NEW YORK — Attorney Edward Lieberman, whose late wife Evelyn served as Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, exchanged numerous emails with the co-founder of the controversial Fusion GPS firm and Russian participants in the infamous June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting, documentation provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee shows.
The correspondence, part of a series of exhibits provided to Senate investigators and reviewed by Breitbart News, took place in the weeks leading up to the Trump Tower meeting.
Earlier this week, Breitbart News cited witness testimony saying Lieberman was present at one and possibly two dinner meetings between the controversial Fusion GPS firm and key participants in the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Also, Lieberman met with one Russian participant the same day of the Trump Tower meeting, according to separate testimony.
Now the email logs provide a paper trail connection between Lieberman, Fusion GPS, and two of the Russian participants in the Trump Tower confab.
Besides working for Hillary Clinton while she was First Lady, Lieberman’s late wife, Evelyn, also served as Bill Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, and famously transferred Monica Lewinsky out of the White House to the Defense Department.
Edward Lieberman himself has been described as working within the orbit of the Clintons. He previously served as legal counsel and advisor to the Albright Group LLC, which was founded by Madeleine K. Albright, who served as Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State and who would later serve as a surrogate for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign. Lieberman’s expertise, listed on his former Albright Group bio, includes “multi-billion dollar privatizations of oil and gas assets in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Russia.”
The Russia collusion conspiracy was sparked by the dossier produced by Fusion GPS, which was paid for its anti-Trump work by Trump’s primary political opponents, namely Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) via the Perkins Coie law firm.
As part of his interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee last August, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson produced documentation requested by Senate investigators, including “privilege logs” of the emails in question. The logs contained the names of the recipients of the emails as well as the dates and the subjects. The actual email texts were not provided by Simpson citing confidentiality due to “attorney work product.”
The testimony and exhibits were released in January, but most of the exhibits remain largely unreported by the news media. The documentation was given new scrutiny in light of this reporter’s recent articles on Lieberman’s ties to Trump Tower meeting participants.
Most of the email logs provided to the committee were sent between May 13, 2016, and May 20, 2016, ending just twenty days before the Trump Tower get-together. The email logs resume again in October 2016, with no logs provided for the key days before or after the Trump Tower meeting.
The logs show the emails in question were sent between Lieberman, Simpson, and Russian-born Washington lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, who was present at the Trump Tower presentation. Other emails were sent from Mark Cymrot, a lawyer at the U.S. law firm BakerHostetler, with Simpson, Lieberman, and Akhmetshin listed as the recipients.
Simpson and Fusion GPS were hired by BakerHostetler, which represented the Russian firm Prevezon, to do opposition work targeting British financier Bill Browder. It was Browder who did extensive investment work in Russia and who successfully lobbied Congress to pass the Magnitsky Act, the very topic of the Trump Tower meeting. Russian-linked Prevezon Holdings Ltd. had settled a case in the U.S. involving the purchase of real estate with allegedly laundered money, accusations that centered around the Magnitsky Act.
Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who countered the Magnitsky Act, was an attorney for Prevezon and led the Trump Tower meeting along with Akhmetshin.
All participants at the Trump Tower meeting generally agree the confab, in which Veselnitskaya did most of the talking, focused largely on the Magnitsky Act as well as talk about a Russian tax evasion scheme and alleged connections to the Democratic National Committee. Donald Trump Jr. previously explained that he took the meeting thinking it was about “opposition research” on Hillary Clinton and was disappointed that it wasn’t.
The email logs show the emails included “Magnitsky Act” and “Browder” in the subjects. Those were also the subjects of the Trump Tower meeting.
Below are images of the email logs (highlight markers added):
During the testimony, the Senate asked Simpson why one of the emails were privileged, meaning why the actual email wasn’t provided. Simpson’s attorney, Josh Levy, responded thusly for the Fusion GPS co-founder: “This is a judgment that his lawyers made and any knowledge he would have about whether it was attorney work product or not likely would come from communications with counsel, which obviously are privileged.”
Simpson was also asked to explain Lieberman’s involvement in his work, ostensibly the work regarding Browder and the Magnitsky Act.
“Ed Lieberman is a lawyer in Washington who has a specialty in international tax who worked for BakerHostetler on some of the analysis of the alleged tax evasion by Hermitage Capital and William Browder,” Simpson stated.
Simpson related a personal relationship between Lieberman and Trump Tower participant Ahhmetshin. “And then subsequently also he knows Rinat (Akhmetshin) from I guess, I don’t know, college or something and subsequently the two of them were working on the—I don’t know what to call it, the congressional stuff.” Simpson explained he was referring to lobbying Congress.
Simpson’s testimony and the email logs make clear that Lieberman was player in the Prevezon case linked to the Magnitsky Act and involving the Trump Tower meeting’s Russian participants. Yet Simpson claimed that to this best of his knowledge Lieberman was not aware of the Fusion GPS “Trump research”—meaning the dossier—even though the very dossier alleged unsubstantiated collision between the Trump Campaign and Russia and despite the later relevance of the Trump Tower meeting to the Russia probe.
“To the best of your knowledge, was Ed Lieberman aware of your Trump research project?” Simpson was asked.
“Not to the best of my knowledge,” he replied.
Still, Senate testimony by Trump Tower participants reveals numerous meetings between Lieberman and those Russian participants, including a meeting on the very day of the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower confab.
In his testimony, Simpson described having several dinners with Russian lawyer and Trump Tower presenter Natalia Veselnitskaya. Simpson said that he had dinner with Veselnitskaya on June 8, 2016, in New York and two days later in Washington, DC. Simpson also recalled having a dinner with Veselnitskaya in “probably 2015.”
Simpson further testified that he saw Veselnitskaya the same day as the June 9 Trump Tower meeting while attending a court hearing in New York.
Although he says he saw the Russian attorney the day before the Trump Tower meeting, the same day as the meeting and the day after, he claimed that the two did not discuss the Trump Tower get together on any of those occasions.
In her own written response to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Veselnitskaya denied meeting Simpson on June 8 or June 10. She also denied informing Simpson of the Trump Tower meeting.
Earlier this week, Breitbart News reported that Anatoli Samochornov, the Russian translator who was present at the Trump Tower meeting, testified that he was present at several dinners between Simpson and Veselnitskaya, including around the date of the Trump Tower meeting. Samochornov also places Lieberman at one and likely two of those dinner meetings.
Samochornov described those present at “the first meeting”—ostensibly referring to an initial meeting in October 2015. From the context of his testimony, he also could have been referring to the “first meeting” in June 2016. He described those present at the “first meeting” as including himself, Simpson, Veselnitskaya, Russian-born Washington lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin and Lieberman.
Samochornov described another meeting with Fusion GPS after the Trump Tower confab, which he says took place in Washington, DC, likely on the “12th or the 13th” of June, stressing he could not recall the exact date. Simpson said that the meeting in question took place on June 10.
“I also believe Mr. Lieberman” was present at that meeting, Samochornov testified, referring to the meeting after the Trump Tower episode. This possibly places Lieberman at another meeting between Fusion GPS and Trump Tower participants.
Later in the testimony, Samochornov was asked to clarify whether Lieberman was present at the Washington, DC meeting following the Trump Tower presentation. Samochornov replied, “I think so. Yes.”
Efforts to reach Lieberman for comment were not successful.
Lieberman’s alleged association with the Trump Tower fiasco was previously spotlighted in testimony by Akhmetshin, as first reported by Breitbart News. Akhmetshin describes meeting with Lieberman two times the same day as the Trump Tower meeting.
The New York Times previously reported that Lieberman in 1998 arranged for Akhmetshin’s position at “an organization pushing what he described as a pro-democracy agenda for Kazakhstan.” Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh says he met Akhmetshin through Lieberman.
In his Senate testimony, Akhmetshin described taking an Acela train to New York the day of the Trump Tower meeting and says that Lieberman “may” have been with him on the train.
Akhmetshin says his dealings with Lieberman in New York that day were “personal” and centered on a scholarship program that he claims Lieberman started. “And he was in New York that day to discuss arrangements with Metropolitan Museum with kind of taking care of that scholarship award,” Akhmetshin stated.
Akhmetshin says that while he was in New York, he had lunch with Veselnitskaya, who told him about the scheduled meeting that day at Trump Tower, but she didn’t say anything about him attending.
He claims that after he had lunch with Veselnitskaya, she called him and asked him to attend the Trump Tower meeting, but she didn’t suggest any role he would play at the meeting or why he should attend.
After the meeting at Trump Tower, Akhmetshin says he went to dinner and a play with Lieberman, and the subject of the meeting that same day did not come up in his conversations with Lieberman at dinner or during the play. Akhmetshin also stated in the testimony that he was not asked to keep the meeting confidential.
In other words, Akhmetshin is claiming that he attended a meeting at the campaign headquarters of Clinton’s presidential challenger with that challenger’s son and other top Trump staffers, and that same night Akhmetshin did not mention the meeting to his friend Lieberman, a reported Clinton associate.
He also said he had drinks that same night with another “friend,” but could not remember who that friend was.
Later in the testimony, when Akhmetshin described disclosing another matter to journalist friends, he was questioned about his claim that he didn’t tell Lieberman that same night about the Trump Jr. meeting, yet he seemingly evidenced a lack of discretion with reporters.
During further questioning in Senate testimony, Akhmetshin admitted to possibly telling Lieberman about the Trump Tower meeting, but says he may have told him on another day and not the same day as the meeting.
Akhmetshin also detailed knowing Hillary Clinton since the late 1990s and last seeing her at Evelyn Lieberman’s 2015 funeral. In the same testimony, Akhmetshin says he “knew” some of the people who worked on Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
Samochornov, the translator, also has links to Clinton. Samochornov testified that he was previously an interpreter for Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and Barack Obama.
Samochornov also said that he held a “public trust” clearance from the U.S. government. The clearance provides a level of screening for individuals who do government work described as sensitive, but whose positions do not require a security clearance. He also said that he translated meetings with Fusion GPS.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
Joshua Klein contributed research to this article.