Good time to introduce this Russian (in light of the sanctions detailed above):
| Oleg Deripaska |
Per Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleg_Deripaska
- Russian oligarch, aluminum magnate and philanthropist
- Founder and owner of one of the largest Russian industrial groups Basic Element
- Was president of En+ Group and United Company Rusal, the second largest aluminium company in the world, until 2018
Relevance to investigation:
- March 22, 2017 - AP Exclusive: Before Trump job, Manafort worked to aid Putin
"Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and former Soviet republics to benefit President Vladimir Putin’s government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse.
Manafort pitched the plans to aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally with whom Manafort eventually signed a $10 million annual contract beginning in 2006, according to interviews with several people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records obtained by the AP. Manafort and Deripaska maintained a business relationship until at least 2009, according to one person familiar with the work.
“We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success,” Manafort wrote in the 2005 memo to Deripaska. The effort, Manafort wrote, “will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government.”
- ^ Deripaska wrote in The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal denying he signed a $10 million contract with Manafort, and they both denied that there was anything nefarious going on. He also filed a libel lawsuit against AP for this story, but it 'was dismissed... on the groups that Deripaska had not disputed 'any material facts' in the story...'
- About the Oleg Deripaska Reference in the Mueller Memo - Wheeler takes a look at Mueller's response to a motion to dismiss his indictment on Manafort (here) which references Oleg Deripaska. She reasons that Mueller is likely "pre-authorizing" the direction he's taking the Manafort case without having to reveal any evidence yet in this ongoing battle with Paul's defense team:
"To sum up thus far: this reference to Deripaska is, to the best of my knowledge, the first explicit reference to him anywhere in the Manafort docket. It has no obvious place in a memo explaining why Mueller is authorized to prosecute Manafort for money laundering tied to the Party of Regions. But there it is, in the middle of a paragraph explaining why Manafort’s prosecution follows logically even from the original grant of authority, to say nothing of any unredacted or redacted bullet points explicitly including Manafort’s alleged and documented ties to Deripaska in the scope of Mueller’s authority. By including it in the memo, Mueller effectively includes Deripaska in the ongoing discussions of the things Judge Amy Berman Jackson will likely soon agree Mueller has the authority to prosecute.
It is, then, the most telling line in the entire memo, and the most clever. It uses the opportunity of this memo to pre-authorize where Mueller is going, without having to reveal what evidence Mueller is sitting on to go there.
Of course, where he’s going — to this oligarch and his crony’s role in Trump’s election — is very obviously tied to the case in chief, the Russian tampering in the US election."
- Paul Manafort: American Hustler -- Franklin Foer deals with the Deripaska/Manafort relationship thoroughly in this piece. He details the $100 million financing Oleg provided for an investment firm Manafort established in Ukraine & Russia.
Oleg later files motion in court trying to track down some of these funds that he wanted back, and the article portrays Manafort & Rick Gates as having essentially gotten the fuck out of dodge. It was a few years of dodging, some personal crises along the way, before Manafort tried to establish himself in U.S. politics again by reaching out to Donald Trump in regards to his campaign, and offering his services for free:
"But Manafort must have also believed that money would eventually come, just as it always had, from the influence he would wield in the campaign, and exponentially more so if Trump won. So might other favors and dispensations. These notions were very likely what led him to reach out to Oleg Deripaska almost immediately upon securing a post within the campaign, after having evaded him for years. Through one of his old deputies, a Ukrainian named Konstantin Kilimnik, he sent along press clippings that highlighted his new job. “How do we use to get whole,” Manafort emailed Kilimnik. “Has OVD operation seen?” Manafort’s spokesman has acknowledged that the initials refer to Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska. In the course of the exchanges, Kilimnik expressed optimism that “we will get back to the original relationship” with the oligarch."