The former Soviet intelligence officer who was at the bombshell meeting with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower last June allegedly helped organized a campaign against a fellow Russian seeking political asylum in the United States — by calling him anti-Semitic.
Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-born political lobbyist now living in Washington D.C., was accused of mounting a smear campaign against former Russian politician Ashot Egiazaryan, who at the time was seeking political asylum in the United States, according to Radio Free Europe.
A lawsuit filed in a Manhattan federal court charged that the campaign sought to derail Egiazaryan’s asylum request and force him back return to Russia, by alleging that he was an anti-Semite. Lawyers allege Akhmetshin was enlisted to help publish at least one article in the Jewish Journal accusing the deputy of anti-Semitism.
Akhmetshin has been described as a shrewd lobbyist who has mounted numerous under-the-radar political campaigns.
“I know of no Russian gun-for-hire who managed to run his campaigns so successfully, running circles around purportedly much more seasoned Washington hands,” Steve LeVine, a Washington reporter who has written about Akhmetshin’s work, told Radio Free Europe.
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Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum.
Rinat Akhmetshin Once Played Jewish Card