Analyst who provided Trump-Russia dossier information is acquitted of lying to FBI
A jury in Virginia convicted a former Wall Street Journal reporter who wrote up a salacious book about Donald Trump based on some of the salacious information he was given by a Russian diplomat.
The journalist, Peter Maas, and former MI-6 agent Jonathan Albright were found guilty on Friday evening, but the jury acquitted the two of a charge of lying to special counsel Robert Mueller or the FBI.
On top of that, Maas got a 12-month sentence for a separate count of lying to Congress based on his Congressional testimony about his interactions with Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. Maas’ lawyer, Paul Kamenar, said there was “no evidence” that Maas “intentionally submitted false allegations to US Congress,” according to the Virginian-Pilot.
The verdict came after six days of trial — and it had been hard to come to any conclusion. The jury only deliberated for about 2 1/2 hours over three days.
Maas was an investigative reporter for The Journal who wrote a book about Trump that became a bestseller. His book was called “Trumped Up: Inside the Trump White House.” On the night of the election, Maas was talking to the former ambassador Kislyak in the lobby of the Journal’s Washington, D.C. headquarters when he was told that Trump had been elected. Trump had not been mentioned in the book, but Maas believed he would be in it.
“I was dumbfounded,” Maas said in court. “I couldn’t even wrap my head around the fact that someone like Donald Trump could be elected president of the United States.”
Maas met Kislyak two days before the vote. He had talked to him about Russia and its government for over 30 years and he had known that Kislyak had ties to Russian intelligence. Maas said he had heard his Russian friend say that people in the White House did not like him.
“I realized then that he didn’t want to be a Russian ambassador,” Maas said, according to NBC News. “I could tell by the tone he said that he didn’t care about that job. He said he wanted to retire young, preferably in his underwear. I think that he could have been a journalist, but he wanted to be