their operations and that they choreographed a rather clumsily thought out plan to march Veselnitskaya to Trump Tower to show Team Trump 'collaborating with a Russian operative'. In fact, the Russian Government, through Veselnitskaya, was almost certainly included in the FBI's operation.

To be clear, this disturbing activity leads me to believe that someone or some people within the FBI was working to assist the Clinton campaign which recruited Russian operatives for the purpose to defeat Donald J. Trump in the elections and perhaps to even imprison him afterward.

"Politics makes for strange bedfellows." - Charles Dudley Warner 1850.

Indeed.

Look at my collection of suspected collaborators: Obama State Department and Justice Department officials, British Intelligence, CIA and NSA members, Russians, Neo-Con operatives of Senator McCain and Bill Kristol, The Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton Campaign.

When they obtained the FISA warrant, FBI Director James Comey was not forthcoming to the judge about the source of the information, only acknowledging that it was originating from someone looking to derail the Trump campaign who felt obligated to share the information with authorities.

He did not tell the judge something Comey was aware of. Steele, according to Department of Justice's one time 4th ranked member (now demoted) Bruce Ohr, Comey was personally told that Steele admitted that he was "desperate that Trump not be elected."

The Hill reported the following:

"Since it was disclosed last year that Steele’s dossier formed a central piece of evidence supporting the FISA warrant, Justice and FBI officials have been vague about exactly when they learned that Steele’s work was paid for by the law firm representing the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

A redacted version of the FISA application released last year shows the FBI did not mention any connection to the DNC or Clinton. Rather, it referred to Steele as a reliable source in past criminal investigations who was hired by a person working for a U.S. law firm to conduct research on Trump and Russia..."

The question is where did the federal government end and the Clinton Campaign/Democratic National Committee begin?

It was apparently a poorly kept secret, though. In August of 2016, Trump tweeted: "The Obama people did something that's never been done...They spied on a rival presidential campaign..."

It is ironic that it is under President Obama's own administration where Obama's publicly stated concerns for abuse of FISA are seemingly realized and for the most selfish of reasons—consolidating political power.

Obama Patriot Act/FISA Speech 2005

Ken Pittman is the host of The Ken Pittman Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact him at ken.pittman@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @RadioKenPittman. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.