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FBI agents claim former Putin official was murdered the night before he was supposed to meet with the DOJ

The U.S. government last fall ruled the death of Mikhail Lesin, Russian President Vladimir Putin's former media czar, an "accident," but two FBI agents and a U.S. intelligence agency official say he was actually beaten to death, BuzzFeed News reported Friday. The three agents were not "directly involved" in the investigation of Lesin's November 2015 death in a Washington, D.C., hotel room, but they said they "learned about it from colleagues who were."

The FBI agents also revealed yet another previously unreported bit of information: Lesin was in D.C. to talk to Department of Justice officials about "the inner workings of RT, the Kremlin-funded network that Lesin founded," BuzzFeed reported. He was apparently slated to meet with the DOJ the day after he was killed in the hotel room, which the DOJ had reportedly paid for.

"There seems to be an effort here to cover up that fact for reasons I can't get into. 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," one of the FBI agents told BuzzFeed, dismissing the official explanation for Lesin's death. "Everyone thinks he was whacked and that Putin or the Kremlin were behind it."

The agents claimed that the FBI "has obtained evidence and conducted witness interviews that indicate Lesin was murdered," apparently with a baseball bat. Read the full story at BuzzFeed News.