Day After Sanctions Lifted, Trump Transition Member Gets Role On Russian Company’s Board
A day after Russian sanctions were lifted for the company of a prominent Russian oligarch, Christopher Burnham, a former member of President Donald Trump’s transition team, landed a spot on that company’s board of directors.
Burnham had served the transition as a member of Trump’s state department transition team.
Sanctions had been placed on EN+, the parent organization of Russia’s aluminum company Rusal. EN+ is a company that Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch, has majority control over.
EN+ and Deripaska were hit with sanctions almost 10 months ago by the U.S. over what were described as “malign [activities] around the globe,” per reporting from Salon. Sanctions were lifted on Sunday by the Treasury Department with the conditions that Deripaska dilute his control in EN+.
Deripaska is also considered a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Reporting from the New York Times, however, indicated that the deal struck by the Treasury to end those sanctions wasn’t as harsh as some would make it out to be. Deripaska will still retain majority control of the company, their reporting indicated.
The day after sanctions were lifted, EN+ announced seven new appointments to its board of directors, with Burnham being named among them.
Former Deutsche Bank executive Christopher Burnham is named to the board of Oleg Deripaska’s companies after actions Rep. Lloyd Doggett called “sordid.” https://t.co/MJqDPElh1r
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) January 29, 2019
Burnham certainly has the credentials to serve on the board. He has worked before at the infamous Deutsche Bank, and served previously under former President George W. Bush as undersecretary general for management of the United Nations, working alongside current National Security Adviser John Bolton, who at that time was the U.S. Ambassador to the UN.
Those two aspects of Burnham’s resume were mentioned in a statement from EN+ naming him as one of the seven new appointments to its board of directors. Left out, however, was any mention of his connection to current President Donald Trump.
Democrats in Congress had tried to stop the sanctions from being lifted. A bill that would have kept them in place was successfully passed in the House of Representatives, but failed to pass in the GOP-controlled Senate, per reporting from Reuters.