Note on Wire Transfers to Russian Embassies: to Finance the 2016 Election
Of course, Trump believes Putin. He may not believe victims of sexual assault but he believes Putin and feels terrible that Vlad is so offended at the allegation he interfered in our election
Meanwhile, more of Russia’s fingerprints are showing up:
“On Aug. 3 of last year, just as the US presidential election was entering its final, heated phase, the Russian foreign ministry sent nearly $30,000 to its embassy in Washington. The wire transfer, which came from a Kremlin-backed Russian bank, landed in one of the embassy’s Citibank accounts and contained a remarkable memo line: “to finance election campaign of 2016.”
“That wire transfer is one of more than 60 now being scrutinized by the FBI and other federal agencies investigating Russian involvement in the US election. The transactions, which moved through Citibank accounts and totaled more than $380,000, each came from the Russian foreign ministry and most contained a memo line referencing the financing of the 2016 election.”
“The money wound up at Russian embassies in almost 60 countries from Afghanistan to Nigeria between Aug. 3 and Sept. 20, 2016. It is not clear how the funds were used. At least one transaction that came into the US originated with VTB Bank, a financial institution that is majority-owned by the Kremlin.”
VTB Bank… That’s the same sanctioned Russian bank Jared Kushner met with after the 2016 election. But Russia has a very good explanation:
“Before publication of this article, BuzzFeed News sought comment from both the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian embassy in Washington. Neither responded. Hours after the story was published, both entities issued statements on social media denouncing the story. The foreign ministry noted that it had previously announced that it would have 364 polling stations in 145 countries in order for Russians living overseas to cast ballots in a parliamentary election held September 18.”
Ah… That makes sense. It was for Russian elections in 2018, which is why the note said the 2016 election.
“In a statement, Citibank spokesperson Jennifer Lowney wrote that the financial institution is “diligent” in reporting suspicious transfers but that “given the confidential nature of these reports, we do not comment on or confirm any particular report or transaction.”
“After discovering the $30,000 transfer to the embassy in Washington, Citibank launched a review of other transfers by the Russian foreign ministry. It unearthed dozens of other transactions with similar memo lines. Compliance officers in Citibank’s Global Intelligence Unit flagged them as suspicious, noting that it was unable to determine the financial, business, or legal purpose of the transactions.”
“This past January, the United States’ Office of Director of National Intelligence, in a “high-confidence” assessment, concluded that Vladimir Putin personally signed off on an influence campaign to help Donald Trump win the presidency. Now, the FBI, a special counsel, and three congressional committees are conducting investigations. The committees have formally requested a wide range of banking and financial records on numerous individuals and businesses with ties to Russia from the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN for short.”
“Specifically, the Senate Intelligence Committee committee asked FinCEN for “any actions” the agency took to support law enforcement or intelligence inquiries about these individuals and businesses, any documents it sent to the FBI, and any requests for information it sent to banks. A separate letter sent to the Treasury Department by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations sought information on the sanctioned bank.”
“These requests led to the discovery of the wire transfers. Two congressional sources said the Senate Intelligence Committee is aware of the transactions. Spokespeople for the committees would not comment.”
In other Russian interference news:
“If you are the Russian FSB and you want to pay these hackers, you have to figure out how to make your payments in a way that won’t raise red flags…You want to hide them in a large volume of transactions.” https://t.co/2u6LPiTZNM
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) November 14, 2017
P.S. I’m Mike Sax, I’m running for Congress in the NY 2nd District and I’m a Hillary Clinton Democrat.
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