Trumper-Turned-Lobbyist Photographed With Zelensky Aide In Kyiv

Communal workers plant flowers at the Independence Square in Kiev on May 21, 2018, ahead of the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final football match between Real Madrid and Liverpool FC next May 26 at the Olimpiyskiy Stad... Communal workers plant flowers at the Independence Square in Kiev on May 21, 2018, ahead of the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final football match between Real Madrid and Liverpool FC next May 26 at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium. (Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP) (Photo credit should read SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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A lobbyist from Mercury Public Affairs, LLC, a Paul Manafort-linked firm that drew prosecutors’ scrutiny during the Mueller investigation, was photographed with a key aide to the Ukrainian president Wednesday in Kyiv.

The Ukrainian outlet Ukrayinska Pravda published a photo of the lobbyist, Bryan Lanza, and the aide, Andrey Yermak, on Thursday.

Yermak has emerged as a key figure on the Ukrainian side of the impeachment saga, given his role interacting with several American officials who were pushing for Ukrainian investigations into Donald Trump’s political rivals.

Mercury, along with the Podesta Group, was reportedly under scrutiny over whether lobbyists there had properly followed foreign agent registration laws.

Vin Weber, the Republican former Minnesota congressman, resigned from the firm in August to “focus my time and energy on protecting my reputation,” he said, after the prosecutors’ scrutiny drew an unwanted spotlight.

Lanza, for his part, has lobbied on behalf of companies controlled by Oleg Deripaska, the Russian oligarch whose businesses were sanctioned by the Trump administration in April 2018.

CNN reported in May last year that the former Trump campaign and transition team aide was lobbying for EN+ Group, the holding company Deripaska controlled and that was subject to harsh sanctions. (Technically, Lanza registered to lobby on behalf of Lord Barker of Battle, the British politician who’d been named chairman on the company.)

EN+ Group controls Rusal, one of the world’s biggest aluminum producers. As part of that work, the New York Times later reported, Lanza spoke regularly with White House staff and other administration officials.

By December, the U.S. government had reached a deal with Deripaska to lift the sanctions on the company, which was met with protests in Congress.

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Notable Replies

  1. Just an innocent conversation.

    Probably school chums.

    Some people are just so suspicious of every little thing.

  2. What to make of this? The illicit activity continues?

  3. Yermak seems to keep cropping up at the most interesting times. I close is he to Zelensky, and is Yermak eyeing to become the next Ukrainian oligarch?

  4. Avatar for AM_PM AM_PM says:

    Hmm…So is Yermak in step with Zelensky’s anti corruption goals and perhaps he was just hearing Lanza (obviously on the dirty side of the aisle) out? It may be unavoidable to avoid corrupt people and their ways in a country that was/is(?) rife with it. Hmm…

  5. Vin Weber, the Republican former Minnesota congressman, resigned from the firm in August to “focus my time and energy on protecting my reputation,”

    OK, was your “reputation” a consideration before you got put in the spotlight?

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