Dem. Sen. Mark Warner colluded with Russians to get private meeting with Christopher Steele

On Thursday, Fox News’ Ed Henry reported that Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating alleged collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians, “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…”

Warner, Henry further said, “has been leading a congressional investigation into President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia…”

“Chris Steele asked me to call you,”  Adam Waldman, a lobbyist for Russian billionaire Oleg V. Deripaska, said on March 16, 2017.

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“Will call tomorrow be careful,” Warner said.

“Can you talk tomorrow want to get with ur English friend,” he said on March 20.

“I spoke to him yesterday,” Waldman said in a reference to Christopher Steele.

“We have so much to discuss u need to be careful but we can help our country,” Warner told  Waldman in a text message sent March 22, 2017.

“I’m in,” Waldman responded.

Fox News added:

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.

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.

A Warner aide confirmed the text messages are authentic, Fox said.

The messages are all marked “CONFIDENTIAL” and are not classified, the report further says.

The Daily Caller further noted:

Although the Fox News article doesn’t mention Russian president Vladimir Putin, Deripaska is close with the head of state

A Los Angeles Times profile of Deripaska from 2017 described him as “tight” with Putin and said that the two men’s ties were “so close that Russia’s foreign minister asked U.S. secretaries of state for more than a decade, including as recently as last year, to help Deripaska secure a visa to enter the United States, the Washington Post reported.”

Warner disclosed these messages to the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the entire committee was made aware of them in October 2017, the Fox News report notes.

Here’s video of the report:

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