Will The Real Russian Republicans Ever Get Hung Out To Dry? UPDATE: More from DMN article
This is from an article in the Dallas Morning News, a liberal leaning paper, which was dated August 3rd. They ran it under he headline, “GOP campaigns took $ 7.35 million from oligarch linked to Russia”. They get points for running the story but they made Trump the focus when what should have been the lede was buried in the third paragraph. It should have been titled, “Will The Real Russian Republicans Ever Get Hung Out To Dry?”
During the 2015-2016 election season, Ukrainian-born billionaire Leonard “Len” Blavatnik contributed $6.35 million to leading Republican candidates and incumbent senators. Mitch McConnell was the top recipient of Blavatnik’s donations, collecting $2.5 million for his GOP Senate Leadership Fund under the names of two of Blavatnik’s holding companies, Access Industries and AI Altep Holdings, according to Federal Election Commission documents and OpenSecrets.org.
Marco Rubio’s Conservative Solutions PAC and his Florida First Project received $1.5 million through Blavatnik’s two holding companies. Other high dollar recipients of funding from Blavatnik were PACS representing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at $1.1 million, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham at $800,000, Ohio Governor John Kasich at $250,000 and Arizona Senator John McCain at $200,000.
In January, Quartz reported that Blavatnik donated anotehr $ 1 million to Trump’s Inaugural Committee.
Blavatnik’s relationships with Russian oligarchs close to Putin, particularly Oleg Deripaska, should be worrisome for Trump and the six GOP leaders who took Blavatnik’s money during the 2016 presidential campaign. Lucky for them no one has noticed. Yet.
Oleg Deripaska is the founder and majority owner of RUSAL, the world’s second largest aluminum company, based in Russia. Len Blavatnik owns a significant stake in RUSAL and served on its Board until November 10, 2016, two days after Donald Trump was elected.
Blavatnik undoubtedly did try to influence the 2016 election but not through the Trump campaign. The money to Trump came after the election and is in line with others trying to make sure somebody in the White House would take their calls.
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UPDATE: More from the DMN article
Blavatnik has dual U.S.and U.K. citizenship. His nationality is Ukraine.
He is absolutely connected to Putin and Deripaska. Robert Mueller is trying to prove Paul Manafort broke the law in his business relationship with Deripaska.
More from the Dallas Morning News article:
Deripaska controls RUSAL with a 48 percent majority stake through his holding company, EN+ Group, and the Russian government owns 4.35 percent stake of EN+ Group through its second-largest state owned bank, VTB. VTB was exposed in the Panama papers in 2016for facilitating the flow of billions of dollars to offshore companies linked to Vladimir Putin and is under sanctions by the U.S. government.
Deripaska has been closely connected to the Kremlin since he married into Boris Yeltsin’s family in 2001, which literally includes him in the Russian clan known as “The Family.”
According to the Associated Press, starting in 2006, Deripaska made annual payments of $10 million to Paul Manafort through the Bank of Cyprus to advance Putin’s global agenda.
Len Blavatnik’s co-owner in RUSAL is his long-time business partner, Viktor Vekselberg, another Russian oligarch with close ties to Putin. Blavatnik and Vekselberg hold their 15.8 percent joint stake in RUSAL in the name of Sual Partners, their offshore company in the Bahamas.
Vekselberg also happens to be the largest shareholder in the Bank of Cyprus.
Under U.S. law, Blavatnik’s ownership stake in RUSAL is sufficient for prosecution under RICO law. Blavatnik’s severing his ties two days after Trump’s election raises an open question of Why Then?