NEW YORK — Jonathan M. Winer, the Obama State Department official who acknowledged regularly interfacing and exchanging information with the author of the largely discredited 35-page anti-Trump dossier, signed disclosure forms for his former firm to represent a Russian billionaire known as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s favorite oligarch.
The detail, being brought to light herein, may raise immediate questions about the origins of the dossier. The oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, had a reported business dispute with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, is closely tied to Putin and has long been viewed as pushing Russian national interests.
Already, there have been questions about Deripaska’s possible relationship with dossier author Christopher Steele amid reports that the billionaire may have served as a source for the dossier itself.
Also, recently leaked text messages show extensive communication between a Russia-connected lawyer and Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. The attorney, Adam Waldman, was a paid lobbyist for Deripaska. The messages show Warner attempted to arrange a meeting with Steele through Waldman. more here