New information that adds to the web of connections between Russia and the Trump campaign.
A longtime US lobbyist for the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska visited Julian Assange nine times at the Ecuadorian embassy in London last year, according to visitor logs seen by the Guardian.
Adam Waldman, who has worked as a Washington lobbyist for the metals tycoon since 2009, had more meetings with Assange in 2017 than almost anyone else, the records show. . . .
The logs, obtained by the Guardian and Focus Ecuador, reveal details of Assange’s life inside the Ecuadorian embassy, where he has been staying since June 2012. Waldman allegedly visited Assange twice on 12 and 13 January 2017, days before Trump’s inauguration as president, and again immediately after the ceremony, on 27 January. . . .
Deripaska is a key person in the investigation by the special counsel Robert Mueller into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
According to the Associated Press, Trump’s future campaign manager Paul Manafort began work for Deripaska in 2005 and pitched a plan that would “greatly benefit [Vladimir] Putin’s government.” In 2006 Manafort signed a $10m annual contract with Deripaska, a close ally of Russia’s president.
In summer 2016, when he was Trump’s campaign chief, Manafort offered Deripaska a confidential briefing, emails turned over to Congress and Mueller show.
The article includes this as well:
Waldman also served as a counsel for Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov.
It was Lavrov, along with Sergey Kysliak, who yucked it up with Trump in the oval office back in May of last year. That’s when Trump spilled classified information and told his visitors “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
When Manafort was indicted, Lavrov made a big stir about how that exonerated Russia because the indictment only detailed connections between Manafort and the Ukraine and none with Russia. However, this Guardian article shows that Lavrov himself has connections to the investigation since the lobbyist (Waldman) who worked for him also worked for the Russian oligarch Deripaska who, in turn, was a partner of Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager – and that same lobbyist met frequently with Julian Assange. The Kremlin allegedly passed Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails to Assange in order to help the Trump campaign. Maybe all these connections are just coincidence or maybe they represent collusion – here’s hoping Mueller will find out.