FBI scrutinizing Russian embassy payments 'to finance election campaign of 2016'

The FBI is reportedly looking into a group of wire transfers the Russian foreign ministry sent to embassies around the world with a memo line that said "to finance election campaign of 2016."

The FBI is scrutinizing more than 60 wire transfers, BuzzFeed News reported on Tuesday, totaling more than $380,000.

According to BuzzFeed, the money, which moved through Citibank accounts, was received between Aug. 3 and Sept. 20, 2016, to Russian embassies in nearly 60 countries, including Afghanistan and Nigeria.

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Multiple nations other than the U.S. held elections last year.

BuzzFeed cited a specific payment of $30,000 which the Russian foreign ministry sent to its embassy in Washington, D.C.

At the end of September, the FBI learned about the wire transfers and is now looking into how the money was used.

“We had an election and the intelligence community concluded Russia interfered in it,” an FBI agent told BuzzFeed.

“How could we not investigate a suspicious financial transaction that contained a memo that said, ‘finance election campaign 2016?’ Given the climate and what was in that memo line it would be very irresponsible for us not to investigate. It’s a good lead.”

There are currently multiple investigations into the Russian's election interference, including a Justice Department special counsel, which late last month announced its first charges and a guilty plea from a former Trump campaign aide who lied to FBI agents.
 
President Trump has repeatedly denied collusion between his campaign and Russia and has called the investigations a "witch hunt."