Trump Jr.’s Russian connection has ties to former Kremlin spies

William Browder, an American financier who has investigated Russian corruption for more than a decade, will brief the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing next week on the lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya’s ties to the Russian government—including to former top members of the GRU and the FSB, two of the Kremlin’s main intelligence agencies. Those ties were spelled out in documents that Browder shared with the committee and provided to The Daily Beast this week.

“Veselnitskaya may have had her own agenda in requesting a meeting with Trump,” according Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a former CIA officer who led the agency’s European directorate of operations. “But Russian intelligence practice is to co-opt such a person by arming them with secret intelligence information and tasking them to pass it to Trump’s people and get their reaction.”

“The key point is that essentially no Russian citizen or lawyer has compromising material on Hillary Clinton which has not been supplied to them from Russian intelligence,” Mowatt-Larssen wrote on Tuesday.