A Soviet-born U.K. and U.S. businessman, Leonard Blavatnik, who was Britain’s richest man at a time, substantially funds a wide array of U.S. federal politicians that are vocal against the threat of Russia.
Blavatnik, along with his family members and his private company Access Industries, have donated almost $3.6 million to candidate committees in recent years—as well as millions more to party PACs and Super PACs—and those candidates also happen to be very outspoken about the Russia investigation, some actively introducing or supporting bills to specifically sanction Russia.
This includes Democratic senators like Charles Schumer (Dem.-NY) and Republicans like Lindsey Graham (Rep.-SC), ex-senators Al Franken (Dem.-MN) and Evan Bayh (Rep.-IN), and presidential candidates like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney.
Barack Obama and Joseph Biden’s campaign committee was the largest recipient of over $276,000. While president, Obama first instituted sanctions on Russia over the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Charles Schumer (Dem.-NY)—who has been at the forefront of pushing for investigations into Russian collusion, election interference, as well as support for sanctions—was the second largest recipient of Blavatnik-Access Industries contributions with $122,000 in total.
No donations were given to President Trump’s campaign committee, but they were given to Trump’s inauguration committee.
Donations more often went to Democrats, but they also went to a select number of Republicans uniquely vocal on the potential Russian threat: Marco Rubio (Rep.-FL), Lindsey Graham (Rep.-SC), John McCain (Rep.-AZ), and John Kasich, the ex-Governor of Ohio.
While Blavatnik was born in Ukraine during a period of Soviet control and previously owned a major stake in the Russian oil company TNX-BP according to Forbes, he is listed as solely a U.K. and U.S. citizen.
A recent New York Times story noted that Blavatnik is a major investor in the Russian aluminum conglomerate, Rusal.
Rusal was one of many Russian companies and individuals that were sanctioned related to their involvement in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict by both the Obama and Trump administrations, but Rusal was recently spared the sanctions after a decision by the Treasury Department.
Senate Democrats wrote to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin expressing concern of a conflict of interest in the decision to lift sanctions since Blavatnik was an investor in the film production studio previously owned by Mnuchin. No sanctions have been made against Blavatnik.
One candidate funded by Blavatnik but appears to be silent on the topic of the Russia investigation or Russian sanctions is Rudolph Giuliani.
Blavatnik and family members gave Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign $32,200, but public statements against the country or support for the Russian collusion investigation are hard to come by.
Rather than supporting the collusion investigation, Giuliani has defended the president from accusations of Russian collusion as a lawyer for Trump and he previously worked with companies in Russia and Armenia, which has close ties with Russia, as an advisor and private attorney.
|OBAMA, BARACK / JOSEPH R. BIDEN||$276,400|
|SCHUMER, CHARLES E||$122,000|
|GRAHAM, LINDSEY O||$83,700|
|BIDEN, JOSEPH R JR||$78,800|
|BENNET, MICHAEL F||$63,100|
|GILMAN, BENJAMIN A||$46,255|
|BROWN, SCOTT P||$41,200|
|BOOKER, CORY A||$40,400|
|HINCHEY, MAURICE D.||$35,750|
|GIULIANI, RUDOLPH W.||$32,200|
|TILLIS, THOM R||$31,200|
|ALTSCHULER, RANDOLPH MR.||$29,400|
|ISRAEL, STEVE J.||$28,500|
|WYDEN, RONALD L||$27,800|
|BOEHNER, JOHN A.||$20,000|
|ROMNEY, MITT / PAUL D. RYAN||$20,000|
|CLINTON, HILLARY RODHAM / TIMOTHY MICHAEL KAINE||$19,250|
|KASICH, JOHN R||$18,900|
|UDALL, MARK E||$18,800|
|MCCAIN, JOHN S||$18,800|
|FORD, HAROLD E JR||$18,400|
|LAUTENBERG, FRANK R||$18,400|
|DESANTIS, RONALD D.||$16,200|
|SCOTT, TIMOTHY E||$16,200|
|GRIFFIN, WILLIAM TAYLOR||$16,200|
|HARRIS, KAMALA D||$16,200|
|ISTOOK, ERNEST J||$15,850|
|MALONEY, CAROLYN B.||$15,800|
|LANDRIEU, MARY L||$15,600|
|THUNE, JOHN R||$15,500|
|LEVIN, SANDER M||$15,000|
|BUSH, GEORGE W||$12,000|
|TOOMEY, PATRICK JOSEPH||$10,800|
|LIEBERMAN, JOSEPH I||$10,000|
|KERRY, JOHN F||$10,000|
|MANCHIN III, JOE||$10,000|
|CAMP, DAVID LEE||$10,000|
|HODES, PAUL W||$9,600|
|BUCK, KENNETH R||$9,600|
|KIRK, MARK STEVEN||$9,600|
|ALLEN, THOMAS H||$9,200|
|PRYOR, MARK LUNSFORD||$9,200|
|SCHNEIDER, BRADLEY SCOTT||$8,100|
|BURR, RICHARD M||$8,100|
|STEFANIK, ELISE M.||$7,800|
|GRIMES, ALISON LUNDERGAN||$7,600|
|GILLIBRAND, KIRSTEN ELIZABETH||$7,200|
|KELLY, SUE N||$6,000|
|CARPER, THOMAS R||$6,000|
|VAN HOLLEN, CHRIS||$5,400|
|FASO, JOHN J. MR.||$5,400|
|LAND, TERRI LYNN||$5,200|
|ROYCE, ED MR.||$5,000|
|ROS-LEHTINEN, ILEANA THE HON.||$5,000|
|LUGAR, RICHARD G||$4,800|
|ZELDIN, LEE M||$4,800|
|BERMAN, HOWARD L.||$4,800|
|DODD, CHRISTOPHER J||$4,600|
|ROCKEFELLER, JOHN DAVISON IV||$4,600|
|D'AMATO, ALFONSE M||$4,000|
|SAUJANI, RESHMA M||$4,000|
|WEINER, ANTHONY D MR||$4,000|
|ADLER, DANIEL H||$4,000|
|MAJETTE, DENISE L||$3,000|
|NELSON, E BENJAMIN||$3,000|
|MARKEY, EDWARD JOHN MR||$2,600|
|WARNER, MARK ROBERT||$2,500|
|BROWN, MATTHEW A||$2,500|
|WELDON, CURTIS W.||$2,000|
|CLELAND, JOSEPH MAXWELL||$2,000|
|DASCHLE, THOMAS A||$2,000|
|CAMPBELL, BEN NIGHTHORSE||$2,000|
|EMANUEL, RAHM ISRAEL||$2,000|
|ROSENTHAL, PHILIP JEFFREY DR.||$2,000|
|LAROUCHE, LYNDON H JR||$1,825|
|LAZIO, RICK A||$1,000|
|CARNAHAN, JEAN A||$1,000|
|BEREUTER, DOUGLAS K||$1,000|
|STRICKLAND, THOMAS LEE||$1,000|
|COX, CHRISTOPHER HON.||$500|
|WICKER, ROGER F.||$500|
|SANDERS, ALEXANDER M JR||$500|
|BROWNBACK, SAMUEL DALE||$500|
|PORTER, JON C SR||$237|
|RENZI, RICHARD G.||$237|