Probing 'what, if any, role' Israel played in 2016 meddling

Report: US Senate asks to interview Israeli-Brit in connection with Russia probe

Walter Soriano said requested to provide correspondence with Israeli firms Black Cube, Psy-Group and Wikistrat as part of intelligence committee investigation

Black Cube's internet homepage (screenshot)
Black Cube's internet homepage (screenshot)

The United States Senate Intelligence Committee has sent a letter to a British-Israeli security consultant named Walter Tzvi Soriano, asking for a closed-door, voluntary interview, Politico reported on Wednesday.

In addition, the bipartisan Senate Committee asked for Soriano’s correspondence with three Israeli intelligence firms, Psy-Group, Wikistrat, and Black Cube, according to the report.

The letter, which was seen by Politico, reveals the investigators’ “interest in what, if any, role Israel may have played in attempts to manipulate the 2016 election,” according to the US-based political affairs publication.

The letter was reportedly sent on April 5, two weeks after Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted his report on Russian interference in US elections, although Politico only reported about it on Wednesday. The Senate Intelligence Committee is conducting its own, separate investigation into Russian election meddling led by Republican senator Richard Burr and Democratic senator Mark Warner.

Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R), along with Vice Chairman Senator Mark Warner (L), listens to testimony by former FBI Director James Comey during a hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. (AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB)

According to the Politico report, the letter requested that Soriano, who runs a London-based security firm called USG Security Limited, provide documents dating back to June 2015 and including all his communication with Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Psy-Group, Wikistrat, and Black Cube, as well as any communications with Orbis Business Intelligence, the firm associated with former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.

A spokesperson for Black Cube commented that neither the firm nor anyone acting on its behalf has ever had any communication or collaboration with Walter Soriano or anyone on his behalf.

Soriano has sued several Israeli journalists in recent months, including investigative journalist Raviv Drucker, who reported about a year ago that Soriano was the man Israeli police suspected of sending private investigators to collect compromising information on the police investigators who were investigating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Soriano denied that report.

Last month, Soriano filed a lawsuit against the Israeli media watchdog site The Seventh Eye for reporting on the lawsuit against Drucker in a way he considered to be unfair.

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