Tags: Russia | Russia Probe | maria butina | andrea thompson | foreign agent | disclosure | state department

WashPost: State Dept Official Failed to Disclose Link to Russian Agent

andrea thompson is in the background of a small, waving american flag
Under Secretary of State Andrea Thompson (Thomas Peter/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 19 June 2019 10:15 PM

A State Department official who formerly worked under Vice President Mike Pence did not disclose her ties to the boyfriend of a convicted Russian agent who was living in the United States.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Andrea Thompson, who served in Army intelligence for nearly three decades before retiring from the service, worked as Pence's national security adviser during part of 2017. She began serving as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs in April 2018, and during the vetting and confirmation process, she did not reveal Paul Erickson, whose girlfriend was Maria Butina, officiated her June 2017 wedding ceremony.

What is more, Thompson's husband had a business relationship with Erickson and gave him a $100,000 investment in early 2017 for a real estate project that ultimately never got off the ground.

Butina, who pled guilty to acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Russia in December, was sentenced in April to 18 months in prison. She attended Thompson's wedding as Erickson's guest, although the Post reported she had limited contact with the bride other than saying congratulations.

Erickson has not been accused of anything related to espionage, and it is unclear whether Thompson knew of Butina's activities at the time of her wedding. However, during the confirmation process for her State Department job, it had already been reported Butina was a potential Russian agent living in the U.S.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is the ranking Democrat serving on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and told the Post the matter will be investigated.

"These reports about Under Secretary Thompson raise questions about how forthcoming she was with all relevant information during her confirmation process," Menendez said. "I hope that any relevant connections implicating financial interests, or to someone who our government has charged with being an agent of a foreign power, would have been fully reviewed and vetted by the FBI during the security clearance process, and disclosed to the Foreign Relations Committee. It is not clear that happened."

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Erickson tried to set up a meeting between then-candidate Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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U.S. Under Secretary Andrea Thompson did not disclose her ties to the boyfriend of a convicted Russian agent who was living in the United States, according to The Washington Post.
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2019-15-19
Wednesday, 19 June 2019 10:15 PM
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