As the FBI investigated whether Donald Trump was working with Russia, top bureau attorney Andrew Weissmann secretly approached a Ukrainian Oligarch’s US attorneys seeking dirt on President Trump, according to The Hill‘s John Solomon.
In exchange, the FBI was willing to drop an ongoing case against the Ukrainian – Dmitry Firtash, who was hit with 2014 corruption charges in Chicago alleging that he engaged in corruption and bribery in India linked to a US aerospace deal.
According to a defense memo recounting Weissmann’s contacts, the prosecutor claimed the Mueller team could “resolve the Firtash case” in Chicago and neither the DOJ nor the Chicago U.S. Attorney’s Office “could interfere with or prevent a solution,” including withdrawing all charges. “The complete dropping of the proceedings … was doubtless on the table,” according to the defense memo. –The Hill
It was a desperate move for the FBI – which was grappling with a lack of evidence against Trump as the Steele dossier was turning out to be an embarrassing dud (“There’s no big there there,” lead FBI agent Pete Strzok texted a few days before Weissmann’s overture, writes Solomon).
Firtash’s legal team thought Weissman was probably overstepping his authority, as the special counsel’s office was still subject to DOJ oversight. They were also taken aback after Weissmann went to extraordinary lengths to enlist the Ukrainian by sharing prosecutorial theories the FBI was forming about Trump and his team. – READ MORE