FBI Probing Russia Payments Labeled: ‘To Finance Election Campaign of 2016’

The Russian foreign ministry sent thousands of dollars to more than 60 of its embassies around the world with a note that the money was meant “to finance election campaign of 2016,” BuzzFeed News reported Tuesday. The FBI and other federal agencies investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election are now scrutinizing the wire transfers, including $30,000 sent to the Russian embassy in D.C. last August. It is unclear how the funds, which were moved through Citibank accounts between Aug. 3 and Sept. 20, 2016, ended up being used. At least one of the U.S. transactions were moved through the VTB Bank, which is majority-owned by the Russian government and has been subject to U.S. sanctions since 2014. Seven of the countries that received money had federal elections during the period the funds were sent. Russia's lower house of Parliament also had an election during that time and Russian embassies and diplomatic compounds housed polling stations for voters living abroad.