Russian oligarch keeps showing up in the most inconvenient places for FBI, Washington elites

The bombshell indictments this week alleging that a former senior FBI counterintelligence agent had an inappropriate financial relationship with Oleg Deripaska focused fresh light on an uncomfortable truth: Washington elites have simultaneously demonized and cozied up to the controversial Russian oligarch over the last two decades.

Deripaska, a protégé of Russian president Vladimir Putin and once owner of the country’s largest aluminum company Rusal, has been courted over the years by a prominent Democrat senator seeking help from his lawyer and FBI agents seeking dirt on Donald Trump, enlisted by the bureau to spend his own money to find a missing FBI agent in Iran and lured into hiring Christopher Steele for a legal project before the former MI-6 agent penned his famous dossier.

Even Hunter Biden once crafted a plan to make money off Deripaska by seeking a handsome $80,000 fee to dig up dirt on the Russian businessman for an American aluminum company.

The efforts to court, cajole and cash in on Deripaska occurred at the same time the U.S. government was casting the Russian as a potentially nefarious actor who should be kept from U.S. shores.

In the early 2000s, it was the State Department alleging, with scant public evidence, that the Russian was tied to organized crime or brutal killings. In 2016, he became a focal point of the FBI efforts to prove Donald Trump colluded with Russia to hijack the 2016 election, an allegation that proved spurious. And in 2018, he was sanctioned by the Treasury Department as an ally of Putin and Russian influence campaigns and later indicted by the Justice Department.

Throughout the saga, Deripaska has always maintained his innocence, while his accusers have sent a tantalizing mixed message by courting his help at the same time they were vilifying him.

In a 2019 videotaped interview with this reporter for The Hill newspaper, Deripaska said his on-again-off-again relationship with the American government was symbolic of the larger drifting apart of Russia and the United States as allies after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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