Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who in 2016 met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower, was charged on Tuesday in a separate case that showed her close ties to the Kremlin.
Veselnitskaya was charged by federal prosecutors in New York with seeking to thwart a Justice Department civil fraud investigation into money laundering that involved an influential Russian businessman and his investment firm.
The case was not directly related to the Trump Tower meeting. But a federal indictment returned in Manhattan seemed to confirm that Veselnitskaya had deep ties to senior Russian government officials.
The indictment charges that after the Justice Department asked the Russian government to assist its investigation, the Russian government refused, responding with a letter that purported to exonerate Russian officials and the firm's personnel.
The indictment says Veselnitskaya had secretly cooperated with a senior Russian prosecutor in drafting the Russian response, which was filed in federal court in Manhattan. "In doing so, Veselnitskaya obstructed the civil proceeding," the indictment charged.