Democratic Sen. Mark Warner texted with Russian oligarch lobbyist

Democratic Sen. Mark Warner texted with Russian oligarch lobbyist in effort to contact dossier author Christopher Steele

February 09, 2018 1:30 AM

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee who has been leading a congressional investigation into President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, had extensive contact last year with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch who was offering Warner access to former British spy and dossier author Christopher Steele, according to text messages obtained exclusively by Fox News.

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee who has been leading a congressional investigation into President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, had extensive contact last year with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch who was offering Warner access to former British spy and dossier author Christopher Steele, according to text messages obtained exclusively by Fox News.

“We have so much to discuss u need to be careful but we can help our country,” Warner texted the lobbyist, Adam Waldman, on March 22, 2017.

“I’m in,” Waldman, whose firm has ties to Hillary Clinton, texted back to Warner.

Steele famously put together the anti-Trump dossier of unverified information that was used by FBI and Justice Department officials in October 2016 to get a warrant to conduct surveillance of former Trump adviser Carter Page. Despite the efforts, Steele has not agreed to an interview with the committee.

Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., left, sitting next to Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., right, asks a question during a hearing about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Sen. Mark Warner, left, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee who has been leading a congressional investigation into President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, had extensive contact last year with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch who was offering Warner access to former British spy and dossier author Christopher Steele, according to text messages obtained exclusively by Fox News.  (AP)

Secrecy seemed very important to Warner as the conversation with Waldman heated up March 29, when the lobbyist revealed that Steele wanted a bipartisan letter from Warner and the committee’s chairman, North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr, inviting him to talk to the Senate intelligence panel.

Throughout the text exchanges, Warner seemed particularly intent on connecting directly with Steele without anyone else on the Senate Intelligence Committee being in the loop — at least initially. In one text to the lobbyist, Warner wrote that he would “rather not have a paper trail” of his messages.

An aide to Warner confirmed to Fox News that the text messages are authentic. The messages, which were obtained from a Republican source, are all marked “CONFIDENTIAL” and are not classified. They were turned over to the Senate panel by Waldman last September.

Waldman, who did not return calls seeking comments, runs the Endeavor Group in Washington.

Waldman is best known for signing a $40,000 monthly retainer in 2009 and 2010 to lobby the U.S. government on behalf of controversial Russian billionaire Oleg V. Deripaska. Deripraska had his visa revoked by the State …

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2018-02-09T15:20:31+00:00 February 9th, 2018|