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Natalia Veselnitskaya has been charged by prosecutors in NY of attempting to thwart a Justice Department investigation into money laundering that involved a powerful Russian businessman and his investment firm.

The indictment is unrelated to Russian election interference, but it illustrates Veselnitskaya's close ties to the Russian government.

She has come under scrutiny for her role in a now-infamous meeting in June 2016 with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner.

Video: Documents released by the Senate Judiciary Committee shed light on the 2016 Trump Tower meeting, where Donald Trump Jr. thought Russians would provide him with damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

Veselnitskaya has said in interviews that she has a working relationship with Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika and that they exchanged information during her lobbying efforts against the Magnitsky Act.

The meeting is considered a key part of the special counsel's investigation into alleged Russian meddling during the 2016 United States election.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the circumstances leading up to the meeting and subsequent statements made by Trump and his son about the meeting.

Former federal prosecutor Elie Honig broke down the ramifications of the revelations, pursued by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office. The special counsel's office declined to comment on whether it contributed to the Veselnitskaya investigation or referred it to the US Attorney's office.

It was not immediately clear whether Veselnitskaya has retained a defense attorney.

An indictment, unsealed on Tuesday, accuses the lawyer of submitting an "intentionally misleading declaration" to the U.S. government in defence of the company, after it requested information from Russian Federation in relation to the case.

Manafort shared 2016 polling data with Russian employee, according to court filing
For the two charges he now faces in DC federal court, Manafort could receive 17 to 22 years in prison, his plea agreement says. While the redactions don't specifically mention the Trump campaign by name, they do mention the "2016 presidential campaign".

US officials in that case alleged that Veselnitskaya's clients laundered portions of a $200 million Russian tax fraud scheme that involved corrupt officials in the Russian government.

In 2014, US authorities were investigating whether Prevezon Holdings, a Cyprus-based real estate corporation, orchestrated the lawsuit and tax scheme that targeted Browder's companies.

The indictment references an earlier complaint about the scheme itself, which involved claiming tax refunds based on the stolen identities of three companies held by a foreign investment fund.

Veselnitskaya was retained to assist the defendants.

The indictment says Ms. Veselnitskaya had secretly cooperated with a senior Russian prosecutor in drafting the Russian response, which was filed in federal court in Manhattan.

The case was settled in May 2017. A federal judge ordered the firm last February to pay US$6 million to the U.S. government.

The companies that claimed they had been defrauded by Prevezon were owned by Hermitage Capital Management, whose CEO William Browder aided the government's case.

U.S. media report that the lawyer is thought to now be in Russian Federation.

Magnitsky was then arrested and died in custody.

Veselnitskaya was with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson on the morning before the Trump Tower meeting.