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A Russian Oligarch Tied To Trump’s Administration Is Seeking Immunity To Testify Before Congress

A Russian Oligarch Tied To Trump’s Administration Is Seeking Immunity To Testify Before Congress

Photo Credit: World Economic Forum

Russian Oligarch Oleg V. Deripaska, a former confidante to President Trump’s former campaign manager, has offered to testify in front of a congressional committee in exchange for immunity.

Congressional officials say they are unwilling at this time to accept the immunity conditions set forth by Deripaska.

The oligarch has alleged ties to Paul Manafort, one of many Trump associates under F.B.I. scrutiny for possible collusion with Russia during the presidential campaign.

The New York Times says the two men “conducted business together in the mid-2000s, when Mr. Manafort, a Republican operative, was also providing campaign advice to Kremlin-backed politicians in Ukraine.” The two men eventually soured on their relationship and a lawsuit was filed.

Deripaska, an aluminum magnate and close confidante to Russian President Vladimir Putin, offered to cooperate with the congressional intelligence committees in exchange for a grant of full immunity

Speaking on condition of anonymity, three different congressional officials told The New York Times that the Senate and House panels turned him down because of “concerns that immunity agreements create complications for federal criminal investigators.”

Deripaska has had his own issues with the United States government. He has been denied entry to the U.S.A on several occasions over concerns that he is connected to organized crime. The Russian oligarch has denied any ties to organized crime. He eventually traveled to the United States under the guise of Russian diplomat status.

Despite his sour relationship with officials in the United States, he has long maintained offices in New York City and has continued to expand his holdings in the U.S. over the past decade.

Manafort Continues To Come Under F.B.I. Scrutiny

In the meantime, Manafort has come under scrutiny in recent months for his business activities and various loans tied to Ukrainian politicians.

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Manafort and Deripaska were partners in an offshore fund set up in 2007 to buy telecommunications and cable television assets in Ukraine. Litigation in the Cayman Islands forced that deal to be terminated.

At this time the F.B.I. has not confirmed nor denied that they would like to interview Deripaska as part of their ongoing investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump administration during the 2016 primary election.

Deripaska is no small player on the world stage. Forbes magazine has estimated his net worth at $5.3 billion.

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