Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dana Rohrabacher's Russia Connection

In an earlier post, I wondered if Rohrabacher would also be involved in this Russia collusion mess. Here's some more consideration.
[Republican Congressman Dana] Rohrabacher has reportedly been warned by the FBI in the past that Russian intelligence was attempting to recruit him.

[...]

Rohrabacher’s 2016 Moscow meeting has been revisited in recent days because of the document’s connection to the anti-Magnitsky campaign that formed part of the Trump Tower meeting.

[...]

According to two sources with close knowledge of the events, officials at the Embassy in Moscow expressed doubts about the people they were meeting with and had warned the delegation that FSB presence was constant while the members were in Moscow.

[...]

State was “really concerned” about whom Rohrabacher was meeting with, another source with knowledge of the trip said. “They were under the impression they were FSB agents.”

[...]

In April 2017, [Rinat] Akhmetshin, a former Soviet military counterintelligence officer, met with Rohrabacher in Berlin and discussed the Prevezon money-laundering case with him, according to CNN. [ed: this is the now infamous case that Jeff Sessions abruptly dismissed in May.]

[...]

House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce’s office signs off on trips such as Rohrabacher’s, but doesn’t always have the full picture of what he is doing.

[...]

An itinerary for the Rohrabacher trip that included the Berlin meeting, which has not yet been made public, details several agenda items for the Berlin leg, but makes no mention of a meeting with Akhmetshin. And the itinerary for the April 2016 trip to Moscow does not list a meeting with the prosecutors.

  The Atlantic
Why would he hide these meetings? Rhetorical question.
In response to a recent itinerary submitted by Rohrabacher for a trip to Spain, Royce told Rohrabacher that he could not take meetings in Barcelona on Catalonian separatism without also meeting with government officials in Madrid. Royce also nixed a trip Rohrabacher planned to take to Russia earlier this year.
I can see why he might.
Rohrabacher at one point had requested to screen the anti-Magnitsky film in Congress and was turned down by Royce.

The Daily Mail reported that an intern in Rohrabacher’s office sent out emailed invitations to a screening of the anti-Magnitsky film in June 2016 at the Newseum, where both Akhmetshin and Veselnitskaya were in attendance and which took place days after the Trump Tower meeting.

[...]

Veselnitskaya’s and Akhmetshin’s presence at last year’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing has been well-documented; less well-known is that Akhmetshin was also present at the bill markup in which Rohrabacher offered an amendment to strike Magnitsky’s name from the act.

[...]

Several sources pointed to Rohrabacher aide [Paul] Behrends, a controversial figure on the Hill, as part of the reason for the congressman’s idiosyncratic views on Russia. Other congressional staffers who have worked with or around Behrends see him as egging on Rohrabacher’s worst instincts.

[...]

Behrends reportedly took Akhmetshin around to other congressional offices, a move that raised eyebrows among other congressional staffers, who viewed it as more akin to what a lobbyist does, rather than a staffer.

[...]

Behrends “did not take me around different offices on the hill—this suggestion is false,” Akhmetshin said.

[...]

Behrends did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
He's probably lying low in hopes of escaping the Mueller machinery.

Jesus, there are a hell of a lot of people to harvest.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

UPDATE:  Rohrabacher is going to be running to hold his seat in Congress in 2018.  This can't help.

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