Back in May of this year, Palmer Report brought you the story of how a Russian oligarch had donated millions of dollars to certain prominent Republicans in the 2016 election cycle, some of whom weren’t even up for reelection (link). Over the weekend it was revealed that this same oligarch has been helping to pay Donald Trump’s attorney fees in his Russia scandal. Now it turns out Special Counsel Robert Mueller is probing all of the above.
The Russian oligarch in question has dual U.S. citizenship, making it technically legal him for to donate as much money as he wants to the Super PACs associated with the Republicans in question. But if that money was being funneled from the Russian government through the oligarch into those Super PACs, it would be a different story. According to an ABC News report (link), Mueller is now tracing back these donations to see what he can learn from them, along with donations made by two other prominent Russian-connected businessmen. Among the other primary beneficiaries of these donations: two Republicans who were in position to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
Mitch McConnell received $2.5 million from the Russian oligarch in 2016, despite not being up for reelection. When the U.S. intel community uncovered evidence during the election that Russia was attempting to tamper with the outcome, it was McConnell who threatened to publicly accuse President Obama of partisanship if he dared to reveal the information to the American public. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker received $1 million. Trump went on to win Wisconsin in shockingly, and essentially impossible, fashion – raising questions as to whether Walker may have used his role to somehow alter the outcome.
The oligarch has since begun paying Donald Trump’s attorney fees by donating the money to the Republican National Committee, which is then using it to pay Trump’s legal bills. This means, in effect, that the Kremlin is indirectly paying for Trump’s defense in the Russia scandal.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report