A top Democratic Senator has been caught having extensive secret communications with lobbyist who worked for a Russian oligarch—in an effort to gather damning information on President Trump.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia)—who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee and has been leading a congressional investigation into Russia’s impact on the 2016 election—repeatedly contacted lobbyist Adam Waldman, in order to get access to Christopher Steele, the author of the widely-discredited, Hillary-funded “Trump dossier.”
“We have so much to discuss u need to be careful but we can help our country,” Warner said in a text to Waldman on March 22, 2017.
“I’m in,” Waldman replied.
Waldman served as a lobbyist for controversial Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, whose U.S. visa was revoked by the State Department in 2006 due to his extensive organized crime ties.
The conversation with Warner and Waldman seemed cloaked in secrecy—and it became clear that Warner didn’t want his Republican colleagues to know what he was up to: Waldman texted Warner that Steele wanted a “bipartisan letter” requesting his testimony.
Warner refused, implying that he didn’t want Steele to talk to anyone on the Senate Intelligence Committee but him, writing: “Ok but I wud like to do prelim call u me and him no one else before letter just so we have to trail to start want to discuss scope first before letter no leaks.”
He added, days later, “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.”
Warner then tried to arrange a secret meeting between him and Steele in London, but it’s unclear whether that meeting ever actually took place.
Warner’s willingness to used a lobbyist tied to a Russian oligarch—while investigating improper relations with Russia—is clearly eyebrow-raising at the very least.
President Trump himself was stunned by Warner’s texts. Late Thursday night, Trump tweeted: “Wow! -Senator Mark Warner got caught having extensive contact with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch. Warner did not want a ‘paper trail’ on a ‘private’ meeting (in London) he requested with Steele of fraudulent Dossier fame. All tied into Crooked Hillary.”