LONDON—The Moscow operation behind the now-infamous Russian-Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 included a direct attempt to enlist a foreign country’s law-enforcement official as a virtual double-agent, according to a court case in Switzerland.
One of Switzerland’s top investigators has been fired after allegations of bribery, violating secrecy laws, and “unauthorized clandestine behavior” in meeting with the very same Russian actors linked to the Trump Tower encounter.
Details of the explosive case have been published by investigative reporters for the Tribune de Genève and Tages-Anzeiger newspapers in Switzerland. The officer, identified only as Victor K., traveled to Moscow—against the expressed wishes of his superiors—where he spoke to Natalia Veselnitskaya, the lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner at Trump Tower.
The meeting was reportedly set up by Russian Deputy Attorney General Saak Albertovich Karapetyan—from the same rogue department that was apparently responsible for offering intel on Hillary Clinton to be shared at the Trump Tower meeting and the Kremlin’s further plots to influence U.S. politics.
The reports, which are based on Swiss court papers, describe how K. was lured to Moscow during a call from Karapetyan before Christmas 2016. He was told not to go by his boss, ostensibly because he was working too much overtime, but he made the trip anyway, using his diplomatic passport to fly to the Russian capital. There, he was put up in a luxury hotel and asked to attend an unexpected meeting with Veselnitskaya.
In the case against K.—who had been entrusted with investigating the Swiss financial arrangements of the Russian mafia and oligarchs for decades—it emerged that he had previously met Karapetyan in Geneva and Zurich, as well as Russia “without the knowledge of his superiors.”
According to the Tages-Anzeiger report, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court ruled this amounted to unacceptable “unauthorized clandestine behavior” that brought the integrity of the Federal Criminal Police into question. “In particular, it gives the impression that they do not have their employees under control and thus creates an unpredictable security risk in their delicate field.”