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Russian Oligarch Paid Steele Hired By Hillary Clinton To Claim Trump Colluded With Russia

During an interview with The Hill, Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska said that he paid Christopher Steele for a research project. Steele was hired through an intermediary by the Clinton campaign to compile the infamous  “Steele Dossier” alleging Trump colluded with Russia in 2016.

Deripaska also confirmed that he had heard a year earlier from law enforcement sources - that the FBI reached out to him in September 2016 for an expedition to get dirt on the Trump campaign. Deripaska was sought because he had previously worked with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

“I told them straightforward, ‘Look, I am not a friend with him (Paul Manafort). Apparently not, because I started a court case (against him) six or nine months before,” Deripaska said to The Hill what he told FBI in September 2016.

The supposed relationship between the FBI and Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire with close ties to the Kremlin, may raise speculation about whether the Mueller team and the bureau at large suffer from a conflict of interest as it investigated Deripaska and his ties to Trump campaign.

Deripaska told The Hill that he spent over $20 million of his own money between 2009 and 2011 on an operation to free Levinson.Robert Levinson is a retired FBI agent captured in Iran back in 2007 during a CIA mission.

“I was approached, you know, by someone that he is under a lot of scrutiny now(McCabe),” Deripaska told the Hill. “He also said that it was important enough for all of them (FBI officials). And I kind of trusted them.”

The failure to disclose this information to Manafort, the courts, or the public reaffirms that the Office of Special Counsel’s (OSC) did not have a legitimate basis to investigate Manafort, and may prove that the OSC had no legitimate basis to investigate collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

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