Politics Lynch distances herself from Russian lawyer after Trump attack

05:05  14 july  2017
05:05  14 july  2017 Source:   The Hill

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Lynch distances herself from Russian lawyer after Trump attack . Administration. National security law and rules would make working with officials of the Russian government administratively impossible for the intelligence community.

Lynch distances herself from Russian lawyer after Trump attack© Provided by The Hill Lynch distances herself from Russian lawyer after Trump attack Former attorney general Loretta Lynch on Thursday distanced herself from the Russian lawyer that gained passage into the U.S. before landing a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. during the 2016 campaign.

At a press conference in France earlier Thursday, President Trump blamed the Obama administration and Lynch's Justice Department for allowing Natalia Veselnitskaya into the country.

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In a statement, a spokesperson for Lynch said the former attorney general "does not have any personal knowledge of Ms. Veselnitskaya's travel."

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Lynch distances herself from Russian lawyer after Trump attack . Lynch distances herself from The former attorney general said she “does not have any personal knowledge

Lynch distances herself from Russian lawyer after Trump attack . Lynch distances herself from The former attorney general said she “does not have any personal knowledge

In his remarks in France, Trump appeared to cite a report in The Hill that the Justice Department issued Veselnitskaya a special immigration waiver so that she could defend her client, a Russian firm, in an asset forfeiture case in New York.

The U.S. Attorney's office in New York told The Hill that it let Veselnitskaya into the country on a grant of immigration parole from October 2015 to early January 2016 after her initial request for a visa had been denied.

Court records show that when Veselnitskaya sought permission to extend her stay, the U.S. attorney at the hearing told the judge that the special visa the Russian lawyer received was part of a "discretionary act that the statute allows the attorney general to do in extraordinary circumstances."

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The U.S. attorney described the grant of parole immigration as extremely rare.

"In October the government bypassed the normal visa process and gave a type of extraordinary permission to enter the country called immigration parole," Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Monteleoni said to the judge during a hearing on Jan. 6, 2016.

"That's a discretionary act that the statute allows the attorney general to do in extraordinary circumstances," Monteleoni said. "In this case, we did that so that Mr. Katsyv could testify. And we made the further accommodation of allowing his Russian lawyer into the country to assist."

Lynch's spokesperson did not address the specifics of that case, but said: "The State Department issues visas, and the Department of Homeland Security oversees entry to the United States at airports."

Veselnitskaya was granted the special immigration parole for the limited purpose of defending a company owned by a Russian businessman in a Justice Department asset forfeiture case, but later participated in a wide-ranging pro-Russia lobbying campaign.

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Over the summer of 2016, Veselnitskaya met with current and former lawmakers from both parties and was spotted in the front row of a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Russia.

In June of 2016, Donald Trump Jr., White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and former campaign manager Paul Manafort took a meeting with Veselnitskaya. A music promoter told Trump Jr. that Veselnitskaya had dirt on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. But Trump Jr. said the Russian lawyer instead pushed for changes to the Magnitsky Act, which punished Russians for human rights violations.

Democrats have seized on the meeting, claiming it as evidence that Trump officials sought to collude with the Russians in the campaign.

"She was here because of Lynch," Trump said at a press conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron.

"Nothing happened from the meeting," Trump added. "Zero happened from the meeting, and honestly I think the press made a big deal over something that many people would do."


Democrat critiques Trump's ‘infantile attack’ with baby photo .
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, on Sunday slammed President Trump for his attack on the press earlier in the day with a photo of an infant in his office. "Another infantile attack on the press by @realDonaldTrump today. On behalf of all infants, Rose says it's beneath the dignity of the office," Schiff wrote on Twitter.Another infantile attack on the press by @realDonaldTrump today. On behalf of all infants, Rose says it's beneath the dignity of the office. pic.twitter.

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