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Buried From Trump Tower Meeting: Translator Telling FBI 'No Collusion'
www.realclearinvestigations.com ^ | 03/12/2020 | Staff

Posted on 03/12/2020 12:58:50 PM PDT by Red Badger

Just days after news of the infamous Trump Tower meeting drew the attention of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, the translator present told the FBI there was no talk of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, according to recently released documents.

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Anatoli Samochornov, translator, quoted in FBI memo: "There was no discussion of the 2016 United States presidential election or Collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.” LinkedIn via CBS News

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This exculpatory evidence – which backed accounts of Donald Trump Jr. and other campaign officials in attendance – was not mentioned in Special Counsel Mueller’s final report two years later. And the silence in the interim occurred as sinister theorizing on cable TV and in the press helped shape a public impression of the June 9, 2016 meeting as central to collusion.

The new documents record that on July 12, 2017, four days after the New York Times first disclosed the meeting, relying on government leaks, the FBI interviewed Anatoli Samochornov, a freelance translator with long ties to the U.S. government who had been engaged by the Russian side. Elaborating the day after its initial report, the Times used more leaks to report that Trump Jr. had agreed to the meeting because he was told that a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, would provide damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

Whatever the suspicions raised by the Trump son's emailed response, "If it's what you say I love it," the meeting didn't live up to the billing, judging from what the translator told the FBI. Bureau notes show he told agents, “There was no discussion of the 2016 United States presidential election or Collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.” The agent notes also state, “There was no smoking gun according to Samochornov. There was not a discussion about ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton. Samochornov did not think Hillary Clinton was mentioned by name.”

Samochornov told the FBI that the meeting was 20 minutes long and focused on the Magnitsky Act, which imposes financial sanctions on wealthy Russians, and related matters. He recounted that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was apparently so uninterested in the topic that he used his cellphone under the table throughout, and “five to seven minutes after it began” Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner left. FBI notes also record that “Samochornov was not particularly fond of Donald Trump Jr., but stated that Donald Trump Jr.’s account of the meeting with Veselnitskaya, as portrayed in recent media reports, was accurate.”

Fourteen of the 448 pages of the Mueller Report are devoted to laying out in great detail the chronology and circumstances of the Trump Tower meeting. There are no mentions of Samochornov’s flat denial of collusion or his corroboration of Trump Jr.’s description of the meeting as benign, even though report footnotes list the translator's FBI interview nine times with little elaboration.

The contents of Samochornov’s “302” – the form used by the FBI to report and summarize agent interviews – were first flagged this month by “Undercover Huber,” a pseudonymous Twitter account dedicated to following Trump-Russia news (not to be confused with Justice Department official John Huber, who was tasked with investigating potential FBI misconduct during the 2016 election). The document, with agents’ names redacted, was posted by the FBI under a federal judge’s order to release on a monthly basis 302s underpinning the Mueller Report, following a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by CNN and BuzzFeed.

Samochornov told the FBI that Veselnitskaya had dangled one piece of potentially partisan political information before the Trump officials – the claim that business associates of William Browder, the American businessman behind the passage of the Magnitsky Act, had made illicit donations to Democratic campaigns. Interview notes state that “Samochornov did not know if the donation(s) were made directly to the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee, or a political action committee.”

This allegation, which was trumpeted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, was false. In November of 2017, Reuters reported that Fusion GPS – the Washington, D.C., opposition research firm paid by the Clinton campaign to compile the debunked Steele “dossier” used by the FBI to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign – had provided Veselnitskaya with the bogus Browder-connected dirt before the Trump Tower meeting

In their book “Crime in Progress,” Fusion co-founders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch disavow having anything to do with the meeting. They write that previous Fusion work with Veselnitskaya explains Simpson's meeting with her in court on June 9, the day of the meeting, and afterward at a Washington, D.C., dinner that night.

Mueller reportedly explored charging the Trump campaign officials with campaign finance violations as a result of the meeting, on the untested theory that Veselnitskaya’s offer of damaging information could constitute an illegal campaign donation from a foreign source. Ultimately, Mueller decided against it.

Speculation about Russia collusion involving the Trump Tower meeting abounded in media accounts throughout the 2018 midterm elections, raising questions about whether the Mueller team should have disclosed the translator’s information. Mueller did speak out to correct faulty reporting on another matter that appeared damaging to the president, shutting down a BuzzFeed report alleging Trump had directed his lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the assertions in Samochornov’s 302.

The Mueller Report contains information that supports Samochornov’s credibility. It reports that the translator was involved in civil litigation with Veselnitskaya on an unrelated matter. At one point, Samochornov said, the organization that hired him to work with Veselnitskaya on repealing the Magnitsky Act offered to pay $90,000 worth of his related legal fees – if he would corroborate certain statements made by Veselnitskaya.

“Samochornov declined,” the Mueller Report states, “telling the Office that he did not want to perjure himself.”

The FBI’s 302 also records that he explicitly informed the FBI of his legal entanglement during his interview, and Samochornov has a long track record of working as a translator for the State Department and other government agencies on a contract basis. He has been married to Tatiana Rodzianko, a State Department employee, since 2006.

“Samochornov told the interviewing agents that he would have contacted the FBI if he thought the meeting was nefarious,” according to the 302.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Government; Politics/Elections; Russia
KEYWORDS: bho44; collusion; corruptdems; dncstrategy; obamalegacy; russia; samochornov; spygate; trump2016; trumprussia

1 posted on 03/12/2020 12:58:50 PM PDT by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger

Might have been nice to just say this in public in say, January of 2017


2 posted on 03/12/2020 1:07:11 PM PDT by DesertRhino (Dog is man's best friend, and moslems hate dogs. Add that up. ....)
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To: Red Badger

Veselnitskaya was Fusion GPS, brought in by the Obama DOJ.

She herself may or may not have known how she was being used.


3 posted on 03/12/2020 1:07:33 PM PDT by marron
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To: Red Badger

This is the meeting where they met with Simpson from Fusion GPS the day before and the day after the meeting, and the agenda was nothing at all to do with what they said the meeting was about.

F-ing criminals.


4 posted on 03/12/2020 1:08:25 PM PDT by DesertRhino (Dog is man's best friend, and moslems hate dogs. Add that up. ....)
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To: Red Badger

Its always good to remember that there was, in fact, “Russian collusion”. Fusion was on contract with Russia, simultaneous with DNC and FBI. Christopher Steele was on contract with Russia, Fusion, and FBI. John Podesta, Clinton brain fixer and manager, was co-owner with Putin of Joule Energy. And of course the Clintons themselves took boatloads of money from the Russians for services rendered.

The only one in Washington who wasn’t “colluding” with Russia, China, or the Saudis, would be Donald J Trump.


5 posted on 03/12/2020 1:11:37 PM PDT by marron
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To: Red Badger

WOW!! Send this to Boom Boom Hannity, forthwith!!


6 posted on 03/12/2020 1:11:41 PM PDT by JonPreston
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To: Red Badger

The FBI should be disbanded and their function absorbed into the US Marshal’s office, after all the deep staters have been purged and removed from Washington.


7 posted on 03/12/2020 1:14:44 PM PDT by Mr. K (No consequence of repealing obamacare is worse than obamacare itself.)
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To: Red Badger

They set up Trump’s son with a Russian Honey pot.

When he didn’t play along by meeting her ACCOMPANIED by others, they used their cover story, the Magnitsky act.


8 posted on 03/12/2020 1:16:32 PM PDT by Mr. K (No consequence of repealing obamacare is worse than obamacare itself.)
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To: Red Badger

Barr should have returned the partisan garbage report to Mueller’s angry Democrats and told them to fix it or he wasn’t going to accept it.


9 posted on 03/12/2020 1:16:33 PM PDT by lodi90
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To: Red Badger

And it HUGELY affected the 2018 election. That was only one of the reasons for the”investigation.”


10 posted on 03/12/2020 1:16:59 PM PDT by subterfuge (RIP T.P.)
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To: marron

I anticipate many tidbits of criminality will start spilling out since Coronavirus owns the news cycle.

Then later it will be “old news.”


11 posted on 03/12/2020 1:20:01 PM PDT by Bshaw (A nefarious deceit is upon us all!)
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To: Red Badger

Bookmark


12 posted on 03/12/2020 1:33:19 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: JonPreston

Linda Graham will be on Hannity tonight to say he will be doing a bunch of hearings to get to the bottom of this.


13 posted on 03/12/2020 1:43:33 PM PDT by shelterguy
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To: marron

Given that she met with Glenn Simpson both the night before and the night after the meeting, I suspect she knew quite well what she was being used for, IMO.


14 posted on 03/12/2020 2:35:37 PM PDT by rlmorel (Finding middle ground with tyranny or evil makes you either a tyrant or evil. Often both.)
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To: JonPreston

He talked about it today and had Greg Jarret and John Solomon on the radio. They plugged Solomon’s new website too, https://justthenews.com/


15 posted on 03/12/2020 3:03:36 PM PDT by Pollard (If you don't understand what I typed, you haven't read the classics.)
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