Natalia V. Veselnitskaya arrived at a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 hoping to interest top Trump campaign officials in the contents of a memo she believed contained information damaging to the Democratic Party and, by extension, Hillary Clinton. The material was the fruit of her research as a private lawyer, she has repeatedly said, and any suggestion that she was acting at the Kremlin’s behest that day is anti-Russia “hysteria.”That document about misdeeds in a business deal went to Rep. French Hill. The gist of the story today is that this was no free-lance work, but an effort coordinated with a high Russian official.
But interviews and records show that in the months before the meeting, Ms. Veselnitskaya had discussed the allegations with one of Russia’s most powerful officials, the prosecutor general, Yuri Y. Chaika. And the memo she brought with her closely followed a document that Mr. Chaika’s office had given to an American congressman two months earlier, incorporating some paragraphs verbatim.
Veselnitskaya teamed with Mr. Chaika’s office to pass the accusations to an American congressional delegation visiting Moscow. An official with the Russian prosecutor general’s office gave a memo detailing the charges — stamped “confidential”— to Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican who is considered to be one of the most pro-Russia lawmakers in Congress and who heads a subcommittee that helps oversee U.S. policy toward Russia.What's a little document exchange among friends?
Ms. Veselnitskaya handed a nearly identical memo to Representative French Hill, Republican of Arkansas. She has said she also met with Mr. Rohrabacher then, although he said that he does not recall the encounter.