Among the featured speakers at the opening of the Oil&Gas event included Alexander Torshin, then-Deputy Chairman of Central Bank of Russia and handler of admitted Russian agent Maria Butina.
FBI actively investigating Papadopoulos days after his release from prison
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Federal authorities out of Washington DC, working in coordination with Robert Mueller’s team, have in recent days sought to arrange an interview with the author of a letter sent to Congress last month that claimed that ex-Trump adviser George Papadopoulos coordinated with Russians in the weeks following the 2016 election. The person who wrote the letter is expected to travel to DC for an interview with the FBI about the claims, per two U.S. officials involved and the author of the letter. All three have requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.
The memo sent to Congressman Adam Schiff by a former confidant of Papadopoulos on November 19, as first reported by this reporter and Natasha Bertrand of the Atlantic, made a series of allegations against the ex-Trump campaign adviser. First and foremost, the letter claimed that in December 2016, Papadopoulos said “that he was doing a business deal with Russians which would result in large financial gain for himself and Mr. Trump. Mr. Papadopoulos told me that this deal with Russians would set him up for life.” The author also says that (s)he witnessed a phone call between Trump and Papadopoulos. None of the claims have been substantiated, though Congress plans to dig into the specific allegations.
The FBI’s interest in the letter and its writer signals that federal authorities are taking the allegations seriously and continue to investigate Papadopoulos even after he served 12 days in a federal prison for lying to investigators about his interactions with a Maltese professor who claimed that Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails.
Patrick Boland, A spokesman for Congressman Schiff and Caroline Polisi, a lawyer for Papadopoulos did not immediately return a request for comment. Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller’s office declined to comment.
Separately, this reporter has in recent weeks communicated with the author of the letter in which evidence was shared that proved their proximity to Papadopoulos in late 2016 and early 2017. The evidence includes messages and photos and the person’s identity was independently corroborated by a family member of Papadopoulos who confirmed that they had been aware of Papadopolous’s association with the person. Though none of the major claims in the letter have been substantiated, some of the underlying details have. Messages from Papadopoulos to the confidant included the phrase “I am set for life.” The Papadopoulos associate said that this message was in reference to a Russian business deal.
Message from Papadopoulos claiming he is “set for life”.
The FBI’s renewed interest in Papadopoulos and his purported Russian ties come as Papadopoulos and his wife, Simona Mangiante, have detailed his interactions with an alleged source for the Christopher Steele dossier, the enigmatic Sergei Millian.
The story surrounding the interactions between Millian and Papadopoulos has changed numerous times in recent months. On a podcast with Dan Bongino in early November (timestamp 43:35), Papadopoulos says that Millian reached out on LinkedIn in July 2016 and the two met in Chicago. In October 2016, Millian once again asked Papadopoulos to meet, saying that he had an interesting private sector offer. According to Papadopoulos, Millian said, “I have a deal for you for $30,000 a month, a great office in Manhattan, it’s simply PR…for some ex-Minister in Russia, but the qualifier is that you have to work for Trump at the same time and you can’t tell anybody.”
This version of events conflicts with the story told by Mrs. Papadopoulos. Speaking to the Daily Caller, Mrs. Papadopoulos stated that Millian “offered her husband a job working for the Russian energy company Bashneft.” Bashneft is a subsidiary Rosneft, the Russian conglomorate that Mr. Steele alleged was involved in a quid-pro-quo with Carter Page and other members of the Trump team.
The conflicting narratives about the offer from Millian to Papadopoulos in late 2016 add intriguing context to the underlying claims of the letter sent to Schiff.
Exclusively obtained photos and schedules for Russian energy events in the weeks before Millian contacted Papadopoulos show that the Belarus-born Millian hobnobbed with very senior Russian government officials, sharing stages with some of the most powerful leaders in the Kremlin.
Millian spent mid April 2016 in Moscow as part of the Russian government sponsored Oil&Gas Industry Week and the Russian-Chinese Energy Investment Forum. Photos of the events show Millian alongside Russian officials, including Deputy Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov. Among the featured speakers at the opening of the Oil&Gas event included Alexander Torshin, then-Deputy Chairman of Central Bank of Russia and handler of admitted Russian agent Maria Butina.
https://medium.com/@ScottMStedman/fbi-a ... d68239b8b1
Papadopoulos’s Russia Ties Continue to Intrigue the FBI
The former foreign-policy adviser to the Trump campaign boasted of a Russia business deal even after the election, according to a new letter under review.
NATASHA BERTRANDSCOTT STEDMAN
NOV 28, 2018
YURI GRIPAS / REUTERS
George Papadopoulos, a Trump-campaign adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about his interactions with a Russia-linked professor in 2016, went to jail on Monday after fighting, and failing, to delay the start of his two-week prison sentence. But a letter now being investigated by the House Intelligence Committee and the FBI indicates that Papadopoulos is still in the crosshairs of investigators probing a potential conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The letter, dated November 19 and obtained last week by The Atlantic, was sent to Democratic Representative Adam Schiff’s office by an individual who claims to have been close to Papadopoulos in late 2016 and early 2017. The letter was brought to the attention of Schiff and House Intelligence Committee staff, according to an aide who requested anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. The letter was also obtained by federal authorities, who are taking its claims “very seriously,” said two U.S. officials who also requested anonymity because of the sensitivities of the probe.
The statement makes a series of explosive but uncorroborated claims about Papadopoulos’s alleged coordination with Russians in the weeks following Trump’s election in November 2016, including that Papadopoulos said he was “doing a business deal with Russians which would result in large financial gains for himself and Mr. Trump.” The confidant—whose name The Atlantic is withholding on request but whose identity is known to congressional and federal investigators—stated a willingness to take a polygraph test “to prove that I am being truthful” and had come forward now after seeing Papadopoulos “become increasingly hostile towards those who are investigating him and his associates.” A lawyer for Papadopoulos declined to comment.
Read: A former Trump adviser pleads guilty to lying about his contacts with Russia.
If corroborated, the claims in the letter would add to an emerging portrait of Trump and his associates’ eagerness to strike backdoor deals with Russia even after the intelligence community concluded that Moscow had interfered in the 2016 election. (Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, tried to set up a “back channel” to Russia in the weeks after the election and met with the CEO of a sanctioned Russian bank during the transition period. Trump’s former national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, meanwhile, negotiated with the Russian ambassador about U.S. sanctions before Trump was inaugurated.)
https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article ... ssion=true