At least since March, we’ve known about alleged secret meetings the Trump campaign had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel last year in April. Seth Abramson revealed the whole story on Twitter and made special note that Sessions seems to have hidden this particular meeting even after accusations of perjury, which raised red flags then. On May 2, the FBI told The Washington Post that the Mayflower Hotel meeting was “of investigative interest.” Now today, Congress is finally catching up, and CNN reports that they are investigating what Abramson believed months ago would lead to Trump’s impeachment.
Tweet from Seth Abramson about Sessions from March (part of a long numbered thread):
31) That Sessions would feel the need to hide his contact with Kislyak at the Mayflower event after accusations of perjury raises red flags. pic.twitter.com/FiSyrw89SD
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) March 24, 2017
Tweet from Abramson today:
(2) NBC and the rest of the media should confirm the rest of my research too: the sudden venue change, the lies about the change, and so on.
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) June 1, 2017
Abramson also posted a photo of Sessions, Manafort, and Kislyak returning from what he called an “intimate VIP meeting” at the Mayflower in April:
PLEASE RETWEET. This is a photo of SESSIONS, MANAFORT, and KISLYAK returning from an INTIMATE VIP MEETING at the Mayflower in April of 2016. pic.twitter.com/6ToCOFwtk8
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) May 25, 2017
CNN reported today that the Hill investigators are requesting schedules from Sessions to confirm if the Mayflower meeting took place on April 27, 2016. Trump delivered his “first major foreign policy address after the VIP reception.
There is a video of the address, in which Trump made it very clear he was open to making deals with Russia:
“[…] We desire to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China. We have serious differences with these two nations, and must regard them with open eyes, but we are not bound to be adversaries. We should seek common ground based on shared interests,” stated Trump.
Russia, for instance, has also seen the horror of Islamic terrorism. I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of strength only is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries.
Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a deal under my administration, a deal that’s great — not good, great — for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It’s as simple as that. We’re going to find out.
According to CNN, the FBI is also looking for information about this meeting, and possibly another private meeting on the same day, but there has been no official conclusion if the meetings took place, or if “any additional meeting was incidental.”
Sarah Isgur Flores of the DOJ told CNN that the special counsel would look into the matter:
“We will allow him to do his job. It is unfortunate that anonymous sources whose credibility will never face public scrutiny are continuously trying to hinder that process by peddling false stories to the mainstream media. The facts haven’t changed; the then-Senator did not have any private or side conversations with any Russian officials at the Mayflower Hotel.”
Flores also backed up Sessions by saying an FBI employee advised Session not to include his Kislyak meetings when he filled out his security forms since they were “part of official Senate duties.”
Sessions didn’t disclose meetings with Kislyak during his confirmation hearing and submitted a statement in writing to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he made no contact with any person linked to the Russian government during the election. He was forced to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigations when reports came out about his two confirmed meetings with Kislyak at the Republican National Convention and in his own Senate office.
If Seth Abramson’s meticulously researched information is totally correct, a topic of the alleged private meeting may have been proceeds from the sale of 19.5% of Russia’s state oil company, Rosneft in exchange for lifting the sanctions Obama placed on Russia before leaving office. We will all have to wait even longer to find out if the investigators can confirm what really went on. The future of our democracy depends on getting to the truth.
Abramson’s conclusion from March: “The theory PUTIN helped elect TRUMP and offered money via SECHIN for lifting sanctions (allowing a ROSNEFT pipeline) is “#Russiagate.”
(15) The theory PUTIN helped elect TRUMP and offered money via SECHIN for lifting sanctions (allowing a ROSNEFT pipeline) is "#Russiagate."
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) March 26, 2017