NOVEMBER 09, 2017
The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act suit in federal court Thursday against the U.S. Department of Justice, seeking immigration records about a Russian lawyer whose June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr. sparked controversy.
The group asked a District of Columbia district court judge to force the Justice Department to respond to its Aug. 4 FOIA request for communications sent to or from officials in the U.S. Attorney General and U.S. Deputy Attorney General’s offices about an immigration parole issued to Natalia Veselnitskaya between Jan. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2016.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has said that DHS paroled Veselnitskaya in September 2015 “in concurrence with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, allowing her to participate in a client’s legal proceedings.” The attorney at the time was representing Denis Katsyv, whose company Prevezon Holdings Ltd. was said by prosecutors to have bought Manhattan real estate to launder some of the proceeds of a $230 million tax scam.
Veselnitskaya rose to national notoriety when it became public that she met with Trump Jr. during the presidential campaign last summer. That meeting has come under scrutiny amid accusations that Russia sought to tip the scales in favor of then-candidate Donald Trump in the election.