In a breaking story that will surely lead to further information, it seems a wealthy Russian who has ties to Vladimir Putin and a financial history with Donald Trump is the subject of some unspecified FBI activity.
CNN has reported that there are FBI agents conducting unspecified “law enforcement activity” at the Washington, D.C. property of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian Oligarch who was reportedly the beneficiary of a significant move by Donald Trump. The official word at this point is only that it’s connected to an investigation out of New York, and that it has been ongoing.
Deripaska is one of the individuals who, along with companies tied to him, was sanctioned for interference in the 2016 election. In 2019, Rolling Stone reported on these sanctions and Trump’s action on them, in which his treasury department specifically moved to have sanctions lifted from Deripaska’s companies, under the condition that the companies limit the oligarch’s access to control and ownership.
However, there was reportedly no enforcement of this, and the deal was described as freeing the accused election interferer from hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, without stripping him of ownership of his companies.
In fact, Financial Times reported in at the time that the sanction-lifting deal was causing “key Republicans,” including Ben Sasse, Marco Rubio, and Susan Collins, to break with Trump, pushing back and voting with Democrats to block the final approval of the deal.
Reuters reported in 2018 that a court filing had cited a loan of $10 million from Deripaska to Paul Manafort as a factor in the warrant to search Manafort’s apartment.
There is at this time no official word on whether the FBI activity is connected to Trump and/or election interference.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com