One of the accusations in the fake Russia collusion probe was that Trump’s aid Paul Manafort was tight with Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska and that he was aiding him. As it turns out, the story is partially true and partially false.
Deripaska did receive help. But it wasn’t from Paul Manafort. Deripaska wanted a visa to get into the United States but had been turned down because of his close ties to the Kremlin. So, he turned to Christopher Steele and in turn, Steele asked for help from Bruce Ohr. A couple of months later, Deripaska got his visa but I cannot say if Steele and Ohr were the ones who swung the deal.
At the same time Christopher Steele was compiling a dossier accusing the Trump campaign of colluding with the Russian government, the former British spy was lobbying Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr on behalf of a Russian oligarch with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The connection between Steele and the oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, is laid out in emails the Justice Department recently provided Congress.
The emails show that Steele, a former British spy, advocated for Deripaska in negotiations over his visa status with the U.S. government. Deripaska, an aluminum magnate, had been blocked from traveling to the U.S. in 2006 because of suspected ties to Russian mobsters. Deripaska hired an American lawyer named Adam Waldman in 2009 to lobby the U.S. government to obtain a visa for the billionaire.
Manafort was believed to be aiding Deripaska because of previous business deals:
Deripaska’s business ties to the longtime Republican political operative have come under intense scrutiny from Democrats and the media, leading to some speculation that Manafort and Deripaska may have colluded during the 2016 presidential campaign.
How wrong that was.