According to the publication, Federal Election Commission (FEC) data reveals the funding from the infamous GOP donor, who allegedly has “direct links to the Russian oligarchy” and supports Donald Trump, as well as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Most of Blavatnik’s donations to the GOP reportedly took place during the 2015-2016 election, per Law & Crime. Although Trump did not receive money from Blavatnik during his 2016 campaign, the billionaire reportedly made significant donations to the Republican National Committee’s legal fund. Some of this money allegedly went to Trump’s legal team amid Robert Mueller‘s Russia probe.
Since donating to Buttigieg, Law & Crime claims the Blavatnik family has “attempted to purchase influence” with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).
Writing for Dallas Morning News in 2017, Ruth May outlined Blavatnik’s connections to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and his allies.
“Blavatnik’s relationships with Russian oligarchs close to Putin, particularly Oleg Deripaska, should be worrisome for Trump and the six GOP leaders who took Blavatnik’s money during the 2016 presidential campaign.”
As of now, Buttigieg has reportedly received more than $5,000 from Blavatnik, which is close to the maximum amount legally allowed.
Bernie Sanders’ campaign turns up the heat on Pete Buttigieg, starting the hashtag #PetesBillionaires. This follows Sanders himself criticizing Buttigieg over his billionaire donors at an event today in New Hampshire. pic.twitter.com/R3FgiuJa4D— Holly Otterbein (@hollyotterbein) February 7, 2020
Per Business Insider, Buttigieg’s campaign has received donations from more than 40 billionaires and their spouses. Speaking to the publication, a representative from the former South Bend mayor’s campaign claimed that the candidate believes in the necessity of campaign finance reforms, but thinks he can only achieve them with the “necessary resources” to beat Trump.
In the face of attacks on the debate stage, Buttigieg noted that he was the only person that isn’t a millionaire or billionaire at the debate. According to Elena Botella, writing for Forbes, this claim is misleading because — for his age — Buttigieg’s six-figure salary is in “practical terms” aligned with the level of wealth of a millionaire in their 60s.
Buttigieg’s big-money ties have drawn scrutiny on many occasions. When previously pressed if he would stop taking money from billionaires and participating in closed-door fundraisers, he gave the curt response of “no.”
@PeteButtigieg said he wants to "take big money out of politics." We at @IAStudentAction asked him if that includes not taking money from billionaires and closed-door fundraisers, he said "NO." Well, then what counts as "big money" then Pete? pic.twitter.com/pIKkq3hBES— Greg Chung ✊ (@GregChung7) December 8, 2019