January 11, 2019 / 9:24 AM / 13 days ago

Moscow demands U.S. explain charges against Russian Trump Tower lawyer

FILE PHOTO - Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya speaks during an interview in Moscow, Russia November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Kommersant Photo/Yury Martyanov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Friday demanded an explanation from the United States about charges brought against a Russian lawyer who attended a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower who was this week charged in a separate case.

Natalia Veselnitskaya, who represented Russian defendants in a money laundering case settled in 2017, has been charged with obstructing justice in that case for submitting a declaration that she falsely represented came from the Russian government independently, U.S. prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a weekly news conference, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said it had become a habit in the United States to open criminal against Russians based on vague claims.

Reporting by Andrew Osborn; writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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