Patterico's Pontifications


The Magnitsky Act And The Woman Who Met With Trump Jr.: Part One Of A Six-Part Series

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:00 am

This is Part One of a six-part series on the death of Sergei Magnitsky, what he uncovered before his death, and how it all relates to the Russian woman who met with Trump Jr., Manafort, and Jared Kushner in June 2016.

At CNN, reporter Michael Weiss has put out an amazing piece of investigative journalism looking at the strange real estate dealings of that woman: Natalia Veselnitskaya.

According to two different privately run databases, which draw on personal financial and employment information from Russian state records, Veselnitskaya went from a lowly state salary of $1,559 a year to a much more comfortable $53,645, between 1999 and 2003.

But here’s the curious thing: In August 2003, before the lion’s share of that $53,645 was earned, the Russian land registry shows that Veselnitskaya was somehow able to buy two large plots of land in an elite residential community in the Moscow suburbs — properties that cannot have been sold for less than $500,000 apiece at the time, according to two Russian brokers with extensive experience selling in that area.

Veselnitskaya would not respond to multiple interview requests for this story to confirm her employment details and her income.

How a 28-year-old provincial attorney raking in, at most, five figures was able to afford seven figures worth of property is a very Russian mystery, no less intriguing than her extraordinary and unlikely journey to the meeting at the center of the far-reaching investigation into how Moscow might have had a hand in influencing the American presidential election.

Weiss’s article explores these curious deals, and revisits some previously known information about Veselnitskaya, putting it all in a context that you may not have understood before.

I believe most stories about Veselnitskaya have failed to properly explain just how deep her ties are to some of the people accused of perpetrating a $230 million Russian tax fraud, the exposure of which led to the imprisonment, torture, and murder of Russian tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. I’d like to try to remedy that journalistic failure with this series of posts, which also constitute a review of the book Red Notice by Bill Browder, which lays out the Sergei Magnitsky story from start to finish.

The summary version is that Veselnitskaya:

  • Represented a company accused of receiving proceeds from a $230 million tax fraud scheme uncovered by Russian tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky;
  • Has admitted a connection to Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika, who is interested in reversing the Magnitsky Act, which freezes the assets of Russian criminals involved in the imprisonment, torture, and murder of Magnitsky;
  • Has promoted a movie that spouts the Russian government’s false propaganda that Browder and Magnitsky are the real criminals;
  • In lobbying for “Russian adoption” issues, is actually lobbying for the repeal of the Magnitsky Act;

and finally, as revealed by Weiss:

  • Oddly purchased expensive properties that were clearly beyond her means, in a manner remarkably similar to the extravagant lifestyles of the Russian police who participated in the $230 million tax fraud and had Magnitsky murdered.

Because this is a blog, and blog readers don’t want to read a 4300-word post in a single setting, I will be setting out this story in six parts.

Tomorrow, in Part Two, I will set out the background of the fraud uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, as set out in Browder’s book Red Notice.

Stay tuned.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

56 Responses to “The Magnitsky Act And The Woman Who Met With Trump Jr.: Part One Of A Six-Part Series”

  1. Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr linked to investigation group behind salacious Steele Dossier

    (this is the pee pee dossier sleazy war hero John McCain was so proud of)

    The US passed the Magnitsky Act in 2012 to target those Russians allegedly behind Mr Magnitsky’s death.


    Ms Veselnitskaya has for several years been leading a campaign to have the act overturned. As part of her effort she allegedly hired GPS Fusion. A complaint filed last year claimed that GPS Fusion headed the pro-Russia campaign to kill the Magnitsky Act.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  2. Carlyle Group? So much to purloin, so little time.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  3. Mean while michael weiss works for the Atlantic council, which receives monies from all sorts of interesting people recall the whole hagel episode that Shapiro helped untangle one of their appendages WA crowd strike.

    narciso (d1f714)

  4. “People like billionaire vulture capitalist Bill Browder, the bloodless grandson of former US Communist Party leader Earl Browder, who served as Putin’s most loyal attack dog while he was raking in his billions, but then transformed himself into the Andrei Sakharov of vulture capitalism as soon as Putin’s KGB tossed Browder out of their circle and decided to keep his share of the take for themselves.”

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)


    In all of the drama over the Russian interference in America’s 2016 election, it’s easy to forget just how corrupt Russia is, and how much corruption and money flows still determine the official course of action. The Magnitsky Act so angered the Russians because it targeted what really mattered to them; it went after Russian elites’ raison d’être. It’s why Senator John McCain called it a “pro-Russia” law, and many in the Russian opposition agreed: it went after not the Russian people, but the elites who stole from them with brazen impunity. The law hit the mark so precisely and painfully that the elite lashed out fiercely enough to do what neither the Magnitsky Act nor the 2014 sanctions did: They targeted their own, most vulnerable citizens—as if they haven’t stolen from them enough.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  6. There ate .any rooms in the mansion,:

    narciso (d1f714)

  7. So Trump was set up by Moscow with funding help of Democrats?

    Love Movement (987b85)

  8. I think Michael Weiss actually devotes far too much space to the question of her ability to buy that real estate given her salary. The one important point is that her official income comes from two sources, so that may be what she officially earned.

    It doesn’t mean there was no way her ability to purchase that was legal under Russian law, or made legal, or made to look legal, but it does mean there’s something very important hidden about her.

    It doesn’t matter if she is only a nominal owner, or someone else put it in her name to disguise the real owner or however this might explained.

    The bottom line is this:

    There’s something very important hidden about her.

    But we knew that anyway. The news maybe is that this goes back at least to 2003.

    Sammy Finkelman (e3cf91)

  9. 7. My exlanation as to why the Russian government, which was interested in helping Trump, supplied Christopher Steele with anti-Trump disinformation is they didn’t know he was working for the Democrats Clinton campaign!

    They thought he was still working for MI6 or perhaps, that he was working for somebody important in the Conservative Party, and wanted to build mistrust between the government of the U.K. and the U.S. under a possible Trump presidency. And didn’t expect the British to share this “information.”

    The alternate explanation is that Putin wasn’t interested in helping Trump win, but just in getting U.S. politicians to mistrust each other (and the people to mistrust all of them.)

    Sammy Finkelman (e3cf91)

  10. Thank you, Patterico. All of this is news to me. I look forward to tomorrow’s post.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  11. Well, she wormed her way into the oligarchs. She is not safe, but will be very rich.

    And Obama just spoke to the Carlyle Group last week for upwards of $400,000 so what does that mean, Ben burn?

    Patricia (5fc097)

  12. Why is so many otherwise intelligent people so sure that the Russians actually tried to interfere in the election? There is no credible evidence of any interference and the Russians had nothing to gain. To work to put a unknown long shot in office when the Russians knew that Hilary could be “rented” if not brought is not something that trained former Soviet intelligence would waste time, money and other resources.

    Michael Keohane (947544)

  13. “Former President Barack is reportedly set to be paid $1.2m for a series of speeches to major Wall Street firms, less than a year after he left the White House.

    Earlier this year, Mr Obama attracted criticism from several Democratic senators when it was revealed he was to speak at a September conference organised by financial services company Cantor Fiztgerald.

    Now, it has been reported that in addition to the speech he is due to give next week, the former president has already been paid $800,000 for two speeches he delivered to Wall Street firms – Northern Trust Corp, which he spoke to last month, and an address last week to the Carlyle Group.”

    Giving the money to kids charities patricia.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  14. 12. Michael Keohane (947544) — 9/18/2017 @ 12:58 pm

    Why is so many otherwise intelligent people so sure that the Russians actually tried to interfere in the election?

    To many people have seen too many signs. Putin was actually all but making an endorsement.

    Not only do we know that the Russian government tried to help Trump, we also know they gave up on him about three weeks before the election.

    Now they distributed the results of DNC and other hacks (some of which arguably maybe aren’t proper;ly described as hacks, because that was phishing. And they did penetrate the DNC computers.

    What’s in doubt is if they downloaded the DNC files remotely (some say that was impossible, but that’s based on their not having enough time), or had an agent in place, who, armed with passwords and log in information which they had obtained, downloaded files locally to USB drives.

    There’s still no reason to doubt that they hacked the DNC and that they distrbuted files.

    There is no credible evidence of any interference and the Russians had nothing to gain. To work to put a unknown long shot in office when the Russians knew that Hilary could be “rented” if not brought

    No, Putin mistakenly thought Hillary had principles and/or had turned against him in February, 2014 because he thought Victoria Nuland was one of Hillary’s women, and was following her instructions when she practically engineered the overthrow of the Ukrainian government. After all, she and her husband Robert Kagan were Hillary supporters. So Putin did not believe he could buy, or even rent, Hillary Clinton, even if in truth he could have.

    As for trump being a long shot, by the time Putin really got involved, in June 2016, Trump wa sno longer such alongshot – in any case he wa sthe only opposition to Hillary. Putin also of course made an effort to penetrate Trump’s campaign, and probably succeeded.

    If some of the people he got in were not out and out Russian agents, they at least offered some possibilities. Manafort was really not a Russian agent, but Mike Flynn could have been, although he turned out to be closer to Turley, so much so, that, he declined to approve arming Syrian Kurds at the behest of Turkey. (Obama had decided to do that, but deferred to the incoing admninistraiton It took Trump two mnths to reverse that)

    Hillary, of course, lies and claims Putin’s hostility to her dates from 2011, when she made some kind of pro forma official statements about the Russian Parliamentary elections.

    is not something that trained former Soviet intelligence would waste time, money and other resources.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  15. I’m intrigued by this story. Thank you Patterico.

    Tillman (a95660)

  16. Good read, Patterico.

    Good to break it up into parts as well.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  17. Always trust content from Patterico.

    JVW (42615e)

  18. a lowly state salary of $1,559 a year

    climate change pansy Gary Cohn only makes 30K, which is even less than he made as a third-rate goldy sacky thug

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  19. can anyone get the DSK Riita page to load?

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  20. oh. it finally resolved

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  21. I am awaiting moderatitition.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  22. here is story about the area of which DSK Riita is a part

    here’s an interesting idea

    Alongside the ‘new Russians’ – and increasingly, social climbers from the state apparatus, reluctant to put their new wealth on show…

    i guess that’s what the lawyer hoochie woulda been at the time

    a social climber from the state apparatus

    i wonder who she was sleeping with

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  23. but still we’re left with the puzzle

    how could a sexy young hot-to-trot russian girl working in a building in Moscow alongside powerful well-connected men “amass considerable wealth in a very short period of time?”


    it’s complete befuddles!

    this amazing cnn fake news investigation needs to dig even deeper if we’re to gain a more better comprehension

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  24. You’re peddling that tricycle in a fever narciso.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  25. Is it really that surprising;

    Add Susan rice and Ian Cameron, the rhodes bros, we have a sysgy where we don’t know where state legal media oligarchy start and end

    narciso (d1f714)

  26. See g as this the source for much of this kerfluffle, yet manafort gets the cyndi archer treatment, ratified by the 7th circus, and podesta and mercury (that’s doctor evils firm) get strongly worded notes:

    narciso (d1f714)

  27. It’s like this Russia place is run by gangsters and their molls or something.

    nk (dbc370)

  28. that’s an interesting theoretical framework Mr. nk

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  29. Anybody doubt that there are no restraints on Putin inside Russia, any more than there on Kim Jong Un inside North Korea?

    nk (dbc370)

  30. than there *are* on

    nk (dbc370)

  31. I wpyld disagree he has to seek more consent from the siloviki to get anything done.

    narciso (d1f714)

  32. So how about this new fake news from the fake news network that Obama did “wiretap” (their word) the Trump campaign, in the person of campaign manager Paul Manafort, before the election?

    nk (dbc370)

  33. You live in a city that actually had a functioning black site on human square and you’re surprised they haven’t come clean shirley

    narciso (d1f714)

  34. NYT: Manafort Told He Will Be Indicted

    And Maria a Cat 5.


    “Well, blow me down.” – Popeye the Sailor, 1933

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  35. poor puerto rico

    god hates you

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  36. @25. how could a sexy young hot-to-trot russian girl working in a building in Moscow alongside powerful well-connected men “amass considerable wealth in a very short period of time?”

    She’s a Trotsky.

    “Is moose and squirrel, dahling.” – Natasha Fatale [June Foray] 1959

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  37. :)

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  38. @36 interesting, I didn’t realize that Trump and Manafort were the same person.

    Davethulhu (3a2442)

  39. happyfeet @24 @ 5:10 pm

    i wonder who she was sleeping with

    Alexander Mitusov, who had been deputy prosecutor in the Moscow region and therefore Veselnitskaya’s superior, described by Michael Weiss as one of Pyotr Katsyv’s employees. They later married, then later divorced. Pyotr Katsyv was the transport minister for the Moscow region and iss now vice president of Russian Railways, the state-owned rail monopoly and before that. His son, Denis Katsyv, owns Prevezon, which is a Cypriot company which was accused by the US Justice Department of washing cash for others by buying in the Manhattan property market. (Putin later told his people, after the passage of the Magnitsky Act not to not to put money in assets abroad and to pull their assets back in, because he didn’t want the United States to havea point of pressure on his people, but this was before.)

    Natalia Veselnitskaya got connected to the Katsyvs presumably through Alexander Mitusov, and became their go-to lawyer and fixer.

    Sammy Finkelman (0c3646)

  40. @41. No more than Haldeman was the same person as the Big Dick.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  41. So how much did those parcels of land sell for, we known the awan clan was engaged in real estate frays among their other offenses

    narciso (d1f714)

  42. erf cake

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  43. And the other one:

    narciso (d1f714)

  44. For those with wisdom this sounds like the ntv raid

    narciso (d1f714)

  45. This is a great opening post of what promises to be an excellent series. I read this post and the Weiss article and I learned many, many things I did not know or fully understand.

    Thank you for doing this. I know from experience how time-consuming and unappreciated efforts like this are, and I know you understand that, too. The fact that you continue to do things like this speaks volumes about your character.

    DRJ (15874d)

  46. Were these words directed at me, DRj?

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  47. They were for Patterico. But I think well of you, too.

    DRJ (15874d)

  48. You are an angel, DRJ. I’m gonna sell my canoe and buy a rowboat. I can’t rescue people from hurricane waters in a canoe. They keep tipping it over.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  49. …and now we are seeing the effects of the lack of “black site”, Narciso

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  50. “. The fact that you continue to do things like this speaks volumes about your character.”


    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

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