Mueller Discovers Shady $150,000 Transaction & Makes Immediate Power Move

0
1928

Although President Donald Trump has denounced the whole scandal as a “witch hunt,” Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is continuing. Areas of interest for investigators extend beyond the Trump team itself into Russia’s initial election meddling, which massive suspicious completed and attempted financial transactions involving the Russian Embassy in the United States may be involved in.

Buzzfeed News has shared some details about the payments in the past. Now, though, they have more pieces of the puzzle, helping explain just why the transactions were so concerning to both bank officials and, ultimately, federal authorities.

Among the issues is a $120,000 check that then-Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak deposited into an account he maintained with Citibank in late 2016, ten days after Election Day. After his deposit, he wired the money to an account of his in Russia in two separate $60,000 increments.

The check, BuzzFeed shares, was more than twice as large as any deposit he’d made for at least the two preceding years. Although the money was marked as his salary, in 2014, he’d only been paid some $53,538, and in 2015, he’d been paid an even $50,000.

What’s with the increase? What was that money compensating him for? He’d met with an array of Trump affiliated individuals in the months around the 2016 U.S. elections including Jeff Sessions, who’s currently the U.S. Attorney General, and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, who serves as a presidential adviser. Kushner had explored the possibility of a secret line of communication between the Trump team and Russia, while Sessions discussed campaign related matters during his interactions. At least, that’s what communications between Kislyak and his superiors in Moscow intercepted by U.S. intelligence reveal.

He was also in communication with Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. During those post-election communications, Flynn sought to reassure the Russians that Trump was on their side so they didn’t need to be concerned about sanctions then-President Barack Obama had imposed.

Bank officials pressed Kislyak and the Russian Embassy for the exact nature of the $120,000 payment back in 2016, but neither interest rushed to respond.

BuzzFeed adds:

‘While a manager at the embassy’s branch said the payment was for Kislyak’s 2016 salary, Citibank’s expert examiners were unable to confirm that the money was indeed his salary.’

Besides the suspicious check to Kislyak, bank officials and Mueller’s investigators have also been concerned about a request the Russian Embassy made for a $150,000 withdrawal five days after Donald Trump was inaugurated as president in January 2017.

The amount, which the embassy sought from its account used for day-to-day expenses, was five times the amount they’d previously customarily withdrawn each month. Citibank’s manager asked Russian officials for information including the names of the individuals who would be the beneficiaries of the cash, but they never responded until withdrawing their request in February 2017.

There are other suspicious transactions besides those that have come under scrutiny too. For instance, there was a $29,000 transfer to the Embassy’s U.S. account marked as meant to “finance election campaign of 2016.” In addition, $2.4 million went out to a small home improvement company owned by a Russian immigrant living in Virginia.

The details all combine to paint the compelling picture that the Russia investigation is not a witch hunt.

Featured Image via YouTube screenshot