Federal Bureau of Investigation probing Russian wire transfers labeled 'to finance election campaign of 2016'

Federal Bureau of Investigation probing Russian wire transfers labeled 'to finance election campaign of 2016'

US intelligence agencies are reportedly looking into dozens of wire transfers sent from Russia's foreign ministry to Russian embassies worldwide after investigators found that numerous transactions contained a suspicious memo line: "to finance election campaign of 2016".

BuzzFeed said $30,000 was sent by the Russian foreign ministry to its embassy in the USA capital.

The payment, which landed in one of the Russian embassy's Citibank accounts last August, was one of more than 60 transfers (totaling more than $380,000) that the Russian foreign ministry made to its embassies around the world, including those in Nigeria and Afghanistan, most of which came with a memo line about financing the 2016 election.

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, now a candidate for Illinois Attorney General, notes: "Foreign contributions in connection with US federal elections are against the law".

At the end of September, the Federal Bureau of Investigation learned about the wire transfers and is now looking into how the money was used. These payments had one odd commonality, they all had a memo which read, "To finance election campaign of 2016".

Additionally, it's not known exactly which election the money was earmarked to support, as BuzzFeed notes that "seven nations had federal elections during the span when the funds were sent - including the Duma, Russia's lower house of Parliament, on September 18, 2016".

There are now multiple investigations into the Russian's election interference, including a Justice Department special counsel, which late last month announced its first charges and a guilty plea from a former Trump campaign aide who lied to FBI agents.

President Trump has repeatedly denied collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation, alternately calling the special counsel's probe "a hoax" cooked up by Democrats, "a witch hunt" and "fake news".



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