‘Rather Not Have Paper Trail’ — Leaked Messages Show Dem Sen Talking With Russian Oligarch’s Lobbyist
A new report indicates that Democratic Virginia Sen. Mark Warner was in contact with a lobbyist for Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian billionaire, in order to get in contact with Christopher Steele, author of the infamous dossier that was used to surveil Carter Page.
Fox News reports Adam Waldman, a lobbyist for Deripaska, texted Warner “Chris Steele asked me to call you” on March 16, 2017.
Warner wrote back, “Will call tomorrow be careful.”
Warner also said on March 20, 2017, “Can you talk tomorrow want to get with ur English friend”
“I spoke to him yesterday,” Waldman replied.
On March 30th, 2017, Warner expressed a desire to not leave evidence of a meeting with Steele, which he wanted to be with only him.
“We want to do this right private in London don’t want to send letter yet cuz if we can’t get agreement wud rather not have paper trail,” he wrote to Waldman.
Warner is the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating President Trump’s connections to Russia.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Birr, a Republican, has been working with Warner to investigate Russian meddling.
Birr and Warner released a statement to Fox News “stressing they are working together, while blasting the ‘leaks of incomplete information.'”
Although the Fox News article doesn’t mention Russian president Vladimir Putin, Deripaska is close with the head of state
A Los Angeles Times profile of Deripaska from 2017 described him as “tight” with Putin and said that the two men’s ties were “so close that Russia’s foreign minister asked U.S. secretaries of state for more than a decade, including as recently as last year, to help Deripaska secure a visa to enter the United States, the Washington Post reported.”
Warner disclosed these messages to the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the entire committee was made aware of them in October 2017, the Fox News report notes.