FBI agents swarm Russian oligarch’s DC home
The FBI on Tuesday swarmed the Washington, D.C., home of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, according to a report from NBC News.
A spokesperson from the FBI confirmed to The Hill that agents are conducting “court-authorized law enforcement activity.”
The reason for the FBI’s action is not immediately clear.
Deripaska, who is connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin, was one of the Russian oligarchs and officials sanctioned by the Treasury Department in April 2018.
A U.S. diplomatic cable in 2006 also called him “among the 2-3 oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis” and “a more-or-less permanent fixture on Putin’s trips abroad,” The Associated Press said.
He sued over the 2018 sanctions, but a U.S. judge dismissed his lawsuit.
Deripaska also had business ties to Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman to former President Trump who was convicted of fraud charges as a result of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 election.
That investigation found that Manafort allegedly offered, in an email to an intermediary, to provide Deripaska with private briefings on the campaign weeks before Trump accepted the 2016 presidential nomination.
“If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” Manafort wrote in a July 7, 2016, email, The Washington Post reported.
Deripaska also has ties to British spy Christopher Steele, the author of a controversial and unverified dossier on Trump’s alleged dealings with Russia. A Senate Intelligence Committee report later claimed that Deripaska had “early knowledge” of Steele’s controversial report.
He was previously denied a U.S. visa due to his alleged “criminal associations and relationships”, The Guardian reported in 2008.
The foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, reportedly asked the State Department multiple times for help securing Deripaska a visa to the U.S.
He was later given diplomatic status by the Russian government, allowing him to enter the U.S. with immunity, NBC reported.
–Updated at 1:12 p.m.