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On Thursday, Ed Henry at Fox News dropped a story about how Sen. Mark Warner (D-NV), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, exchanged texts with a Russian oligarch regarding a meeting with dossier author Christopher Steele.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) dismissed the report because he claimed that Warner made the texts known to the committee.
Deal - Questions - Kimberley - Strassel - Paper
So is this a big deal? Maybe, maybe not. It does raise a few questions like, as Kimberley Strassel points out, why did he want to avoid a paper trail? Why did Steele need to use this oligarch to reach Congress?
Fox News published the texts between Warner and lobbyist Adam Waldman, a man who had lobbied the U.S. government for oligarch Oleg V. Deripaska, who lost his visa “in 2006 because of charges, which he has denied, that he has organized crime ties.”
Excerpts - Eyebrows
Here are some excerpts (I emphasized a few that raised my eyebrows):
“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.
Waldman - Firm - Ties - Hillary - Clinton
“I’m in,” Waldman, whose firm has ties to Hillary Clinton, texted back to Warner.
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.
Conversation - Steele - March - Waldman - Chris
The conversation about Steele started on March 16, 2017, when Waldman texted, “Chris Steele asked me to call you.”
Warner responded, “Will call tomorrow be careful.”
Records - Warner - Waldman - Trouble - Connecting
The records show Warner and Waldman had trouble connecting by phone. On March 20, Warner pressed Waldman by text to get him access to Steele.
“Can you talk tomorrow want to get with ur English friend,” Warner texted.
“I spoke to him yesterday,”...
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