A Romanian politician who has received a sentence for election fraud is attempting to set up meetings with US Vice President Mike Pence and House speaker Paul Ryan, according to official Department of Justice documents quoted by legistorm.com, a website monitorin Congress and lobby activities. The report recalls that the leader of Romania's governing Social Democrats (PSD), Liviu Dragnea, who is also speaker of the House of Deputies, has received a sentence for attempting to fraud a referendum to dismiss the President of Romania. On Friday morning, Liviu Dragnea dismissed info of any contract between the PSD and any lobby company of the kind mentioned in the report.
"PSD has no contract with any such firm and hasn't payed a dime to any firm. I checked with the party this morning", Liviu Dragnea said. Asked if he planned to visit the US in the upcoming period, Dragnea answered he did not, but "should I receive an invitation and be allowed to leave, I would honor it".
The legistorm.com article reports that the PSD is paying the Madison&Co group USD100,000 to introduce Drangea to Pence and Ryan "as soon as possible", to settle political, media and academic meetings for Dragnea. The report names Madison&Co head Al Madison and other lobbyists and political officials as involved in the case.
The quoted Department of Justice document, published on October 24, also names Gheorghe Dimitrescu as a contact person between the PSD and American lobbyists. The only individual close to the PSD and links in the US is Gheorghe Dimitrescu, currently an aide for former Justice minister, current House vice-speaker Florin Iordache. Dimitrescu has served as consul to Strasbourg and to New York.
Romanian investigative reporting platform Rise Project notes that US firm Madison&Co had previously worked for former prime minister Adrian Nastase (also PSD), who served in the early 2000's and has since received corruption sentences for which he served prison sentence.
According to Rise Project, the latest pay installment in the contract for Liviu Dragnea was paid three weeks ago.