The Russian lawyer who met Donald Trump Jr. after his father won the Republican nomination for the 2016 U.S. presidential election counted Russia’s FSB security service among her clients for years, Russian court documents seen by Reuters show.
The documents show that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, successfully represented the FSB’s interests in a legal wrangle over ownership of an upscale property in northwest Moscow between 2005 and 2013.
The FSB, successor to the Soviet-era KGB service, was headed by Vladimir Putin before he became Russian president, reports Reuters.
There is no suggestion that Veselnitskaya is an employee of the Russian government or intelligence services, and she has denied having anything to do with the Kremlin.
But the fact she represented the FSB in a court case may raise questions among some U.S. politicians.
The Obama administration last year sanctioned the FSB for what it said was its role in hacking the election, something Russia flatly denies, and Charles Grassley, Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has raised concerns about why Veselnitskaya was allowed into the United States at all.
Veselnitskaya did not reply to emailed Reuters questions about her work for the FSB. The FSB did not respond to a request for comment.
Reuters could not find a record of when and by whom the lawsuit – which dates back to at least 2003 – was first lodged. But appeal documents show that Rosimushchestvo, Russia’s federal government property agency, was involved. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Veselnitskaya and her firm Kamerton Consulting represented “military unit 55002” in the property dispute, the documents show.
A public list of Russian legal entities shows the FSB, Russia’s domestic intelligence agency, founded the military unit whose legal address is behind the FSB’s own headquarters.
Reuters was unable to establish if Veselnitskaya did any other work for the FSB or confirm who now occupies the building at the center of the case.