Russian oligarch offers to cooperate with US investigations into election meddling by Moscow
Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska on Monday said he was ready to cooperate with US congressional probes into election meddling by Moscow without immunity, insisting he has evidence against claims of Kremlin interference.
The New York Times cited congressional sources on Friday saying that aluminium magnate Deripaska had requested immunity to cooperate with committees investigating alleged Russian involvement in the US elections.
But Deripaska slammed any claims he had proof on Russian meddling and was willing to provide it in return for a free legal pass as “absolutely untrue”.
“The only thing true in the article is the fact that I want to ‘help’ the democratically elected committee of the US congress, acting in the name of the American people, to find the truth,” Deripaska said in a statement through his holding Basic Element.
Deripaska insisted he has “evidence” against claims Russia interfered and said halting “the spread of slander and other attacks” against him was a condition for his cooperation.
Lawmakers are reportedly keen to talk to Deripaska about his links to President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, as the FBI probes possible collusion between Trump’s camp and Moscow.
Manafort and Kremlin-connected Deripaska did business together in the mid-2000s, The New York Times reported, but their relationship broke down into legal wrangling.
Russia has consistently denied claims it had launched a hacking and influence campaign to swing last year’s US election in Trump’s favour.
Trump has said that any claims of collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin is “fake news.”