Mikhail Lesin

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It’s not news to report that Mikhail Lesin was murdered and the United States government covered it up. There’s plenty of reporting on that although this article will summarize it anyway. What’s less understood is why some yet-unknown element would murder a former high-profile Russian official in Washington D.C. and our government would go to such ridiculous lengths to cover that murder up. There’s plenty of room for speculation on motive. As one anonymous FBI agent told Buzzfeed in July 2017: “Does he believe Lesin was murdered over RT? ‘Whether it was over RT, money, pissing off Putin or a combo or all of it, I don’t know,’ he answered. ‘But falling down drunk? Come on. That’s bullshit.’”

The more I think about it, it was money. Not so much his debt that Lesin supposedly skipped out on in Russia, but his knowledge of how Putin’s money was accumulated and transferred around the world in the first place.

Mikhail Lesin and Vladimir Putin go way back to at least when Putin was first appointed Prime Minister by Boris Yeltsin in 1999, and Yeltsin resigned shortly after. At the time, a group of wealthy oligarchs controlled most of the wealth in Russia, and Putin made it his mission to bring them under control of the state. One of Putin’s first moves was to appoint Lesin to be Minister of the Press. It was necessary for Putin to control the media narrative to effectively control the country and oligarchs in the old Soviet-style model.

Putin subsequently became obscenely rich, controlling (but not necessarily “owning”) untold billions in wealth. By around 2011 at the latest, it appears that Mikhail Lesin had cashed in his shares of whatever he felt he was owed and began spending lavish sums of money in a manner that was clearly beyond the means of his government salary.

Lesin’s money wound up tied to the Russian laundromat the same as with Putin and the rest. This group felt a need to shuffle their wealth around between offshore companies based in the British Virgin Islands for some reason, and one of the companies that they used was controlled by Mikhail Lesin. It appears likely that these financial transfers between these offshore accounts are the source of Lesin’s wealth.

Lesin attracted attention in the United States with his spending. In 2014 Senator Wicker from Mississippi requested that the DOJ look into Lesin’s finances and whether they violated money laundering and foreign corruption statutes. He stayed away from his properties in the United States in 2015, hiding out in the Swiss alps according to a source for the Buzzfeed article. He couldn’t go back to Russia either, because he owed a great deal of money to Kovalchuk, at least the way Kovalchuk looked at it apparently. Lesin probably thought he had earned his share.

In any case, Lesin returned to the United States in November 2015 to meet with U.S. government officials. Because the U.S. government had investigated his finances, and those assets were subject to confiscation, I think he had agreed to cooperate in a money-laundering type investigation. His knowledge of media tactics in Russia would certainly be interesting to intelligence agencies, but none of what he did in Russia with the media is criminal in the United States. Russia proudly states that they started RT as a means to counter what they consider to be Western propaganda anyway. Media manipulation is pretty much out in the open for anyone to see. I don’t see his knowledge here as much of a bargaining chip for the trouble he was in.

Money, on the other hand, has been enough to get people killed since the dawn of time. Ask Jesus. In the case with Lesin’s money, we may also be talking about some of the dirtiest money in the history of the world. When you look at Lesin’s death in the context of his offshore accounts linked to Putin plus events like Prince Harry’s recent move to distance himself from the Crown’s finances, the “suicides” of Deutsche Bank officials, Jeffrey Epstein’s ties to hedge funds and Deutsche Bank, President Trump’s ties to Deutsche Bank, and the insider trading of Alvin Krongard before 9/11, etc., a disturbing pattern starts to emerge.

I have a growing sense that there was widespread insider trading throughout world financial markets prior to 9/11- in Britain, Russia, the United States, you name it. Key government officials throughout the world were financial beneficiaries of this insider trading with prior knowledge of 9/11. The 9/11 operation was twofold: to have the United States reorganize the Middle East with its military, and to enrich the world criminal organization. Putin was likely a major financial beneficiary of 9/11 himself. Russia went along nicely with the invasion of Iraq despite Iraq having nothing to do with 9/11. There were plans for Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran to follow, but not yet realized. Later on all these ill-gotten gains are transferred around the world to safe havens in Cyprus, Switzerland, offshore, or wherever. The hack of the Mossack Fonseca law firm revealed much of these finances in what’s referred to sometimes as the Panama Papers. The Panama Papers included some of Lesin and Putin’s money.

Putin used false-flag terrorism to gain power in September 1999 in a series of Russian apartment bombings made by the Russian government blamed on Chechen rebels. Felix Sater played a key role in the rise of Osama bin Laden 1998-1999 based on intelligence he received from Russia.

It’s not just Russia, Russia, Russia though. That narrative doesn’t fit neatly here with Mikhail Lesin. Ask yourself what type of organization could murder a prominent former statesman on United States soil, in a hotel room paid for by the United States, with Secret Service at the hotel across the street, and then have the government cover it up at the highest levels of government including the State Department. Remember, this was done in the Obama administration. Trump/Russia wasn’t around yet. Lesin’s knowledge may have been about Russia’s financial role in a conspiracy to profit from 9/11, but that’s a huge domino to knock over that would have set off investigations around the world to the rest of the organization. Anyone from the world crime group, or all of them, have motive to silence Lesin the way I look at it.

Of course that’s a whole lot of speculating to do without much evidence. If I stand charged with “conspiracy theory,” I have to plead guilty. I always say prove me wrong though, and stop hiding the evidence. What evidence? Well there’s Trump’s finances with Deutsche Bank that the House has requested. There’s also whatever evidence the DOJ found of Lesin’s finances after Senator Wicker demanded an investigation. The only reason the government wouldn’t release what they found on Lesin is because they’re still covering up for this organization the same way they covered up his murder. At a minimum the American government owes a complete accounting to the American public of the details of Lesin’s finances, not to mention they should expose and prosecute whatever government officials were involved in the coverup of Lesin’s murder.

And yeah, it’s a fact that the American government covered up Lesin’s murder at the highest levels based on documents finally released by the OCME after a long legal battle. In February 2017, representatives of Russia were briefed by representatives of the U.S. State Department, FBI, the United States Attorney’s Office and others that Lesin’s death was an accident. As early as April 2016, there were conversations at the OCME that Lesin’s death could not have been accidental because of the way his neck was broken and there was no soft tissue damage associated with a “fall” in this area. Why, why would the Obama administration cover this up?

At the heart of every global financial conspiracy theory I’ve seen on the internet, there is always the name “Rothschild.” And while I don’t want to get into all of that in this article, it’s something to consider based on who was running the Department of State at the time. Further, note that this type of Russian housecleaning goes on to an extent in Britain which raises many questions.

LONDON – JULY 3: British socialites Sir Evelyn and Lynn De Rothschild and American former president and first lady Bill and Hillary Clinton arrive at the party to celebrate the launch of Hillary Clinton’s book “Hillary” thrown by Lynn De Rothschild at the Orangery in Kensington Palace on July 3, 2003 in London. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)

The rest that follows is a timeline of relevant information.

TIMELINE BEGIN

1993-1996. Lesin is Deputy General Director, General Director of TV News RIA Novosti, or Russian Agency of International Information. This was a state-run news agency. Lesin helped Yeltsin win election with news coverage from RIA Novosti.

1996-1997. Lesin is Head of the Russian Presidential Public Relations Office;

1997-1999 – First Deputy Chairman of the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company;

June 6, 1999 – 2004. Lesin is appointed by Vladimir Putin to be Minister of the Russian Federation for Press, Broadcasting and Mass Media. (August 9, 1999: “The lower house of parliament, after a discussion lacking enthusiasm, approved the candidacy of Vladimir Putin, president Boris Yeltsin’s latest nominee to the post of prime minister.) Lesin was instrumental in forcing Vladimir Gusinsky to sell his company Media-most to Gazprom. Gusinsky was the first of 21 oligarchs Putin fought to gain control of Russia. Good article on Guzinsky, Putin, and Lesin here.

2004-2009. Advisor to the President of Russia on media and information technology. Lesin’s dream of media outlet similar to CNN and the BBC were realized in 2005 with the creation of Russia Today (RT).

March 14, 2006. Sandalwood Continental Ltd. is founded in the British Virgin Islands. The screenshot below is from a document where they gave power of attorney to someone in the Russian Federation to build a yacht for them later on in 2009.

2010-2012. Lesin is Chairman of the Board of Directors of National Telecommunications OJSC.

February 10, 2011. Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP): “On Feb. 10, 2011, an anonymous company in the British Virgin Islands named Sandalwood Continental Ltd. loaned $200 million to an equally shadowy firm based in Cyprus called Horwich Trading Ltd. The following day, Sandalwood assigned the rights to collect payments on the loan — including interest — to Ove Financial Corp., a mysterious company in the British Virgin Islands. For those rights, Ove paid $1. But the money trail didn’t end there. The same day, Ove reassigned its rights to collect on the loan to a Panama company called International Media Overseas. It too paid $1. In the space of 24 hours the loan had, on paper, traversed three countries, two banks and four companies, making the money all but untraceable in the process.”

2011-2012. Daily Mail: Lesin’s company the Dastel Corporation bought a 13,000 sq ft Beverly Hills home in August 2011 for $13.8 million and a 10,600 square foot property in Brentwood for $9 million in 2012, it was reported. Nate Thayer also reported that Lesin bought another home in California for $5.6, $4.3, and $3.9 million, and a yacht valued at $50 million.

10 Beverly Park, Beverly Hills.
“Serenity”

October 2012. Guardian: Lesin, and others close to Putin “become nervous for unclear reasons after October 2012” and move their wealth from one offshore company called Sandalwood Continental company to another called Ove Financial. Both these companies were located in the British Virgin Islands. The Guardian published this photo of Sandalwood, Bank Rossiya etc., in that article explaining how that money moved around. “One of the companies linked to Ove Financial Corp belonged to Mikhail Lesin, Putin’s media tsar and former press minister.”

October 13, 2013. Offshore Leaks Database, by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Sandalwood Continental shuts down.

July 30, 2014. Senator Roger Wicker, R-MS, requests that Attorney General Eric Holder investigate Mikhail Lesin due to the very large amounts of money Lesin is spending in Los Angeles on a public servant’s salary, Lesin’s ties to offshore accounts in the British Virgin Islands, etc.

In late 2014, Mikhail Lesin left his position at Gazprom Media.  Nate Thayer: “One of the main reasons (Lesin resigned) was that he owed a huge amount of money to Kovalchuk, which he supposedly didn’t intend to pay back,” a source told the Moscow Times at the time of his death.

Summer 2015. Buzzfeed: “A second US intelligence official said Lesin was hiding out in the Swiss Alps during the summer of 2015, fearful that he would be killed…” “Lesin ‘was running out of options of where to live and hide,’ the second intelligence official said. ‘At this point he was a defector. He contacted the Justice Department and the FBI through a third party. He was worried about his kids and their safety so he wanted to cooperate.’”

November 2, 2015. Mikhail Lesin checks into the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C.

November 4-5, 2015. Mikhail Lesin checks out of the Four Seasons Hotel, checks into the Dupont Circle Hotel, and dies. Buzzfeed said he was “on the eve of a planned meeting with the US Justice Department.”

Security at the Duport Circle Hotel say that Housekeepers entered Lesin’s room on November 4 at 1:57 PM, leave; Security enters the room at 2:25 PM, leave; Security again enters room at 8:17 PM, leaves; and finally enter the room at 11:32 AM on November 5, and find Lesin dead.

Lesin was in Room 903. Security said they entered Lesin’s room at 8:14 PM on November 4 and 11:32 AM on the November 5. When a police officer attempted to view video from the 9th floor from 11:14 PM on November 4 to 11:32 AM on November 5, “unfortunately there was a problem with the recording on the disc provided.”

November 7, 2015. RT says “Mikhail Lesin, a prominent Russian political figure and mass media expert credited with inspiring the creation of Russia Today (now RT), has died in Washington, DC after a heart attack.  Lesin, a former press minister and ex-head of Gazprom-Media, Russia’s largest media holding, died at the age of 57 on Wednesday, according to family members. “Mikhail Lesin died from a heart stroke,” a family member told RIA Novosti.  Meanwhile, TASS has reported that Lesin was found dead in his hotel room in Washington, DC, citing the Russian Embassy in the US. Police found no signs of foul play, but a formal investigation has been launched. It has been reported that Lesin had been suffering from a prolonged unidentified illness.

Sometime 2016. “BuzzFeed News has learned that federal prosecutors called witnesses before a grand jury during 2016 to compel them to testify under penalty of perjury about Lesin’s death, and they amassed more than 150 pages of material from the proceedings. The use of a grand jury, not previously reported, was discovered in documents released after BuzzFeed News launched a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to compel the Justice Department, the FBI, and other agencies to turn over records related to the Lesin investigation.” Buzzfeed also said in this article that Christopher Steele made a report on Lesin’s murder that only the FBI has seen so far. I have speculated that this grand jury murder investigation was obstructed by President Trump after he took office and was the main reason that he fired FBI Director James Comey.

March 11, 2016. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) has released the cause and manner of death for Mikhail Lesin, 59, of Russia.        

March 12, 2016. Julia Davis:  “The day after Office of the Chief Medical Examiner released an initial report, its official was summoned to appear before criminal grand jury re: Lesin’s death.”

March 18, 2016. Detective Partman re-visits scene of Mikhail Lesin’s death ,  Page 42.

April 01, 2016. The OCME had determined by now that Lesin had died from a complete fracture of a hyoid bone in his neck. An unidentified caller asked an official at the OCME if the hyoid fracture could be the result of a fall. The OCME official replied that it was unlikely but possible, but there would at least be evidence of soft tissue damage in this area, of which there was none. Screenshot is from Radio Free Europe’s “Exclusive: Washington Autopsy Files Reveal Lesin Sustained Broken Bone In Neck” and wasn’t published until March 16, 2019 after a long legal battle over the autopsy report.

April 13, 2016. FBI:  The captioned case (Mikhail Lesin) is being opened to assist United States Attorney’s Office District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department.  

July 6, 2016. FBI. The FBI receives a hard drive containing 300 hours of video surveillance of the Dupont Circle Hotel from an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA). They send it off for analysis.

“The analysis requested;.. Attempt to determine if the footage from that camera has been tampered with in any way. Please provide insight into the tampering examination that FAVIAU will conduct to the AUSA… Attempt to extract pictures from the video footage and focus on the back of Lesin’s head.”

Analysis did not show evidence of tampering.

October 28, 2016. The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department jointly announce that Mikhail Lesin’s death was an accident and that they have closed the investigation.

January 10, 2017. Mike Eckel of RFEL files FOIA request for autopsy documents of Mikhail Lesin.  

January 30, 2017. The Office of the Chief Medical Office (OCME) denies Mike Eckel’s FOIA request for Mikhail Lesin’s autopsy documents.

February 06, 2017. At a United States Attorney’s Office, Russian Officials are briefed that Lesin’s death was an accident.

By this point the “manner of death” had been changed from undetermined to accidental based on “the law enforcement investigation.”

February 07, 2017. Mike Eckel files an appeal with the Executive Office of the Mayor (EOM) of the OCME’s denial of the FOIA request.

February 24, 2017. The EOM denies Mike Eckel’s appeal.

July 19, 2017. Mike Eckel files suit in the District of Columbia to force the OCME to turn over Lesin’s autopsy documents and any correspondence between the OCME and the U.S. Department of State and/or FBI.

July 28, 2017. Buzzfeed article on Mikhail Lesin. FBI agents told Buzzfeed that Lesin was murdered. ““Lesin was beaten to death,” one of the FBI agents said. “I would implore you to say as much. There seems to be an effort here to cover up that fact for reasons I can’t get into.” He continued: “What I can tell you is that there isn’t a single person inside the bureau who believes this guy got drunk, fell down, and died. Everyone thinks he was whacked and that Putin or the Kremlin were behind it.” In another previously unreported revelation, the two FBI agents said it was the Department of Justice that paid for the hotel room where Lesin died. DOJ officials had invited the Russian to Washington to interview him about the inner workings of RT, the Kremlin-funded network that Lesin founded, they said.

December 2017. Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department released its 58-page report on Lesin’s death.

January 26, 2018. FBI Releases Files Into Death Of Former Russian Press Minister Lesin.

March 27, 2018. Buzzfeed published their article on the rest of Steele Dossier which includes Mikhail Lesin, and reports that a grand jury investigated Lesin’s death as a murder.

February 13, 2019. “Judge Hiram Puig-Lugo ordered the city by February 20 to turn over the files — which include medical records, toxicology reports, e-mails, and other materials — with certain information including names and personal details redacted.”

February 19, 2019. “City lawyers in Washington, D.C., have moved to delay turning over autopsy documents related to the death of former Russian Press Minister Mikhail Lesin, following a judge’s order to release the files.”

March 16, 2019. Mike Eckel of Radio Free Europe finally gets his files. He didn’t publish all the documents but did write a highly informative article.

END

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