Donald Trump–Russia dossier

NYT: FBI probed whether Trump was secretly working for Russia in 2017

Trump winking at Putin
Trump with Vladimir Putin in Paris. Photo: Guido Bergmann/Bundesregierung via Getty Images

After President Trump fired former FBI director James Comey in May 2017, the FBI opened an investigation into whether Trump was secretly "working on behalf of Russia against American interests," the New York Times reports.

Details: Intelligence officials had their concerns about Trump's ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign, but held off on opening an investigation because of the sensitive and potentially explosive implications that it came with. It was only after Trump twice tied the firing of Comey to his desire to put an end to the Russia investigation that officials decided to launch an inquiry into "whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security," per the Times.

Russian lawyer from Trump Tower meeting charged with obstruction of justice

Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya sitting on a chair
Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Photo: Yury Martyanov/AFP/Getty Images

Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, known for attending the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with top Trump campaign officials, has been charged with obstruction of justice in an unrelated money laundering case featuring a prominent Russian businessman, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The Justice Department's indictment highlights Veselnitskaya's deep ties to the Kremlin, which she has previously denied, and alleges that she worked with a senior Russian prosecutor to draft a Kremlin-backed denial of the money laundering claims.

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