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Federal Bureau of Investigation scrutinizing Russian embassy payments 'to finance election campaign of 2016'

Federal Bureau of Investigation scrutinizing Russian embassy payments 'to finance election campaign of 2016'”

According to Buzzfeed News, the FBI is investigating a $30,000 wire transfer from the Russian foreign ministry to the Russian embassy in Washington with a mighty curious memo line: "to finance election campaign of 2016".

On Aug. 3 of past year, just as the United States presidential election was entering its final, heated phase, the Russian foreign ministry sent almost $30,000 to its embassy in Washington.

BuzzFeed cited a specific payment of $30,000 which the Russian foreign ministry sent to its embassy in Washington, D.C.

That Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential election has been known for some time now (the intelligence community published its official assessment on Russian activities in the election in January 2017).

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, now a candidate for Illinois Attorney General, notes: "Foreign contributions in connection with USA federal elections are against the law". The wire transfer into the Russian embassy's USA bank account didn't violate the sanction, but Citibank flagged it as suspicious activity. and subsequently found dozens of other payments with that same suspicious memo line.

"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 report claims.

A Citibank review has turned up dozens of similar transactions, BuzzFeed reported, all of which are suspicious in that the bank's compliance officers have been "unable to determine the financial, business, or legal goal of the transactions".

There are now multiple investigations into the Russian's election interference, including a Justice Department special counsel, which late last month announced its first charges and a guilty plea from a former Trump campaign aide who lied to FBI agents.



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