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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. Sealed off from other patrons, government ministers and lawmakers felt free to speak their minds while enjoying continental cuisine and wine at taxpayer expense. But the privacy was an illusion, the special dining room a trap. For about a year, waiters secretly recorded public officials at Sowa & Przyjaciele and another restaurant. When a newsmagazine published transcripts from some of the recordings, it spawned a scandal dubbed “Waitergate” that helped topple a pro-European Union government. Suspicions that Russia and the nationalist political party that won Poland’s 2015 election were behind the illegal eavesdropping persisted even after a Polish multimillionaire was convicted as the mastermind. 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. In his book, titled “In a Foreign Alphabet: How People of the Kremlin and PIS Played with the Eavesdropping,” Rzeczkowski maintains that, just as with the U.S. election meddling that special counsel Robert…

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