There always seems to be more to the story when it comes to Trump and Russia, and this time it involves Senate Leader Mitch McConnell.
Earlier today, we heard that the U.S. lifted some Russian sanctions. The official announcement came on Sunday by Trump appointed U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who was Trump’s former presidential campaign finance chairman. Mnuchin lifted sanctions on three Russian companies tied to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who is a close ally of Vladimir Putin. Deripaska was also a business partner with Paul Manafort, who was Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman. Manafort was convicted of bank fraud and tax evasion tied to Russia and also pleaded guilty to conspiracy.
It’s a very tangled web they weave.
On January 16, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer led a resolution to stop Mnuchin from lifting the Russian sanctions, but Senate Democrats did not have enough votes, even with 11 Republican senate members joining in support. With the Mueller investigation, even some Republicans are seeing it’s just not a good time to be making concessions to Russia, traitor that most of them are.
House members led by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, also tried stop Mnuchin, by introducing a similar resolution on January 17, but the Democratic lawmakers were also unable to overpower Trump’s position and Mitch McConnell’s Senate majority. Both Democratic attempts were considered to be symbolic.
Monday evening brought a new twist in that one of Mitch McConnell’s major donors, Len Blavatnik, who is tied to Vladimir Putin and all kinds of Russian oligarchs, benefited when Trump and McConnell lifted Russian sanctions on Sunday.
And earlier Dallas News piece titled, “How Putin oligarchs funneled millions into GOP campaigns.” is one of the best pieces you’ll read on the subject. Here are a couple of excerpts.
Blavatnik contributed a total of $3.5 million to a PAC associated with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Blavatnik contributed $1.5 million to the GOP Senate Leadership Fund PAC in the name of Access Industries and another $1 million in the name of AI-Altep Holdings during the 2015/2016 election season. And as of September 2017, he had contributed another $1 million this year through AI–Altep.
Blavatnik, whose family emigrated to the U.S. in the late 1970s, is a longtime business associate of Russian oligarchs Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg, both of whom have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Along with McConnell, Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham received hefty sums from Blavatnik as well.
Lindsey Graham? That story needs to be written and/or revisited.
Right now the point being made is that Mitch McConnell is benefiting from his direct and indirect ties to Putin and Russian oligarchs, which most likely guided McConnell’s recent vote to lift Russian sanctions. And it would seem he clearly voted in the interest of himself, those Russian ties and his American king, when he should have been working for the best interest and welfare of the American people who pay him to serve—them.
Many have suspected smirky McConnell was looped into the Russian knot in some way. Watching the GOP Senate leader defend and cling to Trump like a bloodthirsty tic has been difficult to witness almost on a daily basis for over two years. It looks like we’ll now get to watch him slowly sink with Trump, who seems to be bringing his whole corrupt crew down with him. Could it be American justice has finally emerged and come to its senses? The real question is, why would Trump do something so stupid as to lift Russian sanctions just as Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his Trump-Russia collusion investigation is just beginning to really heat up? Then again, there’s always a self-benefiting reason with Donald Trump. Or could it be a self-saving reason this time? Hard to say. More will be revealed.