Lindsey Graham Received Campaign Donations From Firm Tied To Russian Oligarch

Jim Greenhill/CC BY 2.0/Flickr

JakeThomas

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham received $800,000 from a Ukrainian-born oligarch with ties to Putin's inner circle.

The Dallas Morning News reported in 2017 that Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) was one of several Republican politicians to receive contributions from “a Ukrainian-born oligarch who is the business partner of two of Russian president Vladimir Putin's favorite oligarchs and a Russian government bank.”

During the last election, Ukrainian-born billionaire Leonard "Len" Blavatnik $6.35 million to Republican candidates and and incumbent senators, using two holding companies, Access Industries and AI Altep Holdings.

Graham received $800,000 of that money.

Len Blavatnik, considered to be one of the richest men in Great Britain, holds dual citizenship in the U.S. and the U.K. He is known for his business savvy and generous philanthropy, but not without controversy.

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.

Deripaska founded RUSAL, the second largest aluminum company in the world, and until 2019, he was the majority owner. In an agreement struck with the U.S. Treasury Department following financial difficulties due to Deripaska’s placement on the U.S. sanctions list, the billionaire stepped down as director and pledged to reduce his ownership stake to less than 50 percent.

According to The Dallas Morning News, Blavatnik owns a significant stake in the company as well and served on its Board until just two days after Trump was elected president.

Though Graham has been less shy than other Republicans about criticizing Trump on occasion, he was the first GOP lawmaker to signal openness to the president firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying that Trump is “entitled to having an attorney general he has faith in” and “there will come a time sooner rather than later where it will be time to have a new face and a fresh voice at the Department of Justice”, according to CNN.

In the time since, Graham has back Trump time and again, notably during impeachment, which he agreed with Trump was a "lynching": “This is a lynching in every sense. This is un-American.”

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