An investigation has been ongoing into Republican Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham’s connections to Russia by a number of transparency groups, including money he has used in his political campaigns that would amount to possible felony campaign finance violations.
The Democratic Coalition, one such group led by activist Scott Dworkin, has been elaborating on analysis done in the Dallas Morning News that detailed $800,000 that Graham’s political action committee took from Len Blavatnik, a dual citizen of the US and UK who emigrated from the USSR in the 1970s with his family and returned to Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The report out from the Dem Coalition cites Blavatnik at the outset, and the millions he made from the sale of a private Russian oil company to the state-owned Rosneft. In fact, the Dworkin Report cites many of the key players whose names keep surfacing as the Congressional probes continue: Blavatnik, Viktor Vekselberg, Oleg Deripaska, and the many businesses and shell companies those people have maintained — and contributed to GOP candidates from.
But the Coalition report also contained information about a Chinese doctor of virology named Dr. Jian-Yun Dong, who was convicted of illegally arranging for millions of dollars in donations to Lindsey Graham’s political campaigns. This activity came after Graham personally helped Dong obtain nearly $20 million in Congressional earmarks from the United States Military and the National Institutes of Health.
Dworkin’s report also details a striking number of campaign contributions from varying sources that were returned to their donors for being more than the amount legally allowed by the FEC.
The work that the Democratic Coalition does is in the interest of transparency and the group receives no funding from any political party.
Now that Democrats have recaptured control of the House and begun even more investigations in earnest, perhaps the findings of Dworkin and his crew can be acted on in ways that non-governmental efforts can’t.
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