The Senate Intelligence Committee is scrutinizing another 2016 campaign for possible collusion with Russia: Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
The details of the investigation are still murky, but Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), who chairs the Intel committee that’s probing possible Trump-Russia collusion, told reporters on Monday that Stein’s campaign — which received about 1 percent of the vote in 2016 — is one of “two other campaigns we’re starting on” for possible collusion with the Kremlin.
Bloomberg reports that the committee has asked for documents from the Stein campaign, and her communication director said in a statement that she’s cooperating with the request. “We strongly support legitimate inquiry into any illegal activity in our elections — including quid pro quo deals, money laundering, corruption and violation of campaign finance laws,” the statement read, adding that any investigation should not be a platform to “silence principled opposition to the political Establishment.”
Complying with Senate Committee request, Jill Stein urges safeguarding elections from interference - while cautioning against the targeting of political opposition pic.twitter.com/YuHsBWJA0Z— Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) December 19, 2017
Of interest to the committee might be a 2015 dinner hosted by media outlet Russia Today that Stein attended in Moscow — where she was seated at a round table with Russian President Vladimir Putin and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about the nature of his contacts with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition.
Stein has previously told the Intercept that she shook Putin’s hand, but didn’t interact with him much beyond that. “Nobody met anybody. I didn’t hear any words exchanged between English speakers and Russians,” she said. She also denied receiving any money for her trip; Flynn was reportedly paid $45,000 to speak at the event hosted by the state-owned media company.
Stein reiterated this in her most recent statement about the Senate investigation, saying, “Our communications with Russian individuals regarding an invitation to speak on international relations at the RT 10th anniversary media conference will confirm what we stated publicly at that time and since: that we did not accept any payment or even reimbursement for the trip, and that we made the trip with the goal of reaching an international audience and Russian officials with a message of Middle East peace, diplomacy, and cooperation against the urgent threat of climate change.”