The Senate Intelligence Committee recently took an interest in Aron Shaviv, Israeli marketing expert, as part its investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to the Russian government, writes famous American journalist Seth Hettena in his text under the title “Who is Aron Shaviv?”
As Mr Hettena says, Shaviv’s role has now been brought into focus of US officials.
The name of Aron Shaviv, a British-born Israeli campaign consultant with an impressive resume, has surfaced lately in investigations of underhanded election plots by Russia.
The Senate Intelligence Committee recently took an interest in Mr. Shaviv as part of its investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to the Russian government. According to a scoop by independent journalist Scott Stedman, Shaviv’s name was mentioned in a subpoena issued in April 2019 by the Senate Intelligence Committee to Walter Soriano, a British security consultant whose connections to Israeli intelligence and Russian oligarchs.
In April 2019, as previously reported by Politico, the Senate Intelligence Committee sent a letter to Soriano’s USG security office in London, requesting an interview and documents relating to any communications with various persons associated with investigation.
List of persons whose communications need to be checked according to U.S congressmen is very interesting. It’s some sort of mix of Russian businessmen close to Kremlin, persons from Russian intelligence services and controversial American businessmen, former politicians linked to trump.
Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska is at the top of the list. An aluminum magnate, former owner of Montenegrin Aluminum Plant.
The list also includes Viktor Borjakin, former GRU officer, against whom the American authorities imposed sanctions last year. There’s also Georgi Oganov, Russian businessman.
The name of Konstantin Klimnik is on the list too, as well as Paul Manafort, former head of Trump’s presidential campaign, sentenced to 47 months in prison for financial frauds investigated by Prosecutor Robert Mueller.
David Bossie’s activities should also be brought under investigation. He was one of Trumps’ first advisers and one of the leaders in his presidential campaign.
Steve Bannon, former chief of Donald Trump’s election campaign, bitter right-winger who openly supported connections with Kremlin is on the list too.
Aron Shaviv, one of the most important people in DF campaign for parliamentary elections in 2016”, is the new name on the list.
On his website, Shaviv claims to have helped elect 14 heads of state, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It’s unknown whether Shaviv did any work for the Trump campaign or why the Senate Intelligence Committee is interested in him. But that isn’t the end of his problems, points out Mr Hettena.
Interestingly, One country that’s absent from Shaviv’s impressive roster of clients is the “tiny Balkan state of Montenegro”
Mr Hettena says that Shaviv was the chief consultant for the pro-Russian party Democratic Front in the 2016 Montenegrin parliamentary elections.
And now the question is: Why does Aron Shaviv want to forget about the role he played in October of 2016?
“My friend Alon Eisenberg pointed me to a report this week in The Times of Israel that suggested Shaviv had another, less overt mission there. According to prosecutors in Montenegro, Shaviv took part in a plot led by two Russian military intelligence officers to overthrow Montenegro’s government and stop it from joining NATO. Police broke up the plot on the eve of the country’s parliamentary elections”, reads the anaylsis of American journalist.
He points out that Shaviv’s partner in this was an ex-CIA officer named Joseph Assad, who was working as Shaviv’s security consultant.
Prosecutors in Montenegro suspected that Assad’s real job in Montenegro was to help coup plotters flee the country after assassinating the country’s prime minister, The New York Times reported.
“During the investigation that was launched against Joseph Assad and eight others for creating a criminal organization and attempting terrorism, the prosecutors found evidence that Shaviv, a UK and Israeli citizen, also committed a crime. So we have ordered an extension of the investigation”, Mr Cađenovic told Balkan Insight.
In the run up to the Montenegrin parliamentary elections, one of Shaviv’s companies received 1.5 million Euros from a Czech company — codenamed “S.” The Czech company’s CEO and representatives are Russian, Mr Cađenovic said. Assad was paid out of this fund, points out Mr Hettena.
The text mentions some other American citizens, former members of intelligence services.
“Four men identified as ex-FBI agents are also said to be under investigation for their role in the attempted coup backed by Russia”, points out Hettena.
Shaviv’s biography was thoroughly analyzed by marketing expert from Israel.
Shaviv was born in Oxford, England in 1979 and made aliyah to Israel as a teenager. He became a captain in the Israeli Defense Forces and served as a “field agent for a civilian intelligence agency,” according to an archived version of his company’s website.
Shaviv got his start in politics in 2006 working for Avigdor Lieberman, an influential Israeli politician who has long been investigated — but never charged — for receiving millions of dollars from Russian oligarchs like the notorious Michael Cherney and others connected to Vladimir Putin.
While working in government for Lieberman, then the minister of strategic affairs, Shaviv set up a private consulting firm, Shaviv Strategy & Campaigns, began consulting for politicians throughout Europe and Africa. Shaviv’s clients include past and current presidents and prime ministers of Israel, Thailand, Cambodia, Poland, Romania, Kenya, Congo, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Serbia and the European Commission, according to the company’s website, which also cites its work for U.S. presidential elections.
Shaviv was campaign manager and chief strategist for Netanyahu’s re-election. As the vote approached, polls showed Netanyahu on the verge of losing. But then on Election Day, in a move straight out of the Cambridge Analytica playbook, Netanyahu bombarded right-wing voters with millions of fearmongering text messages warning them — falsely — that Arabs were going to the polls in “droves.” Netanyahu won.
However, Shaviv’s bright career was tarnished by the role he allegedly had in the coup attempt in Montenegro. He tweeted that he has been “PNGed” — presumably a reference to being made persona non grata — after the alleged coup attempt, says Mr Hettena.
Shaviv himself said in an interview in 2017, that there are two theories about what happened in Montenegro.
Analysis carried out by American journalist, which contains many links and quotes, indicates that something serious was being prepared on the day of parliamentary elections in Montenegro, although many refuse to believe so.
Senate Committee on Intelligence
The Committee was created by the Senate in 1976 to “oversee and make continuing studies of the intelligence activities and programs of the United States Government,” to “submit to the Senate appropriate proposals for legislation and report to the Senate concerning such intelligence activities and programs,” and to “provide vigilant legislative oversight over the intelligence activities of the United States to assure that such activities are in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
The Committee has 15 Senators: eight from the majority party and seven from the minority. The one-seat majority is dictated by Senate resolution and, unlike most other committees, does not change in proportion with the overall Senate ratio of majority to minority membership. The Committee structure is intended to reflect the nonpartisan nature of intelligence and encourage the Committee to work in a bipartisan manner. By resolution, the 15 SSCI members include two members (one per side) from the Appropriations, Armed Services, Foreign Relations, and Judiciary Committees in order to ensure appropriate coordination with those Committees. The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders and the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee serve as ex officio SSCI members.
he Committee’s staff reviews intelligence reports, budgets, and activities; investigates matters on behalf of the Committee; prepares legislation; and receives briefings.