One day, we may find the smoking gun, or the one thing that unlocks what really happened in that June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. But Friday morning’s Reuters story about Veselnitskaya’s legal work for the FSB isn’t quite it.
The story, reported out of Moscow, provides evidence that Veselnitskaya “counted Russia’s FSB security service among her clients for years,” and has been taken by some American observers to emphasize Veselnitskaya’s ties to the world of Russian intelligence. And they could be forgiven for thinking that, given the article’s splashy headline: “Exclusive: Moscow lawyer who met Trump Jr. had Russian spy agency as client.”
But the actual story says something very different about Veselnitskaya and the work she did for the FSB from 2005 to 2013. “The documents show that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, successfully represented the FSB's interests in a legal wrangle over ownership of an upscale property in northwest Moscow between 2005 and 2013,” it says. The work, according to the story, concerned a real-estate dispute in which Veselnitskaya helped the FSB wrest ownership of a valuable building from a private company by alleging that the original sale was based on fraudulent documents.