A top anti-corruption official in Russia has been arrested for…corruption. The Moscow Times reports that Russian deputy head of Ministry of Internal Affairs Committee for Economic Security and Combating Corruption Dmitry Zakharchenko was arrested this weekend after a search on his property yielded $123 million in cash. He is also being accused of accepting bribes, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power.
Meanwhile, in America, in an election year, the name of one Presidential nominee continues to be associated with the country of Russia. Donald Trump has said that he has never had any ties with Russia, financial or otherwise.
Just this week, former CIA agent and former Republican, now Independent Presidential candidate Evin McMullin told CNN on Friday that his “old CIA friends” are saying that one of the reasons Donald Trump has a bro-mance with Putin is because Vladimir Putin is blackmailing Donald Trump reports the Santa Monica Observer.
When pressed for proof on the matter, McMullin referred to Donald Trump’s appointees saying, “The proof is in the pudding.”
Whether Donald Trump, or any member of his camp, has any direct or indirect associations with Dmitry Zakharchenko remains to be seen.
But it was an anti-corruption official in Russia who was arrested on corruption charges just this week, reports the Moscow Times. A search was conducted on his home and yielded $123 million in cash. In addition to money charges, Zakharchenko was immediately arrested on charges of bribes, two Article 285 charges of abuse of power, and one 294 Article charge of obstruction of justice reports News Russia.
News Russia reports that Zakharchenko is being accused of accepting a bribe of $7 million. He appeared in the Presnensky Court of Moscow last week wearing a gray shirt and jeans, reports News Russia.
The prosecutor accused Zakharchenko of taking bribes from commercial organizations and said that he also “hampered the search” for the cash in his home. There was reportedly so much cash, investigators needed to find bigger boxes for all of it.
— Hans Solo (@thandojo) September 12, 2016
The prosecutor said that a search warrant was issued on Zakharchenko’s home that yielded over $120 million USD, and 2 million euros. Zakharchenko denies all charges and is “ready to prove his innocence.” He also requested a house arrest until trial in lieu of jail time, offering his home as a collateral and security.
This request was denied. Zakharchenko is being held in Russian jail until his next court appearance on November 8.
It’s not the only anti-corruption probe happening in Russia right now. The Moscow Times reports in a second report that one of Russia’s top banks, NOTA Bank lost its license in November 2015 for multiple violations. Vimpel, a telecommunications provider in Russia, has also lost employees due to resignation or firing after being named “person of interest” in an anti-corruption probe in Russia reports the Moscow Times.
This is happening in an election year for America, where for the first time in history, a Presidential nominee is being connected to or hinted at corrupt connections to Russian financial dealings on an almost daily basis. Multiple parties have done so.
Donald Trump has insisted that he has no dealings with Russia. Watch this clip where Donald Trump fumbles when asked about Russia and the Ukraine.
CNN Money refutes his claims, saying there was that one time Donald Trump sold a house to a Russian oligarch for $95 million. The home was a Palm Beach mansion sold to a Dmitry Rybolovlev, a man who Forbes describes as #No. 148 on the list of world’s richest billionaires. CNN described the Trump exchange as Trump “getting richer from Russian money.”
Dmitry Rybolovlev, dueño del Mónaco, le compró en 95 millones de dólares está mansión a Donald Trump. Su "lujito": pic.twitter.com/8dSUopXgoN
— Fut De Estufa (@FutDEstufa) May 24, 2013
But this doesn’t tie Trump to Vladimir Putin or corrupt Russian money. At least, not in the way that multiple other sources have. The most recent source that has connected Donald Trump to corrupt Russian financial dealings is Evan McMullin, who as a matter of fact, is an Independent Presidential candidate.
The Santa Monica Observer reports that former CIA agent Evan McMullin appeared on CNN on Friday, saying that Vladimir Putin has been blackmailing Donald Trump and that America should be worried. He says that he has obtained this information from friends in the intelligence world. The Hill reports that Evan McMullin heard it from “old intelligence friends.”
“You know I hear from my old intelligence friends that Donald Trump has been engaged in some activities in Russia that Vladimir Putin may be using to blackmail Trump.”
The Santa Monica Observer says that McMullin also referred to Putin as a “primary source of instability in the world” and that having a Presidential nominee “so in bed” with Putin was a bad thing for the country. When pressed for proof of his claims, The Hill reports that McMullin referred to Trump appointees, saying the following.
“There’s a lot going on there that I don’t think has come to light fully. The proof is in the pudding as they say.”
Paul Manafort was one Trump appointee who has been alleged to be connected to Ukrainian money. McMullin also told CNN that retired General Michael Flynn is employed by RT America as a financial analyst.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Donald Trump landed in some hot water in the public last week after an interview with Larry King landed him on Russian television network known as RT. The Trump camp protested this move, saying they did not know they were going to end up on RT, and that Larry King tricked them into this.
And now it comes to light that one of Donald Trump’s own appointees is an employee of RT. The Santa Monica Observer says that Donald Trump invited General Flynn to his intelligence briefing last week. McMullin says this.
“An American president should never have these kinds of warm views of a Russian authoritarian like Vladimir Putin.”
Watch more of Evan’s talk with CNN about Donald Trump, corruption, and Russia, right here.
Evan McMullin is not the only CIA operative to link Trump with Russia and Putin. Former CIA director Michael Morrell has been very vocal about his suspicions on this as well.
Just this past week, he and former undersecretary of defense for intelligence Mike Vickers posted an open letter to Donald Trump in the Washington Post.
“You cannot credibly serve as commander in chief if you embrace Russian President Vladimir Putin….You said that as long as Putin says nice things about you, you will say nice things about him. That is not a standard by which a president should make policy decisions….Demand that Putin stop his aggressive behavior overseas. Demand that he stop his dictatorial moves at home. Tell him that you will live up to our NATO commitments and defend the Baltics if need be. Tell him that you want to work with him on solving the problems in the world…that is what a true commander in chief would do.”
Do you think they are right?
[Photo by Mikhail Klimentyev Pool Sputnik Kremlin/AP Images]