The Mueller report has exonerated President Trump and his campaign of Russian collusion. What about others who were smeared alongside him? Last year some reporters investigated me as a possible colluder. It has damaged my reputation and my business.
I’m a private real-estate and energy investor in California, a donor to Republican political candidates and sometime lobbyist. On Feb. 1, 2018, McClatchy Newspapers published the first of four big stories on me—four parts!—with the opening headline: “Master of selfies with GOP pols, Soviet émigré has a confounding past.”
The stories suggested I have a “checkered past” and mix with “shady characters” and “controversial” foreign politicians. One noted that I have a limited liability corporation, which can be “used for a wide array of nefarious purposes.” McClatchy also falsely claimed I have had “run-ins with the law” (later softened to “legal troubles”). Others in the media picked up the smears, retweeting and speculating without asking me for comment.