FBI raids DC mansion of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who was linked to Trump ally Paul Manafort
BREAKING NEWS: FBI raids $15million D.C. mansion of Russian oligarch and Putin ally Oleg Deripaska, who had ties to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and ex-MI6 spy Christopher Steele
- Deripaska is an oil tycoon with close ties to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin
- His Washington, DC residence is reportedly worth around $15 million
- Deripaska was implicated in a 2020 Senate report as having aided Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election cycle
FBI agents have reportedly surrounded the Washington, DC residence of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska late on Monday morning.
Why they swarmed the billionaire oil tycoon’s home is unclear at this time but the action was court-ordered, according to NBC who first broke the news.
An FBI spokesperson told the outlet without elaborating that its conducting ‘law enforcement activity at the home.’
Deripaska is a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin who’s been accused of helping the Kremlin conduct foreign influence operations.
A 1,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee report released last year also links him to former Trump 2016 campaign chair Paul Manafort and ex-MI6 spy Christopher Steele.
Deripaska and other members of Putin’s inner circle as well as 12 Russian businesses were sanctioned by the Treasury Department in 2018. The next year however, Donald Trump lifted sanctions on three companies connected to him despite objections from Congressional Democrats.
At the time Trump’s Treasury Department claimed those companies ‘have reduced Oleg Deripaska’s direct and indirect shareholding stake in those companies and severed his control.’
The billionaire’s DC mansion, called the Haft Mansion, is reportedly worth $15 million, according to the Daily Beast.
FBI agents outside of Deripaska’s Washington, DC home on Monday morning
Deripaska (left) is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has been accused of aiding the Kremlin in foreign influence operations
In August 2020 the bipartisan Senate report detailed allegations that Manafort collaborated with Deripaska during the 2016 presidential election amid Russia’s efforts to interfere in the race.
It claims Manafort worked with Deripaska to funnel internal Trump campaign information to the Russian intelligence community.
‘This is what collusion looks like,’ lawmakers wrote of Manafort’s ties to Russian actors.
The report said Deripaska ‘conducts influence operations, frequently in countries where he has a significant economic interest.’
‘The Russian government coordinates with and directs Deripaska on many of his influence operations,’ lawmakers alleged.
The same report links Deripaska to former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, who infamously authored the Trump dossier.
The nearly 1,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee report released in August 2020 links Deripaska to onetime Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort
Lawmakers claimed that Deripaska ‘had early knowledge of Steele’s work’ only months before he started putting together the Dossier, which was commissioned as opposition research by Democrats including Hillary Clinton.
In 2016 Steele had dismissed claims that Deripaska was a ‘tool’ of the Russian government.
But investigators ‘found ample evidence to dispute Steele’s assessment,’ the report stated.
Deripaska was among a group of two dozen Russian oligarchs and officials sanctioned by Trump’s Treasury in April 2018.
They were put in place to punish Russia for ‘malign activity around the globe.’ A statement announcing the economic penalties named a number of specific instances of Russian aggression, including its actions in Crimea and arming the Assad regime in Syria.
It also mentions Russia’s work to ‘subvert Western democracies’ but doesn’t detail any specific allegations about the US.
The Treasury accused Deripaska himself of ordering the murder of another businessman and ‘threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally wiretapping a government official, and taking part in extortion and racketeering.’
It also claimed he had ties to organized crime.
When the Trump administration lifted sanctions against companies tied to him they left those against him specifically in place.
He sued to have those lifted in 2019 but in June of this year a judge threw out his lawsuit.
Reports from 2018 indicate that Deripaska was denied a visa to the US multiple times.
But recently, NBC reports, the Kremlin gave him diplomatic status to allow him to enter the US with immunity.
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