Why would Trump nominate someone who represented Alfa Bank if there were nothing there?
In the past Benczkowski worked for the current AG, then Senator, Jeff Sessions for a little over a year. But Sessions was forced to recuse himself from the broader Russia investigation.
“Mr. Benczkowski has been nominated by President Trump to head the Criminal Division at Justice. The Criminal Division, as I think most people know, is responsible for enforcement of all federal criminal law in our country. It’s an important position for the rule of law in this country.
We must assess today whether Mr. Benczkowski is qualified to lead this division. And that includes the propriety of his representation this year of Alfa Bank. This is the Russian bank that the media reported had been federally investigated for potential connections between its servers and the Trump Organization.” (US Senator Feinstein.)
The son-in-law of Trump’s apparent friend, Russian foreign minister Lavrov, was President of A1, part of Alpha Group until May 15, 2017. These photos are from May 10, 2017. Think a son-in-law can’t matter? Look at Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Trump, Lavrov, Pence Rabbit on May 10, 2017
According to https://en.crimerussia.com: “President of the A1 (investdepartment of Alfa Group), Alexander Vinokurov, the son-in-law of the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov,…” See: “Lavrov’s son-in-law became owner of the largest pharmaceutical distributor in Russia” 02.02.2017 https://en.crimerussia.com/gromkie-dela/lavrov-s-son-in-law-became-owner-of-the-largest-pharmaceutical-distributor-in-russia/ According to Interfax (May 15, 2017), Vinokurov stepped down as A1 President to head own investment company, Marathon Group.
“Feinstein Speaks on Benczkowski Nomination
Jul 25 2017 Washington
Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today spoke at a hearing to consider the nomination of Brian Benczkowski to lead the Justice Department’s Criminal Division:
…this morning I’d like to focus my time on the nominee for the head of the Criminal Division. Today we’re also considering Mr. Brian Benczkowski. I want to welcome him back to the committee. He previously served as staff director for Senator Sessions when he was ranking member. So, many of us do remember him.
Mr. Benczkowski has been nominated by President Trump to head the Criminal Division at Justice. The Criminal Division, as I think most people know, is responsible for enforcement of all federal criminal law in our country. It’s an important position for the rule of law in this country.
We must assess today whether Mr. Benczkowski is qualified to lead this division. And that includes the propriety of his representation this year of Alfa Bank. This is the Russian bank that the media reported had been federally investigated for potential connections between its servers and the Trump Organization.
I don’t know what investigations there were, if any, so we have requested a briefing. And I want to thank the chairman for helping to facilitate that briefing with the Justice Department.
I very much appreciate that Mr. Benczkowski has agreed to speak publicly about his work for Alfa Bank and I think it’s an important topic to understand given the position he’s been nominated for.
As I understand it, Mr. Benczkowski participated in President Trump’s transition team from September of last year to January of this year. He led the transition team’s work at the Justice Department, which is now led by his former boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Mr. Benczkowski told the committee that the retention of former FBI Director James Comey was discussed by those on the transition team, including himself.
In March, within two months of leaving the transition team, Mr. Benczkowski agreed to represent Alfa Bank.
Specifically, his work for Alfa Bank went to the heart of the reported investigations. He worked with a computer forensics firm to determine any ties between servers of Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization, and also whether and how private server information had gotten out of the ban.
Additionally, he reviewed the “Steele dossier,” a private investigator’s file on alleged links between Russia and the Trump campaign. He did this for Alfa Bank to consider suing Buzz Feed for defamation over their online publication of the dossier. Alfa Bank, in fact, did sue Buzz Feed on May 26 of this year.
In April, while Mr. Benczkowski was working for Alfa Bank, Attorney General Sessions’s chief of staff asked him about his interest in leading the Criminal Division.
Mr. Benczkowski’s law firm then notified Alfa Bank of his potential nomination for the Trump administration. But the fact that Mr. Benczkowski continued representing Alfa Bank, until the day of his nomination, which was June 6, raises questions. After he found out about his potential nomination, why did he continue his representation of Alfa Bank?
It is clear to me that Mr. Benczkowski is knowledgeable about issues related to an ongoing investigation. So I asked before this hearing if he would commit himself to recusing—not only from cases involving Alfa Bank as his former client, but also matters within Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.
He would not commit to recusing himself. I’m concerned with his refusal, especially given the position for which he has been nominated. So I look forward to hearing from the witness on this point. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.” https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?id=71649645-8A75-4C9A-8C45-8CEA26A4D4B7
Previous allegations against ALFA BANK: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-dcd-1_00-cv-02208/pdf/USCOURTS-dcd-1_00-cv-02208-0.pdf
Read entire letter here: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3899717/Benczkowksi-Alfa-Bank.pdf
Emphasis our own throughout.
Some of these connections have been discussed here at the Mining Awareness blog, others not yet:
“Think You Know How Deep Trump-Russia Goes? Think Again: This Chart/Info Will Blow Your Mind“, Published on July 27, 2017
Thanks to Trumpistan Watch for Pointing out the Feinstein statement: https://trumpistanwatch.com/2017/07/26/fusion-gps-in-focus-trump-repeats-russian-propaganda-on-hillary-ukraine-why-investigating-barron-isnt-a-bad-thought-manafort-subpoena-dropped-alfa-bank-doj-appointee-confirmation-he/