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Mueller probing suspicious transactions made by Russian embassy around the election and inauguration

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Special counsel Robert Mueller and the FBI are investigating two suspicious financial transactions by the Russian embassy around the 2016 election and shortly after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Those transactions go along with other unusual financial activity involving the embassy — including a $29,000 wire transfer to “finance” the 2016 election, $325,000 in payments to the Russian Cultural Centre in Washington and $2.4 million paid to home-improvement companies controlled by a Russian immigrant, reported Buzzfeed News.

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American bank examiners flagged the two transactions that have now fallen under investigation into Russian election interference.

The first was a $120,000 payment to then-ambassador Sergey Kislyak that was twice as large as any he’d received in the previous two years, the website reported.

The check, which came 10 days after the 2016 election, was marked “payroll,” and Kislyak deposited the money into his Citibank account and then wired the money to his account in Russia in two $60,000 installments.

The second transaction came five days after President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017.

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A Citibank relationship manager blocked that attempt to withdraw $150,000 in cash because he feared it was meant for Russians the U.S. had just expelled as punishment for the election interference.

Embassy officials refused to provide the bank official with the names of the Russians the payments were intended for, and they would not say why they needed the cash in the U.S. if the employees had already gone back to their home country.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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