Belarusan Model Who Claimed to Have Evidence of Russian Meddling in U.S. Election Pleads Guilty

A model whose alleged affair with a Russian oligarch made her an unexpected player in probes over Moscow’s influence in the 2016 U.S. election, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges of conspiracy and soliciting prostitution linked to a “sex training” seminar in Thailand. Anastasia Vashukevich, a model and self-described sex expert from Belarus, came into the international spotlight after she claimed to have recorded meetings in 2016 between Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and unspecified Americans discussing Russian meddling in the U.S. election. Vashukevich’s claims were notable because the oligarch has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and used to work with President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Manafort has since pleaded guilty to crimes stemming from his work as a political consultant in Ukraine before joining Trump’s campaign. On Instagram, Vashukevich claimed she was “the only witness and the missing link in the connection between Russia and the U.S. elections.” Since her bombshell claims, no evidence has emerged that she possessed any new details about the election.