The Associated Press is reporting that, some time in the last few weeks, Russian lobbyist and “former” spy, Rinat Akhmetshin, appeared before the grand jury convened by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
A grand jury used by Special Counsel Robert Mueller has heard secret testimony from a Russian-American lobbyist who attended a June 2016 meeting with President Donald Trump’s eldest son, The Associated Press has learned.
Akhmetshin was the “eighth man” at the meeting, the last person to be identified in a group that included Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, along with five representatives of Russian developers offering information to be used against Hillary as part of a what one of those representatives called a Russian government program to help Donald Trump.
Though Ahkmetshin insists that he’s a lobbyist, he’s done little to cover his many connections to Russian intelligence.
He has an association with a former deputy head of a Russian spy service, the F.S.B., and a history of working for close allies of President Vladimir V. Putin. Twice, he has worked on legal battles for Russian tycoons whose opponents suffered sophisticated hacking attacks, arousing allegations of computer espionage.
Ahkmetshin has connections to the FSB, Putin, and hackers. And he was there at a meeting where not only was Trump promised inside info on Clinton, the meeting happened at around the same time as the DNC hack.
Donald Trump Jr originally dismissed the Trump Tower meeting as being about “adoptions,” an excuse that Donald Trump created for his son while riding back from meetings with Putin on board Air Force One. Eventually, Trump Jr released emails arranging the meeting after the New York Times revealed that they had the emails and would be releasing them soon. Trump Jr, Manafort, and Kushner have given often-changing but dismissive excuses for the meeting.
The meeting at Trump Tower came six months after the recently revealed series of emails in which Trump adviser Felix Sater promised to contact people working with Putin to “get our boy elected” and Trump lawyer Michael Cohen sent an email to a Kremlin official seeing help with a Trump real estate deal in Moscow. Neither those communications, nor Trump’s attempt to restart his attempt at a Russian real estate deal while the presidential campaign was already underway, had been revealed before August.