Rinat Akhmetshin

Rinat Akhmetshin
Rinat Akhmetshin

Rinat Akhmetshin was a Russian-American lobbyist and director of a Washington think tank called the International Eurasian Institute. Source A former Soviet counterintelligence officer, Akhmetshin was suspected of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence. Source

In July 2015, International Mineral Resources (IMR), a Kazakh mining company, filed a lawsuit in Washington, DC accusing Akhmetshin of being responsible for a penetration of their computer systems that had stolen sensitive and confidential materials. Source In a related complaint filed by IMR on November 12, 2015 in the Supreme Court of New York, IMR alleged that Akhmetshin delivered the hacked materials to Eurochem, a Russian fertilizer company that was engaged in a $1 billion lawsuit against IMR in the Netherlands. Eurochem then allegedly used the stolen materials to conduct a smear campaign against IMR. Source IMR’s complaint was abruptly withdrawn in early 2016 without explanation. Source

Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya had hired Rinat Akhmetshin to assist her lobbying efforts for the repeal of the Magnitsky Act. Source

On April 11, 2016, Rinat Akhmetshin met US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher at the lobby bar of the Westin Grand Hotel in Berlin, Germany. (Rohrabacher has acknowledged that he suspected Akhmetshin had ulterior motives and links to Russian security services.) Eyewitnesses reported they were discussing a lawsuit against Prevezon Holdings. Prevezon was defending against a federal complaint for laundering money that resulted from the tax fraud scheme revealed by Sergei Magnitsky, which had resulted in the US enacting the Magnitsky Act. Source

Sometime after the April 11 meeting, Akhmetshin worked with Rohrabacher and Paul Behrends, Rohrabacher’s staff director, to plan a June 14 House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee meeting. They hoped to show an anti-Magnitsky propaganda movie Rohrabacher had received on his visit to Moscow, and to present witnesses including Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya and the director of the anti-Magnitsky Act movie, Andrei Nekrasov. However, before the subcommittee meeting took place, the subcommittee chairman Ed Royce cancelled it, believing that it would potentially be embarrassing for the Republican Party. Instead, Royce scheduled a June 13 hearing on Russia Relations with the full House Foreign Relations Committee. Although the anti-Magnitsky Act movie was not aired, Rohrabacher presented pro-Kremlin propaganda to the committee. Source

On May 14, 2016, Akhmetshin, Rohrabacher’s staff director Paul Behrends, and US Congressman Ron Dellums worked together to lobby other members of Congress on behalf of Prevezon Holdings. Source

On June 9, 2016, Akhmetshin and Veselnitskaya were among the parties who met with Trump campaign members at Trump Tower to discuss Russia’s offer to help the Trump campaign by delivering damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Source

On June 13, 2016, Akhmetshin joined Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya at a US House Foreign Relations Committee hearing in D.C., where Dana Rohrabacher presented a litany of pro-Kremlin talking points including the anti-Magnitsky Act arguments he had received from Moscow. Source