California Representative Jackie Speier — perhaps first known to you during the Kavanaugh hearings for her vocal opposition to placing a sexual predator on the nation’s highest court — has launched an investigation into yet another player in Trump’s inner circle: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Mnuchin has, whether purposely or inadvertently, cast himself as one of the biggest villains of Donald Trump’s cabinet, second only in cold, out-of-touch, heartless behavior to perhaps billionaire Betsy DeVos, who could hardly even be portrayed in a movie at this point because it would be hard to find an actress willing to risk their career being associated with her.
Speaking of movies, that was Mnuchin’s job just before joining Trump’s Legion of Doom. He even, ironically, produced one literally about the Treasury Department, which depicts its agents as the hapless pawns of a super accountant-slash-assassin who does the books for bad guys around the world like Betsy DeVos’ brother or, say, Russian oligarchs who need to keep their money hidden thoroughly.
Of course, that was before he was Treasury Secretary. He divested himself of his shares in RatPac-Dune Entertainment as part of his confirmation process. He sold them to someone whose name, if you’re an avid reader of DC Tribune, you already know: Leonid “Len” Blavatnik.
At this point, we’re almost tired of typing it, honestly. These names keep showing up so much in our articles about where Republicans get their money that it feels like I should just download some app to teach me basic Russian. But let’s recap, for the uninitiated: Blavatnik, a Ukrainian-born Russia supporter, gave millions of dollars to Republicans running for the House and Senate, including Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, and — getting the biggest amount of all — Mitch McConnell.
But the more important part here is that Blavatnik’s business partner is Oleg Deripaska. You know, the guy that Republicans just lifted the sanctions on. Yeah, the decision that was personally rushed through the process by Steven Mnuchin.
Now Jackie Speier wants to know why people are saying that Blavatnik got a better deal than what the administration had publicly advertised the sanctions-lifting as. Specifically, why the New York Times would report that, despite the fact that the Trump administration said Deripaska had to make serious concessions to get the sanctions lifted, he and his business partners could actually be financially benefiting from the move — that Mnuchin personally rushed through.
Steven Mnuchin should probably have stuck to the movies.
Featured image via screen capture
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