Russian oil tycoon Oleg Deripaska tore into the FBI and ‘utter stupidity’ of the American government in a lengthy statement on Wednesday, a day after homes linked to him in New York and Washington were raided by the agency.
A spokesman for Deripaska said the searches stemmed from sanctions imposed on him in 2018 and that the homes belonged to his relatives.
But on Wednesday Deripaska indicated both pieces of luxury real estate were ‘abandoned.’
‘I cannot help but marvel at the utter stupidity of a part of the American establishment… as they persist in spinning this story about the supposedly colossal role of Russians in the 2016 US presidential election,’ Deripaska said.
‘It’s time to face the obvious: Trump didn’t win on his own, of course!’
But he said it was Washington, DC’s own fault for alienating Americans so they voted for an ‘operetta character’ like Trump.
‘He had help from those dumb asses in Washington who had so fed up with their electorate that they were ready to vote for anybody (even an operetta character, but not the bribe-ridden members of the Clinton clan),’ he said.
‘It is convenient to feed your electorate (brought up on Hollywood movies about horrible Russians) with all sorts of bulls**t for another 10 years.’
The Kremlin vowed to protect Deripaska’s interests ‘in every possible way.’
Images of FBI agents surrounding the Washington, DC residence connected to Deripaska, a close Putin ally who has been linked to Paul Manafort and Christopher Steele, were first reported by NBC late Monday morning.
A home in New York City’s wealthy West Village neighborhood linked to Deripaska was raided by FBI
The raids are reportedly connected to US sanctions against Deripaska, which were levied in 2018 (pictured: Law enforcement outside a Washington, DC mansion linked to the tycoon)
The action was court-ordered, an FBI spokesperson told multiple outlets.
Deripaska mocked investigators, apparently believing there was little relevant information to be found.
‘One has to ask: was a shitload of Putin’s money found yesterday in these abandoned houses?
‘Did they manage to snack on the sour jam from the pantries and a couple of bottles of vodka stolen in the best traditions of the Bolsheviks during the search?’
He added, ‘P.S. I’m fed up with the unfunny a**holes…’
The Kremlin said on Wednesday, ‘We have heard statements that these real estate assets are not a property of the entrepreneur
The oil magnate is believed to be in Austria, according to one Moscow source.
The law enforcement activity is connected to a federal investigation based in New York, a spokesperson told CNN.
Deripaska (left) is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has been accused of aiding the Kremlin in foreign influence operations
It’s not clear whether that would be the Southern District of New York, known for prosecuting some of the most high-profile cases in the country including an ongoing federal probe into Rudy Giuliani’s ties to Ukraine and an investigation into Donald Trump’s business affairs.
A spokesman for the Southern District of New York declined to comment.
In his Wednesday statement, the powerful Putin ally went on an impassioned rant against the US for a number of domestic and foreign policy issues.
‘The US debt is already nearly $30 trillion,’ he said. ‘China (by force or semi-voluntarily) will reunite with Taiwan, making the Pacific Ocean a Chinese inland body of water.’
‘Nuclear technology in peaceful energy is long lost in the US, which means they will continue to burn coal and gas, littering the environment.
‘Europe, too, no longer wants to freeze because of NATO fears that the Russians are coming.
He went on: ‘And we Russians now want a common economic space from Lisbon to Vladivostok with a prosperous population and pristine nature. But no.
‘To please the obscurantists from the US military-industrial sphere and a couple of nutty analysts (through whose fault the US debt has reached astronomical proportions), the show of absurdity goes on.’
FBI agents outside of Deripaska’s Washington, DC home on Monday morning
The FBI has not given a reason for the activity but told multiple outlets that it was court-ordered. Deripaska’s spokesperson said it’s related to sanctions against him
Properties linked to Deripaska in New York include a sprawling $42.5 million mansion in Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood. That home was among a number of assets that were frozen by the sanctions.
The New York property being raided on Monday is reportedly in Manhattan’s West Village.
Deripaska is a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin who’s been accused of helping the Kremlin conduct foreign influence operations.
A 1,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee report released last year also links him to former Trump 2016 campaign chair Paul Manafort and ex-MI6 spy Christopher Steele.
Deripaska and other members of Putin’s inner circle as well as 12 Russian businesses connected to them were blacklisted by the Treasury Department in 2018 over alleged international crimes
The next year however, Donald Trump lifted sanctions on three companies connected to him despite objections from Congressional Democrats.
A spokesperson for Deripaska told a Russian outlet that homes of his relatives in Washington and New York are being raided
A source told DailyMail.com that Deripaska hasn’t been back to the US since at least 2017 and had no intention of returning
George Conway, husband of former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, was seen snapping pictures of the law enforcement activity outside of Deripaska’s DC home
The FBI removes a vehicle from the home of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska in Washington
FBI agents were also pictured taking a stack of cardboard boxes into the luxurious mansion
At the time Trump’s Treasury Department claimed those companies ‘have reduced Oleg Deripaska’s direct and indirect shareholding stake in those companies and severed his control.’
The billionaire’s DC mansion, called the Haft Mansion, is reportedly worth $15 million, according to the Daily Beast.
That house is next door to the home of former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway and her husband George Conway. George Conway was seen snapping pictures of Deripaska’s home while law enforcement were at the residence.
He told Politico there that he’s never seen Deripaska at home.
In August 2020 the bipartisan Senate report detailed allegations that Manafort collaborated with Deripaska during the 2016 presidential election amid Russia’s efforts to interfere in the race.
It claims Manafort worked with Deripaska to funnel internal Trump campaign information to the Russian intelligence community.
It’s one of multiple properties that the Russian tycoon owns throughout Manhattan
FBI agents were seen removing multiple boxes from the West Village home linked to Deripaska on Monday
FBI agents remove items during the US law enforcement’s raid on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s property in Manhattan
Boxes of relevant material could be seen piled high in a law enforcement van as agents continuously worked to fill it
Filed marked ‘evidence’ can be seen poking out from one of the boxes removed from the Manhattan home
‘This is what collusion looks like,’ lawmakers wrote of Manafort’s ties to Russian actors.
The report said Deripaska ‘conducts influence operations, frequently in countries where he has a significant economic interest.’
‘The Russian government coordinates with and directs Deripaska on many of his influence operations,’ lawmakers alleged.
Documents also revealed that Deripaska gave Manafort a $10 million loan in 2005 to allegedly help sway US news coverage to portray Putin more favorably.
The same report links Deripaska to former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, who infamously authored the Trump dossier.
The nearly 1,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee report released in August 2020 links Deripaska to onetime Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort
Trump’s Treasury Department levied sanctions against Deripaska in 2018 and accused him of being tied to organized crime (pictured: Trump getting in an SUV in Manhattan on Monday)
Lawmakers claimed that Deripaska ‘had early knowledge of Steele’s work’ only months before he started putting together the Dossier, which was commissioned as opposition research by Democrats including Hillary Clinton.
In 2016 Steele had dismissed claims that Deripaska was a ‘tool’ of the Russian government.
But investigators ‘found ample evidence to dispute Steele’s assessment,’ the report stated.
Deripaska was among a group of two dozen Russian oligarchs and officials sanctioned by Trump’s Treasury in April 2018.
They were put in place to punish Russia for ‘malign activity around the globe.’ A statement announcing the economic penalties named a number of specific instances of Russian aggression, including its actions in Crimea and arming the Assad regime in Syria.
It also mentions Russia’s work to ‘subvert Western democracies’ but doesn’t detail any specific allegations about the US.
Deripaska’s multi-million dollar mansion is located in DC’s wealthy Massachusetts Avenue Heights neighborhood
The Treasury accused Deripaska himself of ordering the murder of another businessman and ‘threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally wiretapping a government official, and taking part in extortion and racketeering.’
It also claimed he had ties to organized crime.
When the Trump administration lifted sanctions against companies tied to him they left those against him specifically in place.
He sued to have those lifted in 2019 but in June of this year a judge threw out his lawsuit.
Reports from 2018 indicate that Deripaska was denied a visa to the US multiple times.
But recently, NBC reports, the Kremlin gave him diplomatic status to allow him to enter the US with immunity.
DailyMail.com has reached out to one of Deripaska’s US-based attorneys for comment.
It appears the tycoon’s web of high-power connections extends to the United Kingdom, by way of a former government official in ex-Prime Minister David Cameron’s government.
George Osborne served as UK Chancellor and First Secretary of State under Cameron. Since leaving government he’s made a living as an investment banker.
A corporate advisory firm he joined in April was recruited to help Anglo-Russian metals company EN+ and its subsidiary Rusal negotiate with the world’s largest producer of nickel, the Financial Times reported.
EN+ and Rusal were two of the companies sanctioned and later un-sanctioned by Trump’s Treasury, having been controlled by Deripaska when the measures came down.