A bombshell report from John Solomon of The Hill reveals that before Donald Trump was elected president, three FBI agents floated the “Trump-Russian Collusion” theory to Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
Two months before Trump was elected president, Deripaska was in New York as part of Russia’s United Nations delegation when three FBI agents awakened him in his home; at least one agent had worked with Deripaska on the aborted effort to rescue Levinson. During an hour-long visit, the agents posited a theory that Trump’s campaign was secretly colluding with Russia to hijack the U.S. election.
“Deripaska laughed but realized, despite the joviality, that they were serious,” the lawyer said. “So he told them in his informed opinion the idea they were proposing was false. ‘You are trying to create something out of nothing,’ he told them.” The agents left though the FBI sought more information in 2017 from the Russian, sources tell me. Waldman declined to say if Deripaska has been in contact with the FBI since Sept, 2016.
So why care about some banished Russian oligarch’s account now?
First, as the FBI prepared to get authority to surveil figures on Trump’s campaign team, did it disclose to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that one of its past Russian sources waived them off the notion of Trump-Russia collusion?
Second, the U.S. government in April imposed sanctions on Deripaska, one of several prominent Russians targeted to punish Vladimir Putin — using the same sort of allegations that State used from 2006 to 2009. Yet, between those two episodes, Deripaska seemed good enough for the FBI to ask him to fund that multimillion-dollar rescue mission. And to seek his help on a sensitive political investigation. And to allow him into the country eight times.
I was alerted to Deripaska’s past FBI relationship by U.S. officials who wondered whether the Russian’s conspicuous absence from Mueller’s indictments might be related to his FBI work.
Robert Mueller’s obvious conflict of interest due to past ties with Deripaska should be enough to end the Russian investigation immediately, if not put Mueller in jail. Mueller’s FBI was trying to do something with a 3rd party that they couldn’t do themselves, which is a violation of federal law.
Mueller, then leading the FBI, would have been well aware of the deal. ‘I kept Director Mueller and Deputy Director [John] Pistole informed of the various efforts and operations,’ Robyn Gritz, the retired agent who supervised the Levinson case in 2009, told Solomon. ‘We tried to turn over every stone we could to rescue Bob.’