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Trump Just Quietly Lifted Sanctions On Russia Oligarch Tied To Manafort

Donald Trump on Sunday officially lifted sanctions against Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska on Sunday afternoon, who is a person of interest in the FBI Russia investigation. The move prompted several reporters to wonder if it’s because Trump is hoping the news will slip through the cracks of the news cycle.

The news was quietly released on the website.

“Ukraine-/Russia-related Designations Removals,” reads the headline on the Treasury Department’s sanctions site.

“The timing of this (Sunday evening) is not a coincidence,” said behavioral scientist and ArcDigi associate editor Caroline Orr. “This is a huge gift to Putin and his cronies, and the Trump administration is hoping this will slip through the cracks. Don’t let that happen.

It was thought that Trump might make the move back in December, but the government shutdown could have been a factor in the decision to hold back. Deripaska’s company engaged in a massive lobbying effort

“The companies are among the biggest in the aluminum industry, and questions about their fate had roiled global metals markets,” the New York Times reported. “And Mr. Deripaska’s stature in Russia made any decision seen to be in his favor tricky for the administration at a time when President Trump is under investigation by the special counsel in connection with Russian interference in the 2016 election.”

Trump has waged a war against foreign aluminum, saying that America should use companies based in the U.S.

Unfortunately for Trump, many news outlets have noticed. Democratic officials will likely sound the alarm on the decision as the news spreads.

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