Attorney Edward Lieberman, whose late wife Evelyn previously served as Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff when she was First Lady, 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, according to witness testimony reviewed by Breitbart News.
One of those meetings with Fusion GPS took place just days after the Trump Tower meeting, the testimony reveals. Also, Edward Lieberman met with one Russian participant the same day of the Trump Tower meeting, according to separate testimony.
Besides working for Hillary Clinton, 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.
In previous testimony, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson described having several dinners with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who countered the Magnitsky Act which sanctions Russian officials accused of involvement in the death of a Russian tax accountant.
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.
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. Veselnitskaya was the attorney for Prevezon. The 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.
In Senate testimony, Simpson previously revealed that he had dinner with Veselnitskaya on June 8, 2016, in New York and two days later in Washington, DC. The Trump Tower meeting took place on June 9, 2016. Simpson also recalled having a dinner with Veselnitskaya in “probably 2015.”
Simpson further testified that he saw Veselnitskaya the same day as the 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. This even though Simpson’s Fusion GPS was assembling a controversial dossier about unsubstantiated ties between Russia and the very campaign with whom Russian attorney Veselnitskaya held the Trump Tower meeting.
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.
Now it has emerged that Anatoli Samochornov, a Russian translator who was present at the Trump Tower meeting, testified that he was present at several meetings between Simpson and Veselnitskaya, including around the date of the Trump Tower meeting. Samochornov also places Lieberman at one and likely two of those 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 ad Lieberman. Akhmetshin came to the Trump Tower meeting, as well.
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 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 Akhmitshin’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 even mention the meeting to his friend Lieberman, a 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 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.
Meanwhile, aside from Akhmetshin’s links to Lieberman, the Russian lobbyist, like Samochornov and Veselnitskaya, is also reportedly tied to Fusion GPS and the controversial firm’s co-founder, Glenn Simpson. Akhmetshin’s November 14, 2017 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee contained numerous sections that detail his past relationship with Fusion GPS and Simpson. Some of that relationship, which also involved Veselnitskaya, spanned the period just prior to the meeting with Trump Jr.
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.