Rep. Dana Rohrabacher meets with, gets documents from Putin allies in Moscow

The Trump Timeline

Sources linked at end of page.


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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.

[Yakunin] said: ‘Look, our prosecutors have done an investigation into this Magnitsky thing and would you, were you willing to look at the material, their report?’ And I said: ‘Sure, I’ll look at any report; I’ll talk to anybody and I’ll read anything.’ And he said: ‘Well, they’ll try to get it to you at that meeting you ‘re going to have tomorrow with the Duma foreign affairs committee.’

Dana Rohrabacher

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.

And then the meeting kind of ended, and it was a little awkward. And these two people who we didn’t know who they were, came up and there was like an introduction. But I didn’t know who they were. Even if they introduced us by name, I had no context of who these people were … [they were] not in the meeting. They somehow got there as if it
was prearranged on their side. And these people gave Mr. Rohrabacher the folder, and he said: ‘Thank you very much; we’ll take a look at it.’ If we shook hands, I don’t remember. We may have shook hands. All of it took maybe a minute, and then we walked out. But it was a little unusual.

Paul Behrends

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.


Photo: Lingjing Bao / Talk Radio News

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