Here’s what seems like an important question that only one senator seems to be asking: Why was the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. last year allowed in the country?
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released that question to top Trump administration officials. Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asking why Natalia Veselnitskaya was allowed to stay in the country when, according to official court documents, she was supposed to leave in early 2016.
“It is unclear how she was still in the country for that meeting despite being denied a visa beforehand and her parole purportedly expiring on January 7, 2016. This raises serious questions about whether the Obama administration authorized her to remain in the country, and if so, why?” Grassley wrote.
This Russian lawyer not only met with Donald Trump Jr. in June of 2016, but also the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Trump’s campaign manager at the time, Paul Manafort. The meeting was apparently to focus on compromising information regarding Hillary Clinton.
Additionally, Senator Grassley is also looking into the Fusion group which this attorney also seems to have ties with:
Earlier this year, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley asked the US Department of Justice to launch an investigation into Fusion GPS.
“Fusion GPS is the company behind the creation of the unsubstantiated dossier alleging a conspiracy between President Trump and Russia,” Mr. Grassley wrote in the letter. “It is highly troubling that Fusion GPS appears to have been working with someone with ties to Russian intelligence – let alone someone alleged to have conducted political disinformation campaigns– as part of a pro-Russia lobbying effort while also simultaneously overseeing the creation of the Trump-Russia dossier.”
Grassley wants the Department of Homeland Security to give details about Veselnitskaya’s process of getting a visa and any other pertinent details about her time in the U.S. He also wants to know if she is still in America. It was previously reported that she was granted a parole letter to enter the U.S. so that she could argue a court case.
Lawmakers are focusing on this meeting after Trump Jr. released the email chain of his correspondence with Rob Goldstone, an acquaintance of Trump’s. Goldstone was arranging a meeting with the Russian Lawyer because she had “information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.” Veselnitskaya told the Associated Press on Tuesday that she did not represent the Russian government and “never had compromising information and could not have had.”
The New York Times has reported otherwise, indicating that she has previously advocated for the Russian government in the past and her clients have included “state-owned businesses and a senior government official’s son.”
Grassley’s important question comes as his committee is investigating Russia’s election interference and possible ties with the Trump campaign. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are both calling for Donald Trump Jr. to testify before the Judiciary Committee.
Do you think that Grassley’s question is important? Is he on the right trail?
Credit: The Hill