Russia

Former Spy: Russian Contact Passed Documents to Trump Associates

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

NBC News reported this morning that former Soviet counterintelligence officer and unregistered lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin was also present at the meeting where Donald Trump Jr. solicited damaging information about Hillary Clinton from Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

Akhmetshin spoke with the Associated Press this afternoon when he said Veselnitskaya brought documents with her that she handed over to the Trumps.

During the meeting, Akhmetshin said Veselnitskaya brought with her a plastic folder with printed-out documents that detailed what she believed was the flow of illicit funds to the Democratic National Committee. Veselnitskaya presented the contents of the documents to the Trump associates and suggested that making the information public could help the Trump campaign, he said.

I don't buy the claim that she handed them documents that allegedly implicated the Democratic National Committee. She may have said that during the meeting, but I don't believe that's what it really was.

If that were the case, we would have heard about it. Trump's campaign surrogates and Trump himself spread numerous conspiracy theories and lies during the campaign, many of which were far flimsier than the idea that the DNC was receiving "illicit funds." The truth never stopped them from running their mouths. And it's all just a little too convenient, isn't it?

Moreover, we can't take Akhmetshin's word for it and we also can't trust Veselnitskaya or Donald Trump Jr. All of them appear to be compromised in some manner and we don't know to what extent the information they're disclosing now is being presented with an ulterior motive.

There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about these claims and reports, but we know something bad happened. The F5 vortex of lies surrounding it is far too intense for it to be nothing.

The "Trump associates" who were present in the meeting were Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort.

  • muselet

    Is Rinat Akhmetshin sending a message to Donald Trump Sr? “You think the Veselnitskaya story is bad now? Just wait.” It’s not very subtle, but it’s less messy than a horse’s head in the bed.

    What the hell could Vladimir Putin want that Trump isn’t already giving him?

    –alopecia

    • I think he simply wants chaos because any loans he owes to Russian banks will never get paid. The more he can distract us, the weaker we are is always to Russia’s advantage.

      • muselet

        A *ahem* former Soviet spy claims Trump Jr—and, therefore, Trump Sr—received hacked documents about DNC finances from a Kremlin-connected lawyer. If true, that would (in my pig-ignorant, non-lawyer opinion) put both Trumps on the wrong side of 52 USC §30121, 11 CFR §109.20 and possibly other federal statutes.

        Why do it? The accusation burns both Trumps and Veselnitskaya (under the same laws). Vova, Manly Authoritarian Man Of Action, is, let us say, unlikely to take kindly to a *ahem* former spy freelancing, and Akhmetshin knows it. Trump Sr is still doing Russia’s bidding, wittingly or unwittingly, so there’s no incentive to undermine him (Junior is an entitled boob, by himself hardly worth the time and effort to destroy, but useful as leverage against Trump Sr). Which makes Veselnitskaya … what? Collateral damage? Is she taking one for the team? Why would Putin want to stir the pot when things are already going swimmingly for him?

        This part of the Trump saga makes no sense to me.

        –alopecia

        • I think Putin originally thought that Trump was controllable but then realized he wasn’t. There is some evidence to suggest this was the case in Feb this year (http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/02/13/the-kremlin-is-starting-to-worry-about-trump/). He knows Trump could easily start a shooting war with an unstable place like North Korea and that isn’t in anyone’s interest. Now Putin is more than happy to distract us and sew chaos. Anything to weaken NATO and isolate the former satellite nations. Added benefit is that Trump will be too busy worrying about his popularity to start a war and Americans’ trust in our democratic institutions will be permanently weakened. Putin’s scheme has already succeeded beyond his wildest dreams regardless of whether Trump remains in office or not. Akhmetshin and Veselnitskaya are Agent Provocateurs and if they have to take one for the team, they will.

          • muselet

            You’re probably right. I have a devious mind, but clearly this kind of thing confuses me.

            –alopecia

  • gescove

    IOKIYAR is being taken to hitherto undreamed heights.

  • ninjaf

    Mueller needs to get them ALL under oath and on the record. NOW.

  • Badgerite
  • Badgerite