FBI Investigating Russian Payments Intended "To Finance 2016 Election"

Tyler Durden's picture

A day after the Atlantic revealed that Donald Trump Jr. exchanged direct messages with somebody (possibly Julian Assange) running Wikileaks’ Twitter account, Buzzfeed has published another ostensibly tantalizing piece of news that, like yesterday’s Trump Jr. non-story, fails to deliver on its headline’s lofty promise.

According to Buzzfeed, on Aug. 3 of last year, just as the US presidential election was entering its final months, the Russian foreign ministry sent nearly $30,000 to its embassy in Washington. The wire transfer, which came from a Kremlin-backed Russian bank, landed in one of the embassy’s Citibank accounts and contained the memo line: “To finance election campaign of 2016.”

As it turns out, that transfer was one of 60 sent to Russian embassies around the world. The transactions, which moved through Citibank accounts and totaled more than $380,000, each came from the Russian foreign ministry. And at least one of the transactions that made its way into the US originated with Kremlin-owned VTB Bank, which has been under US sanctions since 2014.

After discovering the $30,000 transfer to the embassy in Washington, Citibank launched a review of other transfers by the Russian foreign ministry. It unearthed dozens of other transactions with similar memo lines. Compliance officers in Citibank’s Global Intelligence Unit flagged them as suspicious, noting that it was unable to determine the financial, business, or legal purpose of the transactions. It soon unearthed dozens of other similar transactions.

All financial institutions are required to tell FinCEN about any transactions they deem suspicious. However, such “suspicious activity reports” do not necessarily prove or even indicate wrongdoing. Federal law also requires financial institutions to file reports on any cash transactions of more than $10,000 in a single day, even if those transactions are legitimate. Banks must also file the reports whenever they suspect money laundering or other financial crimes.

Records of the transactions were turned over to Congressional investigators by Citibank, part of materials including more than 650 suspicious transactions between November 2013 and March 2017 totaling about $2.9 million. That money was sent to four Russian accounts operating in the US: the embassy; the Office of Defense, Military, Air and Naval Attaches; and Russian cultural centers in Washington and New York City.

The FBI was first made aware of the suspicious transactions at the end of September.  One FBI special agent told Buzzfeed that even if there is a logical explanation for the suspicious wire transactions, the FBI still has to investigate what the money was used for.

“We had an election and the intelligence community concluded Russia interfered in it,” said the FBI agent.


“How could we not investigate a suspicious financial transaction that contained a memo that said, ‘finance election campaign 2016?’ Given the climate and what was in that memo line it would be very irresponsible for us not to investigate. It’s a good lead.”

Thanks for clearing that up...

Two FBI sources said that FBI legal attaches in other countries are now investigating whether the money may have been used for the US presidential election and, if so, how.

However, there’s no conclusive evidence that this money was used to run interference in the US election.

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b-sugar's picture

did they piss on the money before, buzzfeed?

ne-tiger's picture

 Fuck off! US should investigate how CIA interferred with every other country's election and politics.

Lumberjack's picture

Time to end this shit. If illegals can vote....

WTFRLY's picture

Can they investigate the Joo payments after that? The Russian one should be pretty short.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Oh the fucking irony...

If they investigated the transactions of Soros, Israel, and other traitorous jews with such tenacity, Trump wouldn't have been elected because the people wouldn't be so close to revolution.

07564111's picture

contained the memo line: “To finance election campaign of 2016.”

Russian Legislative Election, 2016


Fucking Pindotards are dumb as shit.

Manthong's picture




It’s obvious that the FBI knows so much about how the system is F’ckd and they can fix it……

F the FBI and all of the white horses they are riding in on.



MagicHandPuppet's picture

Dear Swampy Sessions,

I'm sick of all of this waiting around. Either drop the o'bambam kids off at the pool, or get off the toilet already.


Chupacabra-322's picture

You all are aware this entire Russia Narrative is nothing more than a badly scripted propaganda Psychological Operation right?

Seems as though everyone & their mothers are aware of this irrefutable FACT except the Pure Evil Criminal Deep State Intelligence Agencies themselves which Scripted it.

Amateur night. It truly is.

BennyBoy's picture


Was it the final payment to Hilary for Uranium One?

Clearcutt's picture

Maintenance. All that live embalming is expensive. 

MozartIII's picture

The moment Buzzfeed is mentioned. Automatic pile of crap!


Can we get anymore Russian propaganda, !0 articles a day, is just not doing it!!

land_of_the_few's picture

As you imply, the payments were on Aug 3 2016, and the RU elections were on 18 Sep 2016. Timng seems spot-on, about when a normal efficient office person would do it, to make sure it would go through between wildly different banks in different countries and still make it on time to be useful.

Something to do with them needing to get voting organised for RU citizens abroad, costs money, apparently...

Darned cunning of the Russians to say exactly what the cash was for, instead of "office supplies", "consultants", "massive amounts of coffee and Danish pastries" or "epic amounts of dry-cleaning" :D

And of course no other country apart from the USA has elections, and the maps shows "Here Be Dragons" once you get offshore from the Eastern Seaboard :P

AllBentOutOfShape's picture

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this latest hysteria.

runswithscissors's picture

Can the FBI investigate Saudi payments to finance the 2016 election also?

BigJim's picture

No, that was only 20% of Hillary's $1B warchest, some $250M.

Nothing to see here, move along...

WTFRLY's picture

Israel influence does not matter. Noted.

GUS100CORRINA's picture

FBI Investigating Russian Payments Intended "To Finance 2016 Election"

My response: Why has it taken so long to begin this process???

Washington DC is CORRUPT to the CORE!!!! The injustice in America is maddening!!!!


Clinton Crime Syndicate Operatives and Obama's merry band of despots have the hands all over these transactions.

Ajax-1's picture

You are absolutely correct. If illegal aliens can vote in the USA, then I believe it is perfectly acceptable for any foreign government to effect an election in the USA. There is no difference. Democrat's are so disingenuous. 

khnum's picture

Kaspersky Labs in Langley Virginia did it

Golden Phoenix's picture

Took me a sec - those are the best kind.

ParticularlyStupidHumanoid's picture

I purchased a license for Kaspersky. They've made invaluable contributions in the area of catching malware. If they were to go bankrupt it would be a bad day for Internet safety.

z530's picture

Their speciality is detecting and preventing financial-based malware, the best of which comes from Russia and Brazil. Their AV engine is very good at detecting certain variants of malware.

any_mouse's picture

I believe that khnum was displaying sarcasm towards an organization in Langley that has been executing operations on the American people since 1947.

That's the way I read khnum's post.

Nothing in Langley is at all what they say it is. Wonderland. They could very well be the source of "Russian influence".

karenm's picture

The deep state still blaming the Russians in their propaganda, like this piece. And here on ZH where supposedly the smart people are, the fools buy ot hook, line, and sinker. 

11b40's picture

What?  People here are falling for the deep state disinfo?  Are you dense?  This crap has been debunked here from the beginning.

lester1's picture

The one thing I'm seriously pissed off at Trump about is not doing Mass firings of these corrupt Obama appointees at the FBI and DoJ. These people are seriously corrupt and are trying to fuck him. They also are covering up that Las Vegas shooting which was done by ISIS/ antifa inspired liberal. 

khnum's picture

Its all theatre are you not entertained by this Kabuki performance?

Golden Phoenix's picture

Fuck off with the Russian bullshit already. Doesn't matter if it's Trump or Hillary, no one gives a shit. In fact, fuck off a long time ago. 

JRobby's picture

They sit around beating off and raping all day, then when the cameras come on, right on cue like somone pulled the cord that sticks out of their backs "Russian interference, collusion, Russian interference" then the camera goes off and they go back to beating off.

So yea, kabuki

chunga's picture

They wouldn't bother with a check from the Clinton Foundation to the DNC with the memo "fund murder of seth rich" because lack of public interest, or something.

This shit isn't funny anymore.

karenm's picture

I wonder when Zh readers will figure it out, that ZH is actually just another media outlet spewing bull shit, but with a slightly different flavor. 

Doom and Dust's picture

ZHs not a media outlet its a community based around a financial blog.

No one cares what Tylers think and neither do Tylers. If you dont know that u are a moron undeserving of presence here.

Go find an outlet that caters to your bourgeois afflictions. Or die I dont care. bye now.

11b40's picture

What do you expect from a 27 week genius who has arrived to enlighten all of us.

Librarian's picture

My god! Putin's just trolling us now.


rkoen's picture

Sad Mueller....again.

lester1's picture

I seriously don't believe anything coming out of that corrupt FBI. There's an army of Obama appointees still there who are extremely corrupt and dishonest. I bet they are trying to manufacture something on Trump and his people. It's like we live in the Soviet Union in 1927 when Joseph Stalin would just make up bulshit crimes against his political enemies.

any_mouse's picture

Is Russia a make work project for the FBI?

Forbid that the FBI investigates any criminality by domestic enemies.

Arnold's picture

They are doing a splendid job, keeping us informed about the recently departed Stephen Paddock.


Bopper09's picture

This 'Russia' 'Russia' 'Russia' shit is nauseating.  End the FBI and CIA.

Chupacabra-322's picture

National Security Elimination Act of 2017.

Ajax-1's picture

Have you ever noticed that whenever Congress drafts an Act of legislation, it is often the opposite of it's namesake. The misleading title is far from what their names suggest.

For example:

"The Bank Secrecy Act" should actually be called "The Bank Blabbermouth Act", which allows financial institutions to inform on their customers.

"The Patriot Act" should be called "The Un-patriotic Act", which diminishes your 4th Ammendment protections.

"The Right to Work Act" should be called "The Right to Work... for poverty wages until your boss hires an illegal alien to work for less... Act"

JoseyWalesTheOutlaw's picture

CitiBank=Ali-Bin-Staying-At-Ritz-Carlton-4Now.........The Prince better party like it's 1999

ParticularlyStupidHumanoid's picture

Obvious question: How can we be certain the CIA does not manipulate US elections, since they are so much like the Russians?

rfoland's picture

Don’t they use the “paper of record” for that?

roadhazard's picture

Those ruskies sure are smart.

jmack's picture

what a joke