(Report) Russian Oligarch Money Flows Freely Into The Upper Reaches Of The GOP

Sens. Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, and Lindsey Graham are among those who benefited from oligarch-linked donations.

A close look at public campaign finance reports reveals a network of Russian oligarchs increasingly contributing to top Republican leadership in recent years, according to the Dallas News. And thanks to the Supreme Court's ruling on Citizens United in 2010, the donations are perfectly legal.

An example is Len Blavatnik, a dual U.S.-U.K. citizen and one of the largest donors to GOP political action committees in the 2015-16 election cycle. Blavatnik's family emigrated to the U.S. in the late '70s from the U.S.S.R. and he returned to Russia when the Soviet Union began to collapse in the late '80s.

The Russian billionaire is one of the U.K.'s wealthiest, with an estimated net worth of $20 billion. Prior to the 2016 election season, Blavatnik's political donations were bipartisan and meager.

In 2015-16, everything changed. Blavatnik's political contributions soared and made a hard right turn as he pumped $6.35 million into GOP political action committees, with millions of dollars going to top Republican leaders including Sens. Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham.

It is unclear why Republicans would knowingly accept donations from such contributors, particularly after Russia's attempt to interfere with the presidential election was known:

Two weeks after the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement in October 2016 that the Russian government had directed the effort to interfere in our electoral process, McConnell's PAC accepted a $1 million donation from Blavatnik's AI-Altep Holdings.

The PAC took another $1 million from Blavatnik's AI-Altep Holdings on March 30, 2017, just 10 days after former FBI Director James Comey publicly testified before the House Intelligence Committee about Russia's interference in the election.

Comments
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Rob2tall
Rob2tall

It is time to charge them with Treason.

sisco
sisco
   Interesting PRX555 (sounds like a ‘nerve gas’) how you avoid Blavatnik’s close connections to Trump, the Neo-Con Republican Party (or “The Objective Capitalist Party”I suggest, a nod there to. Patron Saint Ayn Rand (“The Virtue of Selfishness”, “Capitalism; The Unknown Ideal”), and thereby the highest echelon of American government. I have merely skimmed the surface on this guy’s history and it already feels oily/dirty.  Also, don’t hand mee the claptrap about “philanthropic contributions”. It’s the ultimate PR for self centered billionaires, going back to Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller, and J.P.Morgan. It buys off the elite class who than ignore the real damage these fat cats are doing to American Democracy . 100 million is pocket change to Blavatnik, and it’s likely between loophole, off shore tax shelters and write offs the guy pays a big fat “0” in taxes (though I have not the seen his tax returns-sound familiar?), like other “philanthropists” like Bill Gates (Mr. Monopoly), Apple Co, and the Queen of England (ohhh do say..a knighthood for you old chap).
sisco
sisco
  Blavatnik is a supporter of the US Republican Party, (surprise surprise.!), and in 2015-2016 donated a total of $7.35 million to Republican political candidates (Another blow to democracy thanks to the Citizens United ruling 2010, spearhead by those ‘libertarian’ - ie, Neo-Con/Plutocrat anti-regulations, anti-democratic Kansas creeps, The Koch Brothers (Charles @David, combined wealth nearing 100 billion dollars!!!  ..  .... He also donated $1 million to the committee for the inauguration of Donald Trump (proving he’d fit in nicely with any Oligarchy).  

In August 2017, political scientist Bo Rothstein resigned from the Blavatnik School of Government out of opposition to Blavatnik's politics.

In 2017, after two senior Trump administration officials went on record as being lobbyists for Blavatnik’s Access Industries[30], Blavatnik was mentioned in investigations led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian donations to the administration[31]. Since April 2016 Blavatnik contributed $383,000 to the Republican National Committee and $1 million to Trump’s inauguration fund. However he did not give directly to the Trump campaign[32].