Mikhail Lesin, who founded the Kremlin-backed RT network and had ties to President Vladimir Putin, was found dead in a Washington hotel room on May 5, 2015. He had suffered blunt-force injuries to his head, neck and torso, but after an extensive investigation, a federal prosecutor ruled out foul play. The operating theory is that Lesin had been drinking heavily and accidentally killed himself.
Lesin was reportedly in town for a fundraiser, but BuzzFeed reported Friday that, according to two FBI agents, Department of Justice officials had invited him to town to discuss “the inner workings of RT.” These agents also reject the conclusion that Lesin’s death was an accident:
“Lesin was beaten to death,” one of the FBI agents said. “I would implore you to say as much. There seems to be an effort here to cover up that fact for reasons I can’t get into.”
He continued: “What I can tell you is that there isn’t a single person inside the bureau who believes this guy got drunk, fell down, and died. Everyone thinks he was whacked and that Putin or the Kremlin were behind it.”
These are serious allegations, backed up only by the speculation of anonymous sources. In the frenzy surrounding the Russia collusion scandal, are government officials trying to pin an accidental death on Putin? Or did Putin really have Lesin killed to stop him from revealing damaging information to the DOJ? Whatever the truth, the official version of the story looks even less convincing than before.