J.D. Gordon, Paul Behrends, Hungary and the Russian connection

There is a suspicion that the Orbán government played a role in building a “bridge” between Russian President Putin and President elect Trump. At this point, we don’t know whether this “bridge building” effort is significant enough to register on the radar screen of the ongoing US Congressional and Senate investigations in Washington DC.

According to the European Council on Foreign Relations there are strong ties between Russia and the Hungarian government with corruption being the “key facilitator” of the growing Russian influence. The “political proximity” of the Hungarians to the Kremlin is remarkable and “Russian intelligence services see Hungary as a sanctuary and have increased their activities there.” (Read more here.)

From a Hungarian viewpoint what I find most intriguing is the current US investigation of J. D. Gordon, a former Trump campaign advisor. Gordon was interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee and it was publicized that he “doctored” the Republican Party platform to include a pro-Russian position on the defense of Ukraine. He also met with then-Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.

J. D. Gordon is one of the critical “players” in the Manafort investigation

Gordon also worked with Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Trump’s presidential campaign who is being investigated by the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was reported that the FBI conducted a predawn raid (!) on Manafort’s home seizing documents and other materials. We don’t know whether the FBI searched J.D. Gordon’s home. Manafort has extensive business relationships in Russia and Ukraine and J.D. Gordon also travelled in the area.

J. D. Gordon is listening to Mr. Zoltan Kovacs, Hungarian government spokesman at the Embassy.

In a short time J. D. Gordon visited Budapest six times; it seems he was invited by the Antall József Tudásközpont, a government funded, pro-Orbán think tank. Gordon also maintained close ties with the former Hungarian Ambassador to the US, Réka Szemerkényi and regularly attended Embassy events.

We don’t have information about Gordon’s activities in Hungary e.g. who paid him for his lobbying or other efforts. It is worth mentioning that after the Senate Intelligence Committee started its investigation Russian Ambassador Kislyak and Hungarian Ambassador Szemerkényi were both recalled.

Gordon is greeted my Ambassador Szemerkényi at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington DC.

***

A couple of weeks ago Paul Behrends, a top aide to California Representative Dana Rohrabacher, was fired from his role as staff director of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee that Rohrabacher chairs. Behrends accompanied Rohrabacher on a 2016 trip to Moscow in which the Congressman said he received materials from Russian prosecutors. US embassy officials warned them that the mission might be compromised by the Russian Secret Service. Rohrabacher brushed off the warnings and now it seems that the delegation may have had inappropriate contacts with Russians. Several stories have also appeared about Behrends’s relationships with pro-Russian lobbyists but according to the Los Angeles Times Rep. Rohrabacher is not under Congressional investigation.

Congressman Rohrabacher with Viktor Orbán in Budapest in the middle of the group photo. Next to Mr. Rohrabacher is Ms. Colleen Bell US Ambassador

Rohrabacher’s decade long friendship with Putin is well known and the Congressman vigorously lobbied for lifting US sanctions, as did Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s Prime Minister. Rohrabacher is close with Orbán; he visited him Budapest. A press report even claims that Rohrabacher received explicit instructions by the Kremlin on how to attack sanctions against Russia.

Paul Behrends helped to organize an unusual House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on May 19, 2015 entitled, “The Future of US-Hungarian Relations”. The chair of the hearing was Rep. Rohrabacher who stated: ”I personally came up with the idea for this hearing. Those who suggest otherwise just don’t know what they are talking about.” (Click here to read the transcript of the hearing.)

The Obama administration was represented by Mr. Hoyt Brian Yee, Deputy Assistant Secretary who warned about the situation in Hungary “..we do believe it is important to watch trends, especially alarming trends in either anti-Semitism or xenophobia or anti-immigration in a way that is at odds with democratic traditions and democratic values that—on which the European Union and NATO are based.”

Rohrabacher dismissed the Obama administration’s concerns and defended Orbán. The hearing was crucial to the Orbán government to deflect growing US criticism and it is worth mentioning that Kurt Volker also testified at the hearing in support of the Orbán government. Volker is a close friend of Orbán and has called the Orbán regime a “robust democracy”. He is also close to former Ambassador Szemerkényi who also has Russian connections. (Read more about Szemerkenyi’s role.)

***

The Congressional probe into Russia’s influence in the 2016 presidential election is run by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, ex-director of the FBI. He recently hired a Justice Department attorney, Lisa Page, who has extensive experience on money laundering and organized crime cases. Ms. Page was a member of the FBI task force in Budapest, Hungary, focusing on Eastern-European organized crime. She put together the money laundering case against Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, a one-time business partner of Mr. Manafort. Firtash owned several businesses in Hungary and one of his Hungarian business partners, Mr. András Knopp is also being prosecuted by the US government. Some press reports have even raised the possibility that Mueller is investigating Semion Mogilevich (Száva bácsi), the one-time head of the Budapest-based Russian-Hungarian mafia organization with ties to Hungarian politicians. (Read more about Mogilevich here.)

At this point, it is impossible to tell how all these pieces fit together. If the Congressional and Senate investigations uncover foul play with Hungarian involvement it could have far-reaching consequences in Hungarian-American relations.

Too early to tell.

György Lázár

11 Comments

  1. Gollner started this few months ago, alleged that it all took place in the Hills of Buda, under a Budapest bridge.

    After several request for some info of the case, while he only made a few and insulting remarks, he has not been able nor willing to produce anything. Of cause, as he had none.

    Same in the US. This allegation is going on just one year now. They call it Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
    Even after one year they can NOT even imagine just how the Russians might have altered the election. Much less to name more than keep the suspicion and allegation alive.

    Hilary Clinton’s E-mail were hacked by Lazar (Guccifer) who sits in prison at Arad,Romania.

    The DNC’s E-mails haeck was an inside job, by a pro Sanders T.I, man. Named Seth Rich. Who was killed a few says latter on the way home late evening in a very nice residential section of DC.
    The DC police claimed “random violence”, but his mother insisted to reporters that his billfold, money, cellphone and watch was not taken.

    He supposedly released to Wikileaks the info how the DNC cheated Sanders in the primary.
    But the facts disclosed were not forgery, nor fake.

    The so called investigation costs to taxpayers are in many billions and keep rolling.
    So far have not found any evidence that could justify the investigation.
    It’s all an excuse for Hilary’s defeat, that she supposedly was going to win for sure.

    Since the last Nov. election, the Democrats have failed at four (4) congressional special election.

    The only hope they have is to distract the voters in the upcoming 2018 congressional election, since the nation will elect 438 members of the House.

    It’s a copy-cat hate-filled propaganda war before the upcoming election in Hungary also.

    Today, Hungary honors Jane Haining a Scottish educator, who gave her life and died at nazi-gas-chambers for protecting Hungarian Jewish students in 1944 at Budapest.

    She’d rather deserve to be commemorated than spewing this political hatred.

    That is my humble opinion!

  2. Robert Morrison says:

    Mr. Lázár,
    you cannot miss an opportunity to sink your teeth into OV’s ass, can you?
    What is this gibberish about some presumed whatever that even you stated that there is no proof of anything.
    We all know that you have no life but still looking for explanation of your passionate hatered.
    Any coming out of the closet Gyurka?

  3. Charlie Beurer says:

    Mr Bende,
    May I suggest you stop getting your information from fox, Breitbart, national enquirer etc. The Seth Rich story was a total fabrication that fox ran with. (Just like pizzagate)
    Meanwhile the Federal investigations are proceeding at a fast pace. Bobby Mueller has put together a very competent team that will get to the bottom of all that is Putin/Trump. Forget “collusion”. Think money laundering, embezzlement, conspiracy and treason for starters.

  4. Mr Beurer;
    May I conferm to you that I am NOT even able to tune into your Fox, Breibet, stations, and NEVER read your junk tabloids ! I am stock on PBS, DW, BBC, NPR , etc. period !
    The statement I obtained from the statements of Seth Riche’s grieving mother.
    But whatever way the info was obtained from the DNC’s data, it was absolutely true !
    They lied and cheated Bernie in the primeries.

    Yes, they are throwing good money at what was already thrown away by all the “investigation” of this phony allegation.
    They do not even know what they are looking for.
    There is NOT a shred of anything to go on to investigate.
    The so called Russian haecking is impossible to prove even if it took place.
    We have seen that demonstrated on “60 minutes” by the experts, haecking leaves NO finger prints.
    They just try to dig up anything un-related. In the hope to hang their hat on anything they could.

    And just what if Trump’s AG goes after Hilary?
    It’s almost impossible to prove why she disclosed state secrets on her third-grade home brewed server to make it possible to all hostile powers (Russia,China or whoever else) to read at ease?
    They all paid millions to the Clintons for decades anyway. She was a real modern-day Mata Harri.

    Trump may not be a popular and desired president, but you leftist democrats are all burned out , empty party of the past. No ideas, No energy ,NO workable ideas, and no popular working class support.
    They lost even against the only candidate that was involved in fist-figth and arrested a day before the election.
    In Georgia they had a big-name candidate who could NOT even vote in the district that they run him in. Spent many $ million, run a nationwide propaganda, yet they lost.
    All this “investigation” may very well back-fire on them. Than they will be run out of town for good.
    Now ,how does that grab you ?

  5. L.Gordon visiting Bud six times?! A busy lobbyist/errand man?!
    If it looks like a duck, if it… it is probably a very dirty international political corruption game Orbán wouldnt miss …
    Fits perfectly with the earlier allegation of him receiving cash from Mogilevich in the 90s. Corruption/theft is Organ’s life form ( or policies if you prefer A.Lànczy’s explanation.)

  6. @ György Lázár

    “There is a suspicion that the Orbán government played a role in building a “bridge” between Russian President Putin and President elect Trump. At this point, we don’t know whether this “bridge building” effort is significant enough to register on the radar screen of the ongoing US Congressional and Senate investigations in Washington DC.”

    I am pleased to inform readers, that the allegations of the 3 part series “The Budapest Bridge” and the follow-up “Creatures in the Budapest Hills” which were published here first, have registered on the radar screen of the ongoing US Congressional and Senate investigations in Washington D.C. as well as the FBI.

    Please stayed tuned for new revelations shortly under the title “The Budapest Bridge: 2.0”

    I promise Bendeguz79, who is a dedicated troll of the Hungarian embassy in Canada, that he will have something new to chew on – unfortunately he and his army of trolls can not digest or refute anything, so they come here to regurgitate.

    • “have registered on the radar screen of the ongoing US Congressional and Senate investigations in Washington D.C. as well as the FBI.”

      Kudos for adding your straw!

  7. GOLLNER; you are here the only one that leads an army of your phony trolls.
    You have never been able to provide any evidence to back up even a single allegations of yours. Several commenters have asked you to do just that. How come you never can back up what you claims?
    You are just “regurgitating “here your phony unsubstantiated claims , and your endless and uncivilized personal attacks !
    Is that all you can demonstrate ?

  8. Bendeguz79. Have I hurt your feelings ? Shucks. As for your clamor for evidence: I am not here to provide a service for Holocaust deniers, and supporters of a regime that decorates Nazis and persecutes those who exercise their civil rights.

    • ABG

      Quite right.
      Firstly it is a waste of time to debate flat Earthers.
      Secondly, these little fascists have been intimidating and suppressing the independent media/free speech, have usurped the state media to pour, together with outlets under their control, hatred, bigotry, lies and libelous ad hominem attacks.

      Then they come to a free country/place or blog beyond their reach and start claiming rights, bemoaning bias and the lack of democracy.

      What a gall! (vastag a pofájuk)
      But then it’s always someone else’s fault, remember?

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