Russian Prosecutor General’s Office denies link to Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office had nothing to do with the meeting of private Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya with Donald Trump Jr., its official representative told RT, calling allegations of any involvement “insane.”
READ FULL INTERVIEW: ‘We don’t use private lawyers to cooperate with US’ – Russian Prosecutor General’s Office to RT
There have been allegations of the possible involvement of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office in brokering the meeting. Denis Grunis, who heads the international cooperation department of the Prosecutor General’s Office, however, strongly denies the claims.
Based on international agreements, any information sharing between the Russian Office of the Prosecutor General and its foreign colleagues only happens through official channels and formal queries, Grunis told RT on Friday.
According to a 1999 treaty, Moscow sends any information about criminal cases to the US Department of Justice through an established direct channel of communication, he said.
“It is insane to think that the Prosecutor General’s Office would use a private lawyer to transfer information,” the official said, adding that he has already said the same to “about a dozen major western media outlets.”
None of them, however, after requesting a comment, have used it in their reports on the issue, he added.
His office’s cooperation with American colleagues is “quite an efficient mechanism,” Grunis said, adding that the two departments are “in constant communication.” In 2015, over a hundred queries were sent to the US by the Russian side, while American officials requested assistance 35 times.
“Even though we have no extradition treaty, we still succeed in ensuring the inevitability of punishment for those who commit crimes via sharing information and evidence that the [US] Department of Justice needs,” Grunis told RT.
Media hype emerged in the West when a report appeared saying that the US president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., together with the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and then-campaign chairman Paul J. Manafort, met with a private Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, in June of last year. The woman allegedly claimed she had damaging information on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
This week, Donald Trump Jr. released the full chain of emails related to the meeting, stating that it had nothing to do with Trump’s election campaign, and that the lawyer “wanted to talk about adoption policy and the Magnitsky Act.”
#Assange: I urged Trump Jr to release emails on Russian lawyer before NYT story https://t.co/tNd8OsnQlv— RT (@RT_com) July 12, 2017
Commenting on the issue, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, “It is amazing how serious people are making an elephant out of a fly.”