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Democratic Senator Colluded with Russian Oligarch

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Democratic Senator Colluded with Russian Oligarch

Democratic Senator Colluded with Russian Oligarch
August 15
17:59 2018

Text messages leaked to the media in February prove that Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) sought a meeting with Christopher Steele (author of the anti-Trump dossier) as part of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia collusion investigation.

Warner, who is top Democrat on the committee, communicated with Steele through an intermediary. That intermediary was Adam Waldman, a lobbyist best known for defending Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska after the US government revoked his visa over concerns about his connections to organized crime.

Deripaska is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. And of course, Waldman’s lobbying firm has connections to Hillary Clinton.

In his texts to Waldman, Warner made it clear that he wanted to speak with Steele in private without other lawmakers present. He also told the lobbyist he would “rather not have a paper trail” of their conversations.

Steele refused to meet with Warner in private, instead requesting a bipartisan letter from the Senate Intelligence Committee inviting him to testify.

Senator Burr (R-NC), who works alongside Warner as head of the committee, supposedly knew Warner was speaking with someone about meeting Steele. It is unclear exactly how much he knew about the situation.

Warner shared his text messages with Burr before revealing them to the rest of the committee in October.

Fox News ran a story on the texts in February, just days after the Senate Intelligence Committee met with the House Intelligence Committee. The Senate Intelligence Committee insists GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee are responsible for leaking the texts to the press.

“Wow! Senator Mark Warner got caught having extensive contact with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch,” tweeted Trump at the time. “Warner did not want a ‘paper trail’ on a ‘private’ meeting he requested with Steele of fraudulent dossier fame…All tied to Crooked Hillary.”

As noted by The New York Times, the incident shows just how far the two intelligence committees have diverged over the course of their Russia investigations.

But the takeaway here has nothing to do with congressional bickering.

At the end of the day, there is more evidence of ‘Russia collusion’ contained in Warner’s communications with Waldman than with the entire Trump investigation. If lawmakers and authorities decide to ignore this, they should also abandon the Russia collusion investigation.

Anything else is hypocrisy.

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