Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign, is trying to obtain immigration status so she can defend a tax fraud claim against a company she represents, according to a Reuters report published on Monday.
Russian-controlled Prevezon Holdings Ltd. asked a U.S. court for temporary immigration status for Veselnitskaya so she can be present for hearings on the dispute, which involves a $230 million Russian tax fraud case.
In May, Prevezon agreed to pay nearly $6 million to the U.S. government to settle a $230 million Russian tax fraud case related to Hermitage Capital, an American investment fund and asset management company that invests in Russian markets.
In a Manhattan federal court filing on Monday, U.S. prosecutors said the settlement payment was due on Oct. 31, but lawyers for Prevezon disagreed.
The news comes amid federal and congressional probes into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Veselnitskaya featured prominently in headlines about the probe last summer when it was revealed that Trump Jr. had accepted a meeting with her after he was told he would receive negative information on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
In the end, Trump Jr. called his meeting with Veselnitskaya a “waste of time.”
“To the extent they had information concerning the fitness, character or qualifications of a presidential candidate, I believed that I should at least hear them out,” Trump Jr. said after the news broke in July. “Depending on what, if any, information they had, I could then consult with counsel to make an informed decision as to whether to give it further consideration.”
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