The Senate Finance Committee is probing meetings reportedly held in 2015 between two of former President Barack Obama’s top economic officials and Maria Butina, the woman who confessed to representing Russian interests Democrats have tried to tie to the Republicans.
“The Senate Finance Committee has a constitutional responsibility to engage in vigilant oversight of entities and government agencies within its jurisdiction,” wrote Senators Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, and Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat, the committee’s chairman and ranking member, respectively. “A critical issue facing the Committee and the country is the extent to which the Russian government engaged in efforts designed to undermine our political system and governmental policy through obfuscation and manipulation.”
Can we assume these meetings took place after Obama became more flexible and able to accommodate Putin? It’s about time a congressional panel begins to investigate the close ties Democrats have with the Russians.
Reuters first reported last year that Ms. Butina and Alexander Torshin, a former top official for the Russian Central Bank, met in 2015 with Stanley Fischer, then-Federal Reserve vice chairman, and Nathan Sheets, then-Treasury undersecretary for international affairs, to discuss “U.S.-Russian economic relations during Democratic former President Barack Obama’s administration.”
Mr. Torshin was sanctioned by the Treasury Department in April 2018, and Butina was arrested three months later and charged with acting as an unregistered agent of the foreign government. She subsequently pleaded guilty to a related count of conspiracy and is awaiting sentencing.
“Given what is now known about them from public court filings, it is concerning that Ms. Butina and Mr. Torshin were able to gain access to high-level administration officials to reportedly discuss U.S. Russian economic relations,” Mr. Grassley and Mr. Wyden wrote in letters seeking details about the meetings.