A Russian-American dual citizen who found himself at the center of allegations of Kremlin meddling in the 2016 presidential election has established a new nonprofit to combat the political vilification of his erstwhile countrymen.
Rinat Akmetshin is a Washington-based lobbyist and former Soviet military officer whose 2016 meeting with Trump campaign hands including the president’s son and son-in-law was a major subject of interest for investigators into Russian election meddling. Last week, he officially incorporated the nonprofit Russian-American Anti-Defamation League, according to District of Columbia corporate records.
The nonprofit’s specific plans weren’t immediately clear. Neither Akhmetshin nor his attorney responded to requests for comment. But the group’s formation comes as Akhmetshin tries to sustain legal action against a prominent Kremlin critic who dubbed him a Russian spy, allegations that caught fire after Akhmetshin’s June 2016 meeting with top Trump campaign aides came to light the following year.