DOJ nominee discloses Russian bank representation

(CNN) Leader Donald Trump’s nominee to mind up the criminal division at the Proper rights Department has disclosed to people of the Senate judiciary committee which he previously represented a Russian bank in whose computer server activity has been under scrutiny simply by FBI counterintelligence.

Brian Benczkowski served in the Justice Department below President George W. Bush and it is currently a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He told senators within a letter obtained by CNN that he specifically disclosed their law firm’s representation of Alfa Bank in connection with completing his SF-86 security clearance form.
Questions regarding the bank’s activity first arose this past year when a group of computer scientists elevated concerns about internet records that will showed that Alfa Bank web servers repeatedly looked up the unique web address of a Trump Organization personal computer server in the United States.

The financial institution later hired a cybersecurity company called Stroz Friedberg to investigate uncommon computer server activity, and history materials submitted to senators by Viet Dinh , one of Benczkowski’s companions at Kirkland, now show Benczkowski supervised that project.
Dinh, also a previous DOJ official, further defended the financial institution in a letter accompanying the distribution to senators.

“Neither the bank nor the owners have had any relationship associated with any kind with the Trump Organization anytime, including over the past year, ” Dinh said. “The bank pledged the full cooperation with government authorities, which usually continue to examine whether Alfa Financial institution has been the victim of unlawful conduct. ”
Authorities never alleged any wrongdoing on the bank’s part and the financial institution denied any misconduct, but Benczkowski said he nevertheless obtained authorization from his former client to talk about the fact and scope of their representation with senators at their confirmation hearing Tuesday.
Benczkowski, who led the particular Trump-Pence transition team at the Proper rights Department, has a longstanding relationship along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He or she worked as a staff director designed for Sessions back in 2009 when the then-Republican senator from Alabama served because ranking member of the Senate judiciary committee.
Included in their standard submission to senators , Benczkowski also described his rendering of Volkswagen, which was the target of the criminal investigation by the Justice Division under the Obama administration and eventually led recording to a $2. 8 billion criminal good for conspiring in order to dodge emissions standards and blockage of justice.
Benczkowski noted that he litigated the particular Volkswagen case against Andrew Weissmann — former chief of the Unlawful Division’s fraud section at DOJ — who left the division to join special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe earlier this year.