If you read nothing else today, be sure to catch Dana Milbank’s McConnell’s new posture toward Moscow. Here is just a bit:
After the Trump administration last year exempted Deripaska-related enterprises from sanctions, a bipartisan rebellion attempted to reinstate the sanctions (House Republicans joined Democrats in a 362-to-53 vote), but McConnell led a successful effort in the Senate to thwart the rebellion, which he called a “political stunt.” (In exchange for sanctions relief, Deripaska agreed to reduce his ownership in Rusal’s parent company, but Deripaska could retain de facto control .)
Three months later, the Russian aluminum giant announced its $200 million investment in Kentucky. McConnell declared in May that his vote to exempt Deripaska enterprises from sanctions was “completely unrelated.”
It was also unrelated, no doubt, to the fact that Len Blavatnik, a Ukrainian American whose SUAL Partners owns 22.5 percent of Rusal, contributed $3.5 million to the McConnell-affiliated Senate Leadership Fund between 2015 and 2017, making McConnell his top recipient. Blavatnik — whose partner in the Rusal investment, Putin-allied oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, has been hit by U.S. sanctions — gave millions more to other Republicans and to Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Another Rusal owner, Russian state-owned VTB Bank, is also under U.S. sanctions.)
There’s a lot more. Damning stuff. Back when Mitch first killed the attempt to reinstate Russian sanctions people assumes he was just trying to please Trump, but now it seems Mitch is in on the oligarch action up to his mandible.
This may have some traction.