Ex-Congressman with Russia Ties May Be the 'Missing Piece' in the Mueller Investigation: Report
Former Congressman Curt Weldon may be key to unraveling the extensive connections between President Donald Trump's associates and Russia, according to a new report from the Atlantic.
Weldon served as a Republican representative in Pennsylvania until 2006, when his campaign was mired in controversy when his daughter's house was subjected to an FBI raid in the weeks before election day. Though no charges were ever brought in the investigation — Weldon alleges the government betrayed him — but reports suggested that agents were scrutinizing his ties to Russia-linked business. He was also a vocal Trump supporter in 2016.
Now, as the Atlantic's Natasha Bertrand reports, Senate investigators are seeking to interview Weldon as a part of their probe into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 election. A spokeswoman for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) says Weldon has suspicious “connections to both Russia and the Trump campaign” that the senators would like to investigate, Bertrand reports.
What are those connections? Bertrand details several surprising ties that give a few clues.
An anonymous source told Bertrand that Weldon had knowledge of a private meeting between Trump's fixer Michael Cohen, an ex-Ukrainian official, and business partner of Trump before the inauguration to discuss a peace plan between Russia and Ukraine. When that meeting was revealed in the press Weldon was reportedly "furious" that the plan fell through.
He also reportedly said that funding had already been obtained for the peace plan — from Viktor Vekselberg. Vekselberg is a Russian oligarch with ties to the company Columbus Nova, which was recently revealed to have given Cohen more than $500,000 via a shady shell company shortly after Trump's election
It's not clear what all these connections add up to — but if the Senate Intelligence Committee has its way, it will find out.