MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian lawyer who met Donald Trump Jr. during the 2016 campaign has represented a military unit operated by Russia’s intelligence agency, according to court filings obtained by The Associated Press on Friday.
The filings from 2011 and 2012 show that Natalia Veselnitskaya represented Military Unit 55002, which is run by the FSB, Russia’s main intelligence agency, in a court case. In the case involving property rights, the state-run Federal Property Agency sought to regain ownership of a building occupied by the military unit from two private companies. The court ruled in the FPA’s favor.
Veselnitskaya did not reply to messages seeking comment, but issued a Facebook post late Friday saying she had represented many sorts of clients, including U.S. citizens and people who were defending themselves against the government.
President Donald Trump’s eldest son, his son-in-law and then-campaign manager met with Veselnitskaya in June 2016 after being told that she could provide potentially incriminating information about Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. The meeting has been billed by many as part of a Russian government effort to help the Republican’s White House campaign.
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Veselnitskaya denied having any ties to the Russian government, although the man who arranged the meeting said she got the information from Russia’s prosecutor general.
She said in an interview with Kremlin-funded RT television channel earlier last week that she’s ready to testify before the U.S. Senate.
The court filings described how the building which used to be property of the Soviet Ministry of Electronic Industries was privatized following the fall of the Soviet Union and sold off to two private companies. The claimant argued that the building was privatized and then sold illegally and that the military unit that was running it “essentially owns the disputed property and bears the maintenance costs.” The military unit supported the Property Agency’s claim.
The filing shows that the military unit had been using the building since 2007 after the two companies lost their first case in court in 2006. They appealed the ruling until 2012.
The five-story building in the north of Moscow is currently occupied by Electronintorg, a state-owned electronics company which services the Russian military.
Electronintorg’s website says the company focuses on “meeting the requirements of Russian enterprises” by providing engineering services and importing electronic equipment from Western companies.
Government records show that Electronintorg has secured 3.4 million rubles ($57,000) in government contracts since 2015, mainly on orders of industrial chemicals and supplies like sodium silicate.
Respected Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta in 2005 wrote about an elaborate smuggling scheme that involved Military Unit 55002. It said nearly a million pair of shoes and 68,000 men’s boxers from China had been imported illegally by the military unit which serves the FSB’s procurement department.