Did Loretta Lynch let that Russian lawyer into the US?


Trump has been claiming on Twitter that Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met and/or colluded with Don Jr and the whole Trumpian kit and caboodle, was maybe allowed into the country by Loretta Lynch.

Let’s blame Trump and his ignorance about law for forcing me to drop some Latin: pro hac vice. Black’s Law Dictionary definition isn’t as personal and schmoozy as my description (following after) but it’s useful as a starting point:

For this occasion or particular purpose. The phrase usu. refers to a lawyer who has not been admitted to practice in a particular jurisdiction but who is admitted there temporarily for the purpose of conducting a particular case.

It happens that I helped fill out a number of pro hac vice applications when I worked for lawyers. Here’s the how and why:

The lawyers I worked for were deservedly celebrated for their work in certain areas of civil rights. So they attracted clients from all over the country, including states where they had not been admitted to practice. These clients might already have local lawyers who themselves asked my guys to be co-counsel on a case that needed their expertise and clout.

In order to appear in a state court where they weren’t admitted, my guys would do an application to practice on that particular case in that particular court. Accompanying or substituting for the application, if I remember correctly, would be a pro hac vice affidavit or affirmation from the local lawyer with whom they’d been working on that case.

In these submissions, the local lawyer would specify why the lawyer for whom the application was being submitted was invaluable to the case, because of his pertinent expertise, knowledge, experience.

Although pro hacs needed approval from, I think, the judge assigned to the case, approval was never, in my memory, denied.

So back to Natalia Veselnitskaya (she who “once referred to liberalism in the United States as a ‘fucking mental disorder.'”) Here’s the New York Times story on her:

Source: Natalia Veselnitskaya, Lawyer Who Met Trump Jr., Seen as Fearsome Moscow Insider – The New York Times

When American prosecutors accused a senior Russian official’s son of laundering $14 million by investing in Manhattan property and other assets, she was called to defend him…

The [Katsyv] family’s trust in Ms. Veselnitskaya was rewarded in May, when she helped Denis P. Katsyv, Pyotr’s son, fight the money laundering claims in New York brought by the Manhattan federal prosecutor at the time, Preet Bharara. Mr. Bharara tangled with Ms. Veselnitskaya several times and protested at one point that she had been charging the government for a $995-a-night room at the Plaza Hotel.

The case was settled two months after Mr. Bharara was dismissed by President Trump.

On the day of the meeting Natalia Veselnitskaya was in New York to appear in the Southern District as a lawyer for the Katsyv family, according to the Ron Goldstone email. I bolded the important sentence:

From: Rob Goldstone

Sent: Wednesday June 08, 2016 10:34 AM

To: Donald Trump Jr.

Subject: Re: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential

Good morning

Would it be possible to move tomorrow meeting to 4pm as the Russian attorney is in court until 3 i was just informed.



The only way Veselnitskaya could appear for a client in US federal court is if her co-counsel, the New York lawyer(s) representing her client, had obtained pro hac vice status for her.

I assume that is how Veselnitskaya got into the country.

So, hey, as admitted to practice this blog, I don’t have to apply for pro hac status to come in defense of Loretta Lynch. And facts of life.

Signed, Me, A Fucking Liberal



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