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REVEALED: Two top Trump officials were registered lobbyists for Russian-born businessman linked to Putin

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A new investigation from Vice News reveals that two senior Trump administration officials were once registered lobbyists for a Russian-born businessman who has deep ties to Putin-connected Russian oligarchs.

According to Vice, Makan Delrahim — the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division in the Department of Justice — and David Bernhardt — who is currently the No. 2 official at the Department of the Interior — were registered lobbyists for Access Industries, a holding company under the control of Soviet-born billionaire Leonard Blavatnik.

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Blavatnik, who is a naturalized dual U.S.-U.K. citizen, is connected to Russian oligarchs via Access Industries’ large stake in Russian aluminum company UC Rusal. Two other men who have large stakes in UC Rusal are Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg — Russian businessmen who were recently hit with sanctions by the United States Treasury Department.

What is particularly notable about Blavatnik, notes Vice, is that he once spread out campaign donations fairly evenly between Republicans and Democrats — before shifting heavily in favor of the GOP during the 2016 election cycle, when President Donald Trump was the party’s nominee.

What’s more, he’s continued to give to Republicans since Trump’s election.

“Although he didn’t donate directly to Trump’s campaign, after Trump won, Access Industries gave a further $1 million to the Presidential Inaugural Committee,” Vice News reports. “And according to The Wall Street Journal, Blavatnik gave $12,700 in April 2017 to a Republican National Committee fund that was used to help pay for the team of private attorneys representing Trump in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.”

Read the whole report here.

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2020 Election

GOP’s Collins demands delay in impeachment hearing after being overwhelmed with Dem’s massive case against Trump

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Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) has demanded that Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) postpone a scheduled House Judiciary Committee hearing slated for Monday after being blindsided by a massive report from the Democrats on the committee making the case for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

According to Newsmax, Collins -- who has become one of the president's main surrogates opposing ouster of the president -- fired back at the Democrats over their Saturday release of thousands of pages of documents to be considered from the House impeachment investigation.

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Trump revealed his impeachment strategy 21 years ago — when he defended Bill Clinton

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Trump brought along convicted war criminals to secretive Florida fundraiser: report

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According to a report from the Miami Herald, President Donald Trump was accompanied by two convicted war criminals he recently pardoned when we held a closed-door fundraiser in Florida on Saturday night.

The report states that Trump's appearance at Republican Party of Florida's annual Statesman’s Dinner, where he helped raise $3.5 million for the state party, was held in extreme secrecy with the "1,000 attendees were required to check their cell phones into individual locked cases before they entered the unmarked ballroom."

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