Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

Representing the 18th District of TEXAS

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Statement following Additional Criminal Charges against Russian Spy Natalia Veselnitskaya—Key Participant in the June 2016 Trump Tower Meeting

Jan 9, 2019
Press Release

For Immediate Release                                                                  Contact: Robin Chand

January 8, 2019                                                                   202-225-3816

 

Press Statement

 

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Statement following Additional Criminal Charges against Russian Spy Natalia Veselnitskaya—Key Participant in the June 2016 Trump Tower Meeting

 

Jackson Lee—“The significance of the Trump Tower meeting or the information revealed in today’s federal filing cannot be overstated.  The dots are being connected; the full scope of the Russian plan to subvert our democracy, and the extent to which that crime was aided by anyone associated with Trump, is coming into clearer relief.”

Washington, DC - Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, issued this statement following news that Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who attended the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower with other associates of the Kremlin and members of the Trump Campaign pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for concealing contacts with the Russian Federation:

 

“Today, through proceedings in federal court, we learned that the Kremlin-linked lawyer who attended the infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower—where the President’s son, son-in-law, and campaign manager met with associates of the Kremlin when candidate Trump was transitioning from winning the Republican nomination to waging a general election battle—has been charged with obstruction of justice.  The lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was charged with attempting to obstruct federal prosecutors pursuing a criminal investigation of a firm with ties to a prominent Russian businessman and his investment firm.  Moreover, today’s information all the more significant in light of the disclosure that Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort lied to the Special Counsel about certain meetings with indicted Russians, and when he stated that he did not share polling information with one of those indicted individuals, Konstan Kiliminik, as an element of Russia’s effort; or did not meet with Mr. Kilimink in Madrid in 2016.  It strains credulity to suggest that the principal—Donald Trump—was unaware of this meeting.  Put differently, Paul Manafort offered evidence to an agent of a hostile foreign power in order to influence the election, while that hostile foreign power was trying to subvert our democratic processes.

“These allegations, if true, represent a greater understanding of the connections that this lawyer had to the Kremlin.  Similarly, it also raises serious questions about the propriety of the President’s son, son-in-law and the President’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, meeting with a lawyer so deeply connected to the Kremlin.  The significance of the Trump Tower meeting or the information revealed in today’s federal filing cannot be overstated.  The dots are being connected; the full scope of the Russian plan to subvert our democracy, and the extent to which that crime was aided by anyone associated with Trump, is coming into clearer relief.

“Today’s news is all the more reason to pass H.R. 197, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act.  I am pleased to be an original cosponsor of this legislation which, if enacted, this bill would permit any fired special counsel to challenge the termination in federal court, during the pendency of which the investigation would be stayed.  This bill incorporates substantive parts of my legislation from the last Congress, which garnered the support of 75% of the Democratic Caucus.  I am heartened to know that with this new Congress, this bill will finally receive a hearing in the Committee on the Judiciary and will receive a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives.”

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Congresswoman Jackson Lee is a Democrat from Texas’s 18th Congressional District. She is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary and Homeland Security and is Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.