GOP Operative Sought Clinton Emails From Hackers, Implied a Connection to Flynn

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Czer, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Special counsel brings on FBI official who oversaw Clinton email investigation

    Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller has brought on Peter Strzok, a senior FBI official who oversaw the Hillary Clinton email investigation, to help manage his investigation into Russian election meddling, according to two US officials briefed on the matter.

    Strzok helped oversee the beginnings of the Russia probe last summer at the FBI.

    A spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment.

    Strzok joins a team of more than 25 people. That team includes attorneys, FBI employees and support staff, according to Peter Carr, the spokesman for special counsel.

    The team has now moved into new office space in southwest DC, about a mile away from Justice Department headquarters. The special counsel's initial office space lacked secure meeting rooms, known as SCIFs, for reviewing classified materials.
  2. Madeline

    Madeline TZT Veteran

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    GOP Donor Behind Quest to Obtain Clinton's Deleted Emails From Russian Hackers Committed Suicide

    The Republican operative who attempted to obtain Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails from Russian hackers then spoke about his effort to The Wall Street Journal, killed himself days after the interview according to a report from The Chicago Tribune.

    Peter W. Smith, 81, was interview by The Journal on May 14 about his involvement in tracking down Clinton’s deleted emails; ten days later he committed suicide in a Rochester, MN, hotel room predominately used by Mayo Clinic patients and relatives.
    Utumno likes this.
  3. Agrul

    Agrul TZT Neckbeard Lord

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  4. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Ex-Soviet officer was also in Trump Jr. meeting: report

    Former Soviet Counterintelligence Officer at Meeting With Donald Trump Jr. and Russian Lawyer

    Russian-American lobbyist says he was in Trump son’s meeting

    We're currently up to 6 people in the meeting that they said never happened.
  5. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Rumors now that lawyers are informing staff to not be part of the cover up and either tell what they know immediately or deflect to the president with the "you'll have to ask them/him" etc
  6. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Senator Grassley: Rinat Akhmetshin worked for the GRU and allegedly specializes in “active measures campaigns" CEG to DHS (Akhmetshin Information) with attachment.pdf

    Mr. Akhmetshin is a Russian immigrant to the U.S. who has admitted having been a “Soviet counterintelligence officer.” In fact, it has been reported that he worked for the GRU and allegedly specializes in “active measures campaigns,” i.e., subversive political influence operations often involving disinformation and propaganda. According to press accounts, Mr. Akhmetshin “is known in foreign policy circles as a key pro-Russian operator,”and Radio Free Europe described him as a “Russian ‘gun-for-hire’ [who] lurks in the shadows of Washington’s lobbying world.”

    Mr. Akhmetshin reportedly entered the U.S. in the 1990s and became a U.S. citizen in 2009, while also retaining his Russian citizenship.

    Despite all of this information, and despite Mr. Akhmetshin’s admission to the press that he had been a Russian intelligence officer, in response to a different press inquiry, “Akhmetshin denied that he ever worked for Soviet military intelligence, something he would have had to declare when he applied for U.S. citizenship.”

    Charles Ernest Grassley (born September 17, 1933) is the senior United States Senator from Iowa, serving since 1981. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served in the United States House of Representatives (1975–1981) and the Iowa state legislature (1959–1974). He was chairman of the Senate Finance Committee from January to June 2001, as well as from January 2003 to December 2006, and is now the current chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the 115th congress.
  7. Fais

    Fais TZT Abuser

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  8. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Kushner's lawyer dropping out of representing him

    Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner's lawyer is stepping back from representing him as the probe into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia evolves, according to a new report.

    The National Law Journal reported on Friday that Jamie Gorelick, the high-powered D.C. attorney that has represented Kushner since the transition period, is stepping back from the case in favor of another member of the White House legal team.

    Gorelick, a well-known Democratic donor, was considered to be a top pick to be Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's attorney general in the White House and served as deputy attorney general under President Bill Clinton.

    Gorelick is stepping back from the Russia probe as she is “wrapping up” her services for Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law.

    She was originally hired by Kushner to represent him on issues related to ethics and security clearance. Kushner will now be represented on all Russia matters by Abbe Lowell, a well-known Washington criminal defense attorney.

    In a statement to the National Law Journal, Gorelick said that her firm advised Kushner to determine whether she should continue representing Kushner after her former law partner, Bob Mueller, left her firm to form the Justice Department's special counsel office.
    “As you may recall, and as we have stated, once Bob Mueller and three of our partners left the firm to form the Special Counsel’s Office, we advised Mr. Kushner to get independent legal advice whether to continue with us as counsel,” Gorelick said in an email Friday.

    “As [a] result of this process, Abbe is now responsible for the Russia-related inquiries.”

    Gorelick's removal from the Russia probe defense comes amid Trump's decision to hire Ty Cobb, a veteran Washington attorney, to join his legal team. Earlier Friday, it was reported that Cobb will now lead the response for all Russia-related inquiries to the White House.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  9. Fais

    Fais TZT Abuser

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  10. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Russian-American lobbyist says he was in Trump son’s meeting's-meeting

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A Russian-American lobbyist says he attended a June 2016 meeting with President Donald Trump’s son, marking another shift in the account of a discussion that was billed as part of a Russian government effort to help the Republican’s White House campaign.

    Rinat Akhmetshin confirmed his participation to The Associated Press on Friday. Akhmetshin has been reported to have ties to Russian intelligence agencies, a characterization he dismisses as a “smear campaign.” He told the AP he served in the Soviet military in a unit that was part of counterintelligence but was never formally trained as a spy.

    The meeting has heightened questions about whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with the Russian government during the election, which is the focus of federal and congressional investigations. In emails posted by Donald Trump Jr. earlier this week, a music publicist who arranged the meeting said a Russian lawyer wanted to pass on negative information about Democrat Hillary Clinton and stated that the discussion was part of a Russian government effort to help the GOP candidate.

    While Trump Jr. has confirmed that Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya was in the meeting, he did not disclose Akhmetshin’s presence. The president’s son has tried to discount the meeting, saying that he did not receive the information he was promised.

    In a statement Sunday, Trump Jr. said the attorney said that she had information that people tied to Russia were funding the DNC and supporting Clinton, a description that Akhmetshin backed up in his interview with the AP.

    In his first public interview about the meeting, Akhmetshin said he accompanied Veselnitskaya to Trump Tower where they met an interpreter who participated in the meeting. He said he had learned about the meeting only that day when Veselnitskaya asked him to attend. He said he showed up in jeans and a T-shirt.

    During the meeting, Akhmetshin said Veselnitskaya brought with her a plastic folder with printed-out documents that detailed what she believed was the flow of illicit funds to the Democratic National Committee. Veselnitskaya presented the contents of the documents to the Trump associates and suggested that making the information public could help the Trump campaign, he said.

    “This could be a good issue to expose how the DNC is accepting bad money,” Akhmetshin recalled her saying.

    Trump Jr. asked the attorney if she had all the evidence to back up her claims, including whether she could demonstrate the flow of the money. But Veselnitskaya said the Trump campaign would need to research it more. After that, Trump Jr. lost interest, according to Akhmetshin.

    “They couldn’t wait for the meeting to end,” he said.

    Akhmetshin said he does not know if Veselnitskaya’s documents were provided by the Russian government. He said he thinks she left the materials with the Trump associates. It was unclear if she handed the documents to anyone in the room or simply left them behind, he said.

    Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and current White House senior adviser, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attended the meeting. Akhmetshin said he recognized Kushner and Trump Jr. He also said he recognized Manafort because they worked in “adjacent political circles” but never together.

    He said there were others in the room but he didn’t know them. Publicist Rob Goldstone, who brokered the meeting via email with Trump Jr., has told the AP that he also participated in the meeting.

    Asked about Akhmetshin’s participation in the meeting, Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni declined comment. A spokesman for Kushner did not respond to inquiries, nor did Trump Jr.’s attorney.

    The confirmation of Akhmetshin’s participation in the meeting drew swift reaction from the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who said it “adds another deeply disturbing fact about this secret meeting.” Rep. Adam Schiff of California said Trump Jr.’s omission of Akhmetshin’s role in his public account of the meeting and the president’s son’s shifting explanations “paint a portrait of consistent dissembling and deceit.”

    Akhmetshin said the meeting was “not substantive” and he “actually expected more serious” discussion.

    “I never thought this would be such a big deal to be honest,” he told AP.

    The Russian government has denied any involvement or knowledge of the June 2016 meeting. Asked Friday about Akhmetshin, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters: “We don’t know anything about this person.”

    In reports this week, Akhmetshin has been identified as a former officer in Russia’s military intelligence service known as the GRU. He has denied that, saying he served in the Soviet Army from 1986 to 1988 after he was drafted but was not trained in spy tradecraft. He said his unit operated in the Baltics and was “loosely part of counterintelligence.”

    Akhmetshin said he has not been contacted by the special counsel’s office or the FBI about the meeting with Trump Jr. He said he’s willing to talk with the Senate Judiciary Committee, whose chairman has pressed the Justice Department about why Akhmetshin has not registered as a foreign agent.

    The chairman, Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa, said in a March letter that Akhmetshin has “reportedly admitted to being a ‘Soviet counterintelligence officer’ and has a long history of lobbying the U.S. government for pro-Russia matters.”

    Akhmetshin said that the Justice Department’s Foreign Agents Registration Act unit sent him a letter in April and told him, “it has come to our attention you should have filed for FARA.” He said he didn’t believe he needed to file as a foreign agent. He has previously registered with Congress for the lobbying work, and he plans to raise this issue before Grassley’s committee.

    “I think I have a legal right to tell my story,” he said.

    Separately on Friday, the data and digital director for Trump’s presidential campaign said he will speak with the House Intelligence committee later this month as part of its own Russia probe.

    Brad Parscale said in a statement that he is “unaware of any Russian involvement” in the data and digital operations but will voluntarily appear before the panel and looks forward to “sharing with them everything I know.”
  11. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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  12. Kanmuk_Sealclubber

    Kanmuk_Sealclubber Yes

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  13. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    In the United States, the pardon power for federal crimes is granted to the President of the United States under Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution which states that the President "shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment".

    The President only has the ability to pardon federal crimes, not state.
  14. AgelessDrifter

    AgelessDrifter TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    Maybe I just overlooked the missing link here--is treason a state crime?

    Anyway I think questions of criminality are somewhat irrelevant and we pay them too close attention to our peril. Impeachment is a political process first and foremost, and the only way this is going anywhere is if there's actually a risk of the polity getting uppity when it doesn't. Which at this point still seems a stretch to me

    Otherwise congress will dicker over whether collusion is really a crime and make other lame excuses until people give up and lose interest
  15. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Financial transactions are also a state matter and lying about them will be punishable with no pardon.
  16. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    U.S. Secret Service rejects suggestion it vetted Trump son's meeting

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Secret Service on Sunday denied a suggestion from President Donald Trump's personal lawyer that it had vetted a meeting between the president's son and Russian nationals during the 2016 campaign.

    Donald Trump Jr. has acknowledged that he met in New York with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya after he was told she might have damaging information about his father's rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

    "Well, I wonder why the Secret Service, if this was nefarious, why the Secret Service allowed these people in. The president had Secret Service protection at that point, and that raised a question with me," Jay Sekulow, a member of the president's legal team, said on Sunday on the ABC news program "This Week."

    In an emailed response to questions about Sekulow's comments, Secret Service spokesman Mason Brayman said the younger Trump was not under Secret Service protection at the time of the meeting, which included Trump's son and two senior campaign officials.

    "Donald Trump, Jr. was not a protectee of the USSS in June, 2016. Thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at that time," the statement said.

    According to emails released by Trump Jr. last week, he eagerly agreed to meet Veselnitskaya, who he was told was a Russian government lawyer. Veselnitskaya has said she is a private lawyer and denies having Kremlin ties.

    On Friday, NBC News reported that a lobbyist who was once a Soviet counter-intelligence officer participated in the meeting, which was also attended by Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the president's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.

    The meeting appears to be the most tangible evidence of a connection between Trump's election campaign and Russia, a subject that has prompted investigations by congressional committees and a federal special counsel.

    Moscow has denied any interference and the president and Trump Jr. have denied any collusion.

    Sekulow's comments about the Secret Service drew quick criticism, including from Frances Townsend, who advised former Republican President George W. Bush on homeland security.

    "Ok let's try to deflect blame & throw those in @SecretService who protect @POTUS @realDonaldTrump @FLOTUS & family under the bus," she said on Twitter.

    The Secret Service's mission is to provide physical protection for the U.S. president. The agency also protects major presidential candidates. But its role in vetting people who meet with a U.S. president or candidates is limited to ensuring physical safety.

    Trump himself has said he was unaware of the meeting between his son and the Russian lawyer until a few days ago.

    "The president was not aware about this meeting, did not participate in this meeting," Sekulow told the CBS program "Face the Nation."

    Sekulow added that Trump was not aware of any meetings between his campaign staff and Russians.

    A federal special counsel and several congressional panels are investigating allegations by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to hurt Clinton and help Trump. They are also investigating potential connections between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.

    Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on one of the panels investigating the matter, the Senate Intelligence Committee, told CNN: "The level of credibility from the senior level of this administration really is suspect."

    Warner said he wanted to hear from everyone who attended the June 2016 meeting.

    "Whether we will be able to get the Russian nationals to come over and testify is an open question, (but) those people that our committee has jurisdiction over, the Americans, I sure as heck want to talk to all of them," Warner said.
  17. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Is Netanyahu in Trouble? The Four Corruption Cases Surrounding Israel's Prime Minister.

    The latest developments in investigations into possible fraudulent conduct by Israel's prime minister, his confidants and his billionaire tycoon friends

    The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, is currently embroiled in four cases involving corruption allegations of one sort or another. The affairs have been dubbed Case 1000 (cigars, champagne); Case 2000 (positive coverage in the daily Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper); Case 3000 (purchase of submarines for the Israel Navy from Germany); and Case 4000 (Bezeq and Communications Ministry ties). While the investigations into the cases began as early as about a year ago, there have been quite a few recent developments. Here is an update of where things stand in each one.

    Case 1000

    Netanyahu is suspected of accepting gifts from tycoons, mainly Israeli-born film producer Arnon Milchan and Australian businessman James Packer – in the form of cigars, champagne and jewelry – worth an estimated total of hundreds of thousands of shekels. Lately, there have been mounting suspicions that the relationships were mutual: While the premier accepted gifts from Milchan, he allegedly acted on his behalf in the Israeli telecoms sphere. Netanyahu claims he just accepted gifts from a friend, as friends do.

    The police say the evidence they have shows that the supply of cigars and champagne was systematic, by means of couriers and code words, and that the gifts were driven by demands by the Netanyahu family. In this case, there may also be a conflict of interest between Netanyahu and his dealings with Milchan.

    Case 2000

    The police have tapes of Netanyahu negotiating with Yedioth publisher Arnon Mozes, in an apparent effort to skew the daily's coverage in favor of the prime minister. In exchange Netanyahu would supposedly help restore Yedioth’s status to the top of Israel's media industry by spearheading legislation that would hamstring Israel Hayom, the free newspaper owned by American casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson. Or, alternatively, perhaps the premier would convince his friend Adelson to restrict the freebie’s distribution.

    Netanyahu claims he never meant to strike any real deal with Mozes – that he was pulling the wool over the media baron’s eyes. That he was talking nonsense. Accordingly, Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit has set the bar for indictment quite high: He is demanding evidence that Netanyahu took specific action to make the deal with Mozes happen.

    Here is where there have been recent developments. Adelson testified last month that Netanyahu asked him about a financial issue that was raised during the negotiations with Mozes – which begs a question: If Netanyahu simply wanted to fool Mozes, why involve the American billionaire at all?

    Case 3000

    A number of individuals have been arrested in this case; some were released to house arrest. One of them, Miki Ganor, is in negotiations to turn state's evidence, Channel 2 reported Monday. How is Netanyahu involved in this affair – involving the purchase of submarines from a German company? Simple: His confidant, lawyer David Shimron, represented the Germans’ agent in Israel.

    If Netanyahu knew that Shimron served as counsel for the representative of the Germans, then he may have had a conflict of interest. Netanyahu and Shimron both pressed, in parallel, to cancel the bidding process on the sub deal and to give it to the Germans – a move Israel's Defense Ministry opposed.

    Shimron knew that he and Netanyahu were advancing the same agenda. Netanyahu, however, claims not to have known that.
    In this case, the prime minister's problem isn’t the evidence, but the way things are beginning to look. Netanyahu’s crony Shimron was under house arrest, but has since been allowed to leave the country for a vacation. Another suspect, Avriel Bar-Yosef, had been Netanyahu's choice for the top spot at the National Security Council but withdrew his candidacy.

    Shimron’s law partner Isaac Molho, Netanyahu’s envoy on all sorts of secret diplomatic and other missions, may also be involved in Case 3000. One report says Molho represented the premier in talks with the Germans regarding a sensitive issue that may could have had something to do with the subs. If so, Molho represented the PM while his law partner represented the Germans’ agent. Under these circumstances, it is hard to buy Netanyahu’s claim that he didn’t know of Shimron’s involvement in the deal.

    Case 4000

    State Comptroller Yosef Shapira says Netanyahu failed to disclose information regarding his personal friendship with Shaul Elovitch, a controlling shareholder of Bezeq, while the premier was dealing with no less than 12 issues connected to that telecoms monopoly. Twice Shapira asked Netanyahu about his ties to figures in the telecoms industry – and yet the prime minister neglected to mention either Elovitch or Milchan. In other words, Netanyahu allegedly made false statements.

    Netanyahu is not a suspect in this case, although the attorney general could take action with respect to the apparently false declarations. Netanyahu, for his part, has claimed that he and Elovitch were little more than acquaintances, and thus it was not incumbent upon him to disclose their relations. Yet in an earlier statement in court, he explicitly stated that Elovitch had been his “personal friend for 20 years.”

    Not only is Elovitch Netanyahu’s friend: He lavished positive media coverage on the prime minister when he owned the Walla News website. In October 2015, Haaretz reported how the site hid articles and changed headlines on items critical of Netanyahu – apparently based on orders from above. Moreover, while serving also as communications minister at the time, Netanyahu advanced Elovitch’s interests.

    After the Haaretz exposé, Netanyahu was prohibited from having anything to do with Elovitch’s business dealings. The handling of him and his companies was left to Communications Ministry director-general Shlomo Filber, another Netanyahu confidant and former head of the Likud Party Central Committee. Filber is now suspected of systematically leaking ministry documents to Bezeq, accepting diktats from the company and even possibly altering the ministry's policies accordingly. State Comptroller Shapira recently wrote that he suspects Filber of having been a “captive regulator” – a sort of Bezeq agent at the ministry.

    And if Filber is guilty, what has Netanyahu to do with that? Here is the long answer. Two days after his new cabinet was sworn in, in May 2015, Netanyahu fired the then-director general at the Communications Ministry, Avi Berger, by phone. Berger had been pushing a broadband reform that would have hurt Bezeq. That day pundits wrote that the main beneficiary of the firing was Shaul Elovitch. In any rate, after Berger’s dismissal, Netanyahu named Filber as his successor.

    The short answer? Netanyahu is the one who planted the so-called agent.
  18. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Eighth person in Trump Tower meeting is identified

    An American-based employee of a Russian real estate company took part in a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between a Russian lawyer and Donald Trump Jr., bringing to eight the number of known participants at the session that has emerged as a key focus of the investigation of the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russian.

    Ike Kaveladze’s presence was confirmed by Scott Balber, an attorney for Emin and Aras Agalarov, the Russian developers who hosted the Trump-owned Miss Universe pageant in 2013. Balber said Kaveladze works for the Agalarovs’ company and attended as their representative.

    Balber said Tuesday that he received a phone call from a representative of Special Counsel Robert Mueller over the weekend requesting the identity of the Agalarov representative , which he said he provided. The request is the first public indication that Mueller’s team is investigating the meeting.

    Donald Trump Jr. agreed to take the meeting on the promise that he would be provided damaging information about Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government to help his father’s presidential campaign, according to emails released by Trump Jr. last week.

    Rob Goldstone, a music promoter, told Trump Jr. in an email that his client, Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop star, requested that Trump Jr. meet with the lawyer.


    Team Trump’s ties to Russian interests

    The full list of the participants has remained a mystery until now, despite a statement from Trump Jr. that he was releasing his emails in an effort to be “transparent” about the meeting, which he has said amounted to nothing.

    Balber said Kaveladze works as a vice president focusing on real estate and finance for the Agalarovs’ company, the Crocus Group. Aras Agalarov requested that Kaveladze attend the meeting on his behalf, Balber said. Kaveladze is a U.S. citizen and has lived in this country for many years, according to Balber, who is said he is representing the man.

    Balber said Kaveladze believed he would act as a translator, but arrived to discover that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya had brought her own translator, a former State Department employee named Anatoli Samochornov. Samochornov has declined to comment, citing a non-disclosure agreement he signed as a professional translator. Balber said he believes the list of participants known to the public is now complete.

    Other participants in the meeting were Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of the president and Paul Manafort, a top campaign aide, as well as Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist who was lobbying to lift sanctions imposed in 2012.
  19. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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  20. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Mueller says Trump Jr, Manafort can testify publicly in Senate: Feinstein

    Feinstein said Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign, has said Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort were free to testify.

    Feinstein is the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is among the congressional panels pursuing Russia investigations.