Sometime in April, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and staffer Paul Behrends separate from a group of other House members in Moscow to meet with Vladimir Yakunin, the former president of Russian Railways and then-president of the Dialogue of Civilizations (DoC) organization in Berlin. The meeting is arranged by Sergey Kislyak.
According to Rohrabacher, Yakunin wanted to discuss his DoC organization and the Magnitsky Act.
In an investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Senate concludes that Yakunin is a close confidant of Vladimir Putin and is heavily involved in Russian’s influence activities in global elections. (It makes sense, then, that Yakunin relocated to Germany as the country is a current target of Russian infiltration.)
At another meeting the following day, this one attended by every House member on the trip, the Congressman meets with Konstantin Kosachev, a Kremlin official that the Senate identifies as “significantly involved in Russian influence activities, including those targeting the United States.”
At the end of the meeting, Kosachev passes Rohrabacher a note that asks if he is willing to receive “sensitive documents,” and Rohrabacher agrees.
According to documents obtained by the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, the folder’s primary documents referred to allegations about the Magnitsky Act. According to The Daily Beast, “It lays out an alternate reality in which the U.S.—and the rest of the world—has been duped by a fake $230 million scandal that resulted in sanctions being imposed on 44 Russians linked to murder, corruption, or cover-ups.”
Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya will carry a similar document with her when she meets with the Trump campaign in June.
Both Yakunin and Kosachev are either sanctioned by the U.S. at the time of the meeting or sanctioned years after the meeting.