Federal Bureau of Investigation scrutinizing Russian embassy payments 'to finance election campaign of 2016'

BuzzFeed Presents The Buzzies

Federal Bureau of Investigation scrutinizing Russian embassy payments 'to finance election campaign of 2016'

According to Buzzfeed News, the FBI is investigating a $30,000 wire transfer from the Russian foreign ministry to the Russian embassy in Washington with a mighty curious memo line: "to finance election campaign of 2016".

There's a new twist in the investigation over Russia's role in the 2016 USA presidential election, with BuzzFeed reporting on the FBI's scrutiny of Russian wire transfers tagged "2016 election".

BuzzFeed cited a specific payment of $30,000 which the Russian foreign ministry sent to its embassy in Washington, D.C. An overwhelming majority of the wire transfers included the eyebrow-raising memo line. Still, others pointed out that there were other elections taking place in 2016 - including in Duma, Russia - and that the line isn't necessarily in reference to the US presidential election. After noticing the memo line pattern, Citibank flagged the transactions and the Federal Bureau of Investigation began looking into the matter this September.

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Citibank spokesperson Jennifer Lowney said the financial institution is "diligent" in reporting suspicious transfers but that "given the confidential nature of these reports, we do not comment on or confirm any particular report or transaction".

Off the bat, the transactions are suspicious, considering the fact that the US intelligence community concluded in January that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election in order to get President Trump elected.

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What is clear is that the money from the wire transfers made its way to Russian embassies in nearly 60 countries between August and September 2016, the months leading up to the US presidential election.

Additionally, it's not known exactly which election the money was earmarked to support, as BuzzFeed notes that "seven nations had federal elections during the span when the funds were sent - including the Duma, Russia's lower house of Parliament, on September 18, 2016". "It's a good lead".

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