Chuck Ross on February 20, 2018
Congressional investigators are struggling to track down an alleged source for some of the most salacious claims made in the Steele dossier.
Congressional committees investigating Russian interference in the presidential campaign have tried for months to track down Sergei Millian, a Belarus-born translator who serves as chairman for a small trade group called the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce, ABC News reported.
Millian was identified by The Wall Street Journal, ABC News and The Washington Post in 2017 as the unwitting source for some of the dossier’s most jarring and unverified allegations, including that the Kremlin is blackmailing President Donald Trump and that members of the campaign coordinated with Russian operatives.
Millian is reportedly referred to as “Source D” and “Source E” — and described as a “close associate of Trump” — in the dossier, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele.
It remains unclear whether the FBI or Special Counsel Robert Mueller have interviewed Millian, who is believed to reside in New York City. Mueller’s team would likely be highly interested in talking to him as he would seemingly have information that could shed light on how the dossier was put together.
Millian has denied being a source for Steele, but he has avoided speaking directly to the media about whether he may have provided information that ended up in the dossier without his knowledge.
Millian, whose real name is Siarhei Kukuts, has had some contact with at least one Trump campaign adviser and has claimed to have worked as a broker for Trump’s real estate company.
Millian’s strongest known connection to the campaign is through George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign adviser who pleaded guilty in October to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians. (RELATED: Papadopoulos’ Fascinating Link To The Dossier)
Papadopoulos’s fiancé, Simona Mangiante, confirmed to The Daily Caller News Foundation that Millian approached Papadopoulos after he joined the campaign in March 2016. The pair struck up a friendship, said Mangiante.
A source who spoke with Millian during the campaign told The Daily Caller in 2017 that he that he believed he would obtain a position in the Trump administration in the event of a Trump victory. The source said they believed that Millian was overly enthusiastic about his chances of working with the Trump team.
That assessment fits with what others have said about Millian. One friend of the entrepreneur’s told The Washington Post in 2017 that Millian “presented himself with grandeur.”
“So I always took everything he said with a grain of salt,” Nadia Diskavets, who helped found the Russian American Chamber of Commerce, told The Post.
Michael Cohen, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, has also accused Millian of misrepresenting his connections to Trump.
In an interview with The Daily Caller in 2017, Cohen called Millian a “phony” and claimed that he instructed Millian to stop contacting him shortly before the election after he emailed trying to set up a business event with Trump in New York or Switzerland.
The Daily Caller has also reported that Millian was spotted just days before Steele began work on his dossier at an economic summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. Millian’s Facebook account includes photos showing him speaking with Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who is a former business partner of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. (RELATED: Alleged Dossier Source Was Spotted With Kremlin Crony At Economic Forum)
There is no evidence that Millian and Deripaska exchanged any information that ended up in the dossier, though several links have recently emerged between Deripaska and Steele. (RELATED: Intriguing Links Emerge In GOP-Led Dossier Investigation)
Deripaska’s American lobbyist, Adam Waldman, claimed in text message exchanges in 2017 with Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat, that he was in touch with Steele.