The now-closed Sowa & Przyjaciele, where top Polish politicians and businesspeople were secretly and illegally recorded over hundreds of hours. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, file)
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High-ranking Polish politicians used a side door to get to the VIP section of Sowa & Przyjaciele, a posh Warsaw restaurant.With the country's next election coming up this fall, a Polish journalist and the jailed tycoon have provided fresh fuel for claims that Waitergate was a prelude to Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.Grzegorz Rzeczkowski, a respected investigative reporter for the Polityka newsmagazine, argues in a new book that Russian intelligence services carried out the restaurant buggings on behalf of the Kremlin. He also presents evidence to allege that Polish intelligence figures conspired to use the recordings to bring the right-wing Law and Justice party, or PIS, to power.When the eavesdropping scandal broke five years ago, then-Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk immediately pointed to Russia.Polish prosecutors accused Marek Falenta, 43, of recording the politicians to punish the government for trying to block imports of Russian coal.Tomasz Piatek, another journalist who investigates links between Polish political figures and Russia, said Rzeczkowski's evidence was overwhelming, but he thought fear and denial kept the truth about Waitergate from getting the attention it deserves.
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