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Warner’s Text Messages With Russian Oligarch Raise More Questions

Warner’s Text Messages With Russian Oligarch Raise More Questions

No paper trail? Why?

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.

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?

The Report

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.”

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.

“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.

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.”

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,” Waldman texted.

The two men appear to have finally connected about Steele by phone on March 22, according to the records.

“Hey just tried u again gotta give a speech but really want to finish our talk,” Warner texted.

Waldman told Warner that Steele “really wanted a bi-partisan letter requesting his testimony first” over concerns of possible leaks to the media about their talks.

So it looks like Steele wanted to bring in both sides. But Warner insisted he didn’t want to bring in other senators:

“Ok but I wud (sic) like to do prelim call u me and him no one else before letter just so we have to trail to start want to discuss scope first before letter no leaks.”

This did not quell Steele’s fears, especially since The Wall Street Journal contacted him and asked “if he was an intermediary between the panel and Steele.”

Warner did not give up though and badgered Waldman about a trip to see Steele and even brought up Paul Manafort:

On March 26, Warner texted, “Really need to set date things r going to really pick up.”

“Standying by to do it,” texted Waldman. “Awaiting call from your scheduler and also the letter he (Steele) would like they(sic) we discussed. And have second interesting thing to raise. Pls call.”

But after calls back and forth, Warner made clear that he wanted to talk to Steele directly without Burr or anyone else being involved, even though Steele was insisting through Waldman that the contact start with a bipartisan letter inviting him to cooperate with the Senate panel.

“Hey can’t we do brief (off the record) call today before letter so I can frame letter,” Warner texted Waldman on March 29.

“Steele wants to have letter first. Or did you mean call w me?” Waldman texted back.

The Committee

Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Warner sent these text messages to the intelligence community in June and the rest of the committee in October because the men “realized out of context it doesn’t look great.” Fox News continued:

But aides to Warner and Burr both stressed that the chairman was kept apprised of Warner’s efforts.

An aide to Burr knew there was a “back channel” Warner was using to try and get to Steele and was not concerned that Warner was freelancing on the matter.

Rubio even tweeted out that the committee received these texts and they have had “zero impact on our work.”


Strassel from WSJ sent out this tweet:

Excellent questions. Someone reminded us of this previous exchange:

People also want to know why it took Warner so many months to alert the rest of the committee about his contact with the oligarch?

I would also like to know why this is brushed aside when you KNOW if the tables were turned the Democrats and the media would be SCREAMING to the heavens about how this proves collusion or something.

Is Russian collusion bad or not? Because this looks like a form of Russian collusion to me.


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regulus arcturus | February 9, 2018 at 7:06 pm

Actually, Warner’s text shows intent, requiring his immediate removal from the Senate Intel Committee.

That actually doesn’t matter, because Senate Intel has been walled off from the other investigating committees –

Note they are uninvolved in breaking any useful from the conspiracy.

Warner is a VA not NV senator….and I can’t stand the virtue signaling POS.

What the heck is wrong with Rubio?

I expect “hide the paper trail” behavior from Dems.

I hate the “it’s cool” reaction from our own fighting munchkins.

People also want to know why it took Warner so many months …

Something comes to mind, about rats and sinking boats.

“what the heck is wrong with Rubio?”

Rubio: Hail Hydra!

Occam’s Razor says he’s compromised.

I am really wondering how texts on an auto-erasing app such as Signal came to be released. Someone would have to do screen captures. That someone would have to be on one side or the other of the chat. Warner didn’t want a paper trail, so facially he shouldn’t be the one doing the screen captures, and more likely it was the Oligarch Lobbyist who wanted to show his client the progress he was making with Warner. Then the question is how did the screen captures get to the senate committee? Was the NSA/FBI monitoring the communications between the lobbyist and his bosses in Moscow? Or was the Lobbyist trying to blackmail Warner? Or was Warner capturing screenshots of his own text when he said he didn’t want a paper trail? Very fishy!

I have always felt something was a bit off with Rubio. Aside from him amnesty pushes, and RINO stances on a lot of things, I just never felt he was someone I could trust. He reminds me too much of McCain and the maverick type stances and positions. McCain was the toughest vote I ever cast a vote for, Rubio would be another, and if the Democrat candidate wasn’t as odorous as Obama and Hillary, I would be giving them a strong look to vote for over Rubio.

I am to a point where I don’t think RINO particularly fits anymore, given so many in the GOPe are certainly not holding fast to Republican values and beliefs. Too many of those members of the GOP are far away from conservatives, and seem more like Democrat lite.

These texts haven been shared with the committee earlier sounds more like someone looking to dump the trash well in advance, at a time when they would barely get a glance, and can then be dismissed once they come to light. Rubio being a Never Trumper seems to be doing his job to help provide cover rather than looking for intent and truth behind this massive coup effort.

    Tom Servo in reply to oldgoat36. | February 10, 2018 at 6:52 am

    I remember being angry with Trump, at thinking he was going too far when he was ripping Rubio and making him look like a fool.

    And now I realize that not only was Trump right, he was being nice.

The media only report corruption when they don’t like the results or motivations.

Not illegal but hypocritical slime. He does not deserve to represent American citizens.

He should resign.

Why is it that the same people who are so obsessed with “Russian influence” on our elections are so eager to bring in as many foreigners as possible to vote in our elections?

    murkyv in reply to Toad-O. | February 9, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    The Left is just mad that Russia couldn’t drag Granny Bloodclot across the finish line for them. As they had planned.

Apparently, it can get even stupider …

U.S. Spies, Seeking to Retrieve Cyberweapons, Paid Russian Peddling Trump Secrets

merican intelligence officials said they made clear that they did not want the Trump material from the Russian, who was suspected of having murky ties to Russian intelligence and to Eastern European cybercriminals. He claimed the information would link the president and his associates to Russia. Instead of providing the hacking tools, the Russian produced unverified and possibly fabricated information involving Mr. Trump and others, including bank records, emails and purported Russian intelligence data.

The United States intelligence officials said they cut off the deal because they were wary of being entangled in a Russian operation to create discord inside the American government. They were also fearful of political fallout in Washington if they were seen to be buying scurrilous information on the president.

This does seem to explain some comments by Rep Schiff about some financial dealing he was looking into.
Frankly, the Democrats are begging to be PWN3D

What kind of damn fools think you can retrieve something as fungible of computer software ? I suppose the NSA requires a dongle on their cybersecurity software?

The Warner communiques were a Steele, et al, setup. At the time, it appeared that Steele was going to be the Oswald in this. He, allegedly, complied the dossier and presented it to the FBI who then used it to gain Title 1 surveillance authority on a former member of the Trump campaign. The dossier was a sham and Steele knew it. As the dossier was ow the linchpin of the surveillance investigation, Steele was sitting squarely on the X. The FBI and DOJ could claim that they accepted the dossier in good faith and had no idea that it was bogus. Steele wanted some kind of protection from the Dems and so contacted Warner. The communications were copied and saved for insurance purposes.

Warner was merely attempting discuss what Steele knew and what he was likely to tell the committee, before going public. This is really not that big a deal, EXCEPT for the fact that the contact was a Russian. That is what makes it so intriguing.