Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The plot continues to thicken: The ‘International Man of Mystery’ Linked to Flynn’s Lobbying Deal

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Isaac Arnsdorf reports in ProPublica:

More than two years ago, two men started visiting Washington to push Turkey’s agenda in the capital. They dined with dignitaries and enlisted prominent lobbying firms from both sides of the aisle.

It was an unremarkable Washington story, except for one thing: the last lobbyist one of the men hired was Gen. Michael Flynn, President Trump’s campaign adviser at the time, who was later fired as national security adviser for lying about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador.

Flynn’s client, a Turkish businessman named Ekim Alptekin, has gained attention as federal investigators examine Flynn’s apparent failures to disclose foreign contacts. But so far, the other man in the pro-Turkey efforts has largely avoided public notice.

That man, Dmitri “David” Zaikin, is not registered as a foreign lobbyist and has no apparent connection to Turkey.

What he does have, a ProPublica-Politico examination found, is a long track record of partnering with powerful Russian businesspeople and government officials, mostly involving energy and mining deals. More recently, Zaikin has done political work in Eastern Europe, advising parties in Albania and Macedonia that have drifted toward the Kremlin.

Zaikin also has business connections to Trump. Working at a real estate agency in Toronto in the 2000s, Zaikin brokered sales in one of the city’s new high-rises: the Trump International Hotel & Tower. Perhaps coincidentally, Zaikin was also close with a Russian woman who was the exclusive agent for one of Trump’s Florida developments and who was branded “Trump’s Russian hand” by a glossy Russian magazine.

Zaikin has not been accused of any wrongdoing. Alptekin and Zaikin have denied knowing each other and say Zaikin had nothing to do with Flynn’s lobbying deal.

As this reporter previously reported in Politico, three people with direct knowledge said Alptekin and Zaikin collaborated on Turkish lobbying, jointly steering the work.

Zaikin referred questions to his lawyer, who declined to comment. Flynn’s lawyer didn’t answer requests for comment. The White House referred questions to Trump’s outside lawyer, whose spokesman also did not respond to a request for comment.

Zaikin says he was born in 1967 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. In an earlier email to Politico, he wrote that his family long faced anti-Semitic persecution in their homeland and that they fled the collapsing USSR for Canada in 1990.

“Mr. Zaikin reserves nothing but contempt for the Soviet government, and whatever vestiges of it may still exist,” his lawyer, Tara Plochocki of the firm Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss, wrote to Politico.

But Zaikin gave a different account to Geoffrey P. Cowley, a British engineer who was his business partner from 2010 until they split in 2016. Cowley said he never heard Zaikin claim his family was persecuted, nor had he heard Zaikin criticize the former Soviet Union.

“That might be the official line,” Cowley said. . .

Continue reading.

There’s a lot more and already the plot has the consistency pudding.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 June 2017 at 1:28 pm

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