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WASHINGTON — In the estimation of American officials, Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin, has faced credible accusations of extortion, bribery and even murder. They also thought he might make a good source.
Between 2014 and 2016, the F.B.I. and the Justice Department unsuccessfully tried to turn Mr. Deripaska into an informant. They signaled that they might provide help with his trouble in getting visas for the United States or even explore other steps to address his legal problems. In exchange, they were hoping for information on Russian organized crime and, later, on possible Russian aid to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, according to current and former officials and associates of Mr. Deripaska.
In one dramatic encounter, F.B.I. agents appeared unannounced and uninvited at a home Mr. Deripaska maintains in New York and pressed him on whether Paul Manafort, a former business partner of his who went on to become chairman of Mr. Trump’s campaign, had served as a link between the campaign and the Kremlin. The attempt to flip Mr. Deripaska was part of a broader, clandestine American effort to gauge the possibility of gaining cooperation from roughly a half-dozen of Russia’s richest men, nearly all of whom, like Mr. Deripaska, depend on President Vladimir V. Putin to maintain their wealth, the officials said. Two of the players in the effort were Bruce G. Ohr, the Justice Department official who has recently become a target of attacks by Mr. Trump, and Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled a dossier of purported links between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The systematic effort to win the cooperation of the oligarchs, which has not previously been revealed, does not appear to have scored any successes. And in Mr. Deripaska’s case, he told the American investigators that he disagreed with their theories about Russian organized crime and Kremlin collusion in the campaign, a person familiar with the exchanges said. The person added that Mr. Deripaska even notified the Kremlin about the American efforts to cultivate him.
originally posted by: Sillyolme
One could say colluded or one could say participated in a joint national effort that was completely legal and above board. Yeah?
ashington (CNN)Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and former British spy Christopher Steele -- frequent targets of President Donald Trump's ire related to the Russia investigation -- were involved in US efforts to flip a Russian oligarch with ties to the Kremlin, The New York Times reports.
Between 2014 and 2016, the FBI and the Justice Department sought and attempted to turn Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska into an informant for the United States, the Times reported Saturday.
Citing current and former officials and associates of Deripaska, the Times reported that investigators were hoping for information from Deripaska on Russian organized crime during a September 2015 meeting and, in a meeting a year later, on possible Russian aid to Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.