Ed Henry of Fox News reported on Thursday Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, had extensive contact last year with Adam Waldman, a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch, who was offering Warner access to Fusion GPS dossier author Christopher Steele.
An aide to Warner confirmed to Fox News that the text message exchange was authentic.
The texts were turned over to the Senate panel by Waldman in September.
“We have so much to discuss u need to be careful but we can help our country,” Warner texted Waldman on March 22, 2017.
“I’m in,” Waldman replied.
In one text to the lobbyist, Warner wrote that he would “rather not have a paper trail” of his messages.
Waldman signed a $40,000 monthly retainer in 2009 and 2010 to lobby the U.S. government on behalf of Russian billionaire Oleg V. Deripaska, who had his visa revoked by the Bush-era State Department in 2006 because of charges, which he has denied, organized crime ties.
In January 2009, Harper’s Magazine reported that Deripaska had hired an advisory firm with close ties to Hillary Clinton to help him get a visa while Clinton was in the process of becoming secretary of state.
Waldman also talked to Warner about getting Deripraska to cooperate with the Senate and House intelligence committees because he had information on former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, who he sued over a failed business deal.
In May 2017, both the Senate and House intelligence committees decided not to give Deripraska legal immunity in exchange for testimony. The text messages appeared to stop that month.
President Donald Trump reacted to this news story shortly after publication.
Wow! -Senator Mark Warner got caught having extensive contact with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch. Warner did not want a “paper trail” on a “private” meeting (in London) he requested with Steele of fraudulent Dossier fame. All tied into Crooked Hillary.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2018