Clinton Advisor Accused Of Illegally Lobbying For Putin Ally


Alex Griswold Media Reporter
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Former aide to President Bill Clinton Sidney Blumenthal may have lobbied then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on behalf of a Georgian billionaire with close ties to Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin throughout her tenure.

Gawker’s Sam Biddle found the damaging evidence while reviewing the Blumenthal emails exposed by the Romanian hacker Guccifer. In one email, Blumenthal, who also served as an unofficial confidant to Hillary Clinton, passed along a memo to Hillary from an advisor to Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili asking for Clinton’s support in the Georgian election. (VIDEO: Gawker To Sue State Department Over ‘Nixonian’ Clinton Emails)

Ivanishvili was a candidate from the Georgian Dream party, challenging the sitting Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on a platform of creating closer ties with neighboring Russia. But in the email, Blumenthal was open about the fact that Clinton should support Georgian Dream, because to do otherwise would give Republicans an advantage in the 2012 election.

“I just had a conversation with [former Clinton diplomat] John Kornblum, who raises an issue that could be a potential hot spot a month before the U.S. election,” Blumenthal wrote to Hillary. “…Kornblum suggests that a politically beleaguered Saakashvil might ratchet up tensions with Russia before the election, drawing Republican attention and creating a cudgel to beat the Obama administration as soft on Russia.”

The legal experts Gawker spoke to said that Blumenthal likely broke the law. The Foreign Agents Registration Act requires that those who lobby the government on the behalf of foreign actors to register with the Justice Department. Violations of the act are punishable by up 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. (VIDEO: Hillary Clinton Dodges Question From Reporter On Potential Perjury)

“Gawker attempted to reach Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon to ask whether the department intended to launch an investigation…” Biddle writes. “Fallon did not return repeated phone calls or emails. On April 1, he will leave the Justice Department to join Clinton’s presidential campaign as press secretary.”

[h/t Gawker]

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