Anti-Trump (and attempted prosecution of sceptics) AG Raked In Campaign Donations From An Oil Tycoon With Ties To Putin

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks at a news conference with other U.S. State Attorney’s General to announce a state-based effort to combat climate change in the Manhattan borough of New York City, March 29, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

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Energy Reporter


From The Daily Caller

His fundraising efforts highlighted various legal challenges against the president have earned Schneiderman $1.7 million in contributions during the first half of this year, Politico reported in July. Schneiderman’s first half of contributions were consistent with the $1.6 million he reported in January.

Blavatnik has been involved in Russia’s oil industry for several years. One of his primary financial ventures, AAR, sold a 50 percent stake in energy company TNK, one of Russia’s largest oil companies, where Blavatnik served on the board of directors.

Russian oil company Rosneft eventually completed a $55 billion acquisition of TNK-BP. The U.S. leveled sanctions in 2014 on Rosneft’s wealthy CEO, Igor Sechin, along with several other energy developers in Russia, because of Putin’s decision to militarily intervene in Ukraine’s political system. The sanctions inevitably caused the country’s currency to collapse.

Blavatnik, who holds dual citizenship in the U.S. and the U.K., has also been heavily involved in GOP politics. The billionaire used his holding companies Access Industries and AI Altep Holdings to contribute $2.5 million to Sen. Mitch McConnell for the Kentucky lawmaker’s GOP Senate Leadership Fund, according to Federal Election Commission documents.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s Conservative Solutions PAC received about $1.5 million through Blavatnik’s two holding companies, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich pulled in about $250,000 through Blavatnik ventures. His contributions to the New York AG could complicate Schneiderman’s campaign against Trump.

Schneiderman hired Howard Master in March of 2017 who served under a terminated Obama-era U.S. attorney to focus on corruption cases involving the Trump administration. The moves indicate how serious the attorney general is on flooding Trump and his administration with legal filings, subpoenas, and lawsuits, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Master’s primary responsibility will be investigating and possibly prosecuting the Trump administration for possible civil rights abused, according to Schneiderman’s office. Master served under U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who the president fired earlier this year after refusing to resign at Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ request.

Schneiderman has made targeting Trump’s properties and his presidency the primary objective of for the New York attorneys general office going forward.

He has gone after energy companies and the president’s personal charities, including a fraud lawsuit in 2013 targeting the president’s real estate school: Trump University. He also joined some of his fellow attorneys general in challenging Trump’s temporary immigration ban and climate change reversal.

Schneiderman, along with pursuing charges against Trump, has also become a thorn in the side of ExxonMobil. New York’s legal crusader engaged in a years-long probe into the oil company’s alleged concealing of climate change data from shareholders and the public.

Conservative legal groups have criticized in the past the Democrat’s unwillingness to disclose email communications between the AG office and wealthy environmentalist donors, such as Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rockefeller Family Fund, and billionaire activist Tom Steyer – many of whom have publicly supported going after both Trump and energy companies.

His office uses Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) “law enforcement” exemption to justify blocking the requests, and claims his communication with the donors is part of the Exxon investigation. Schneiderman’s bellicose actions against the president and the White House’s climate agenda have won him plaudits from well-heeled donors.

Liberal billionaire George Soros and his family, for instance, have donated $251,000 to Schneiderman’s political campaigns since 2006. Soros himself has given the anti-Trump crusader $64,500, while the wealthy philanthropist’s sons and daughter-in-law donated the rest.

Soros is a major funder of liberal causes, and has funded groups jumping on the bandwagon against oil producer ExxonMobil, an energy company that Schneiderman has flooded under a sea of lawsuits. The AG initially pursued investigations against Exxon in 2015 for supposedly misleading the public and shareholders about the dangers climate change caused the company’s bottom line.

Members of the Rockefeller family have also given $10,040 to Schneiderman since 2004, most of it coming from Larry Rockefeller, a prominent environmental lawyer, who’s given Schneiderman $7,500 since 2014.

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69 thoughts on “Anti-Trump (and attempted prosecution of sceptics) AG Raked In Campaign Donations From An Oil Tycoon With Ties To Putin

  1. “The Establishment” or “The Swamp” are more than a bit indeterminate in their extent, but a real phenomenon. Donors to the Republican Party establishment are the type who would also give money to Democratic Party activists like Schneiderman.
    Lawfare is a tactic that can be used by both sides. A RICO prosecution against Schneiderman and his fellow green blob AG’s would have a salutary effect.

    • ISNT George Soros the man who caused a major global currency crash some years ago (to his own advantage i believe ),i think it was called ‘black friday’ ,or something similar .? & now contributes $251000to the schneiderman fund ,&64,500 to him personally .does this smack of complete hypocrisy ?

  2. [This is the AG who was working to file Rico cases against “deniers” and fossil fuel companies. Your rant aside, it is absolutely relevant and appropriate here. ~ctm]

  3. Can anyone point to an oil tycoon without ties to Russia?
    Given the location of major production these days, you’d have to be involved with Russia at some point…

    • The big 3 producers in the world are US, Saudi and Russia, so there are many oil people who have no ties to Russia. The ones with ties to Russia are happy to do anything to reduce US oil output, and things like promoting Global Warming weaken the US production in very many ways. The Russians have also been shown to be behind funding pipeline protests in the US and Canada.

    • With globalisation that is probably inevitable and would apply to most big companies and of course also to wealthy individuals.
      But what is the problem with Russia? It is North Korea, or Iran or the dubious Middle Eastern states.
      Russia is a beacon of Western History, Art and Culture, and is probably unsurpassed in music and ballet. There are few cities that can rival St Petersberg.
      It seems eminently sensible to me that we seek to reset our position with Russsia and seek to become friends with Russia.

      • The problem was Marx and the tragic fallout from that with the current crooks in charge. Russia hasn’t been our ally very often (started WW2 on wrong side), look at Afghanistan the latest manifestation of the ‘Great Game’. Art and culture of course, no argument with that..

      • An interesting comment, Richard! I think since the Communist Party is no more and Russia is nominally democratic we should at least try to be hopeful and helpful to its development and nascent democracy. Putin won’t be there forever. Russia has a lot of evolving yet to do.
        I really think Western Russia’s proper place is within the European trading block eventually. Pushing them away just makes an enemy. Putin may be that but his country no longer is.

      • I must beg to differ as to music, at least. Italy and the German-speaking world have produced more of the greatest classical composers than Russia. Unless maybe if you include composers from nations once subject to the Russian Empire, like Poland and Finland. Stravinsky, while born in Russia, was of Ukrainian ancestry on both sides, and lived in the West from his 20s.

      • John Harmsworth August 24, 2017 at 9:36 am
        Russia was invited to join NATO, but didn’t want to do so.
        It can’t join the EU as long as it has border disputes. One reason Putin invaded Ukraine was to make sure that it couldn’t join NATO or the EU, either. Not that those associations would want a member with such an unstable and corrupt government, anyway.

    • I hate to do this to the nth degree but I have to agree with Griff, having ties to Russia is not a crime and I can’t image being in the oil industry or any major global industry with out have ties to people and organizations in almost every major economic power. We have to stop the guilt by association and and go back to judging people on the deeds. Charter of action is what matters.

      • Character of actions. Well said. By that standard the majority of elected officials at Federal level should all be sitting in jail cells.

      • Not in my world. Trump’s ties are the same as almost any global business person would be. The political conversations he may or may not have had after the election are fine as well I am sure he had conversation with many other powers he was the president elect what would you expect. The Russian were all fine and dandy when the Obama administration was hitting the reset button on our relations with them because George Bush had screwed it up so bad or when Hillary was negotiating uranium deals with them, it’s only when it becomes politically expedient to have a boggyman did they become evil again. Mind you I think the Russian government is a bunch of scum, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be talking with them, it just means we should never trust them. “Keep your enemies closer” as it were.
        Trumps a jackass but on policy he’s been pretty good so far, Obama was charming but on policy he was as bad as we have ever had. I’ll take the jackass thank you very much.

    • Though I do have to say Griff you’re sure fire arctic sea ice extent of no better than 3rd or 4th lowest is starting to look a lot more like 6th or 7th or maybe even 8th lowest in the satellite era.

      • Earlier this year Griff was claiming that the low ice extent this year was going to shatter all existing records.

      • Ya, TonyM too, got him to bet me that the North Pole would be open water this year. Who ever loses stops posting on WUWT, tried to get Griff to do the same for this year or any year in the future but so far no dice, he won’t make a stand.

  4. Why does it appear that everyone except Trump has ties to Russia yet Trump is the only one being investigated?

    • Because of the law of conservation of morass, i.e., whatever Democrats accuse others of doing is exactly what Democrats are doing.

      • You have it!! Everything the Democrat party claims their opposition is doing THEY ARE IN FACT DOING! They are conspiratorial, racist, xenophobes, fully intent on making the world their way or no way at all. They have become dangerous to freedom.

    • Because the whole establishment elite hate Trump. That goes for here in the UK too. No point reading or listening to anything here about Trump.
      He probably scares them since he is keeping his promises which must cause convulsions to politicians. How on earth can they function if they have to keep their promises? In the UK we get a stream of promises during elections that are then promptly dumped afterwards as we are stuck with liars for 5 years. The new UK government proposed by the Harrogate Agenda brings in recall so they can be removed at any time. Bringing the ‘kratos’ back into democracy.

  5. If Putin’s idea is to destabilize America it makes sense that he would help The Donald get elected and then turn around and give him maximum problems. link

    • I have never seen any cogent explanation as to how Russia helped Trump get elected.
      Fake News (apart from MSM being the biggest peddlers) is an internet problem, and yet it is the young who spend all their time on the internet and it is claimed that the young generation did not vote for Trump. The Young do not appear to have been influenced by what was doing the rounds on Facebook and/or Twitter.
      It is claimed that it was white males from the rust belt states that got Trump elected (although I do not accept that), but if so, how much time do these guys spend on Facebook and Twitter. Get real, these guys were never influenced in any significant number by stories on Facebook and Twitter.
      The scam of the election is that there are some 28 MSM companies, 27 were not simply pro Clinton but actually donated to her campaign. The scam of the election was due to the lack of impartiality of MSM, that Clinton was never properly held to account for actions, the documented lies she told, and her incompetence in public office. For sure, Clinton had experience but it is one of incompetence. Her time in government office ought to have been examined in detail, and Obama was right (probably one of the few things on which he was right) when he said in 2008 that Clinton was not fit for office. Trump was elected because True Americans could see that Clinton was not fit for office, simples.
      PS. I did not vote Trump, I am only calling it as I see it.

      • “I have never seen any cogent explanation as to how Russia helped Trump get elected.”
        There is no cogent explanation for how Russia helped Trump because Russian did not help Trump. No evidence whatsoever. Lots of claims from those on the Left, but no evidence. Just like CAGW: all claims, no evidence.
        The MSM is barely even talking about Russia-Trump collusion anymore. The story is going nowhere, so now they change their narrative to Trump colluding with N@zis and White Supremacists. No evidence for that, either. In fact, just the oppostie, but the Left and the MSM don’t care about facts when it comes to attacking the political opposition.

    • But he didn’t do either. Putin is a friend and business associate of the Clintons, why would he oppose sHillary as President?

  6. It appears that the only way to see the first four paragraphs of this article is to click on the Daily Caller link. Without that information the title makes no sense. As presented, this article only refers to Blavatnik’s donations to Republicans.

    • I had already read the DC article before it got posted here, did not realize it was chopped off here.

  7. My modest concern to this issue as a foreigner is that Schneiderman’s actions are a reevee campaign against Trump and that Hillary’s connections to Russia are far stronger than Trumps. In Germany it is similar, a former Federal Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder of the left SPD now wants to become chairman of the presidency of GASPROM a state Russian gas company, after having been on the board for many years. The links of the left in our country to Russia are far stronger than the connections of other policy directions. A certain nostalgia plays a role here. After all, “Väterchen” Russia was since 1917 until the disintegration of the Soviet Union a protection power of all leftists and those who were probably leftist fascists, but were on the left side.

  8. If any of this Russians money even 1cent had gone to Trump in any way these nice people and their media lapdogs would have been all over it shouting and wailing about how bad he is etc etc etc.
    But not a word about all the donations to these lovely people who are doing such vital work under such difficult conditions.
    Sorry I can’t keep up with any more of this twaddle.
    James Bull

  9. The Rockefellers are perhaps the most evil people on the planet. The more you scratch the surface, the more is revealed. Everything from establishing the Kaiser Wilhelm Eugenics Institute in Germany in the 1930s, to the Ludlow Massacre, to illegal financing of communist Russia and supply of US technology to the USSR, these people are the face of pure, pure evil.

  10. It is Clinton and not Trump who won popular vote anyway, it is the USA peculiar electoral college system that got Trump in. Americans need to stop being laughing stock of the world and change their electoral system if they think it isn’t good enough.

    • When asked about that, Trump answered that if the rules were ‘most votes wins’ he would have campaigned harder in NY and FL. In other words he did what was necessary to win based on how the system works. HRC didn’t.
      Multiple US presidents have been elected with a popular minority. So what. That is how the system was designed. Trump took a majority in 92% of counties. That is broad based national support in a choose-one-of-two election. Is that what the Founders wanted?

      • Americans should accept result, like it or not, under electoral system they got or change the system. UK on number of occasions had PM elected with less than 40% of the vote and they got on with it until the next time. On the other hand Putin was elected with 63% in 2012 and yet many still complain it was not democratic. French insist on the second round with 50%+.
        I think Trump will eventually settle down and hopefully may be able to do at least some of things he promised. I took a bet with my brother in September 2015 that Trump would win.

    • Vukcevic
      Our founders recognized that true democracy is mob rule and designed a system of government
      which, to this point, has been the best governmental system devised by man.
      It is the best of a bad bunch.

    • And? The election system of the United States has been known for several hundred years and only because Hillary did not manage to win the majority of the states, and thus the delegates, must Trump now be ashamed? One could also say that alone (the most populous in the world by immigration) california and New York has brought Hillary the majority of the votes. If that voices for Hillary are withdrawn, Trump will lead the rest of the country. Is California and New York to dominate the entire US with its aggressive immigration policy? But other states would that not allow, I am sure. Even our refugee chancellor would not do something like 2015 again.

      • Hans-G
        You have it right. This is why our electoral system does work well. As they say: Trump won Bigly!
        “If that voices for Hillary are withdrawn, Trump will lead the rest of the country.”
        Also, if proper identification of citizenship were required in every state, fraud voting in would cease. Hillary would have shown a much lower count in urban-ania.

      • Hans-G
        You have it right. This is why our electoral system does work well. As they say: Trump won Bigly!
        “If that voices for Hillary are withdrawn, Trump will lead the rest of the country.”
        Also, if proper identification of citizenship were required in every state, fr aud voting would cease. Hillary would have shown a much lower count in urban-ania.

      • The founders were very prophetic in their construction of our constitutional republic in that they knew that large population bases could not be trusted to be allowed to control the path of the entire country. They therefore came up with the electoral college to counter the amassing of power by densely populated states or citiies. Remember, at that time many states, colonies, were primarily one religion or another, so trusting the other guys was not extremely popular due to recent experiences in Europe and lack of religious tolerance there. Democracy boils down to mob rule in some cases and socialism results, where the havenots vote to take from the haves, destroying the incentive to work or invest. Just look at Europe today. Of course, free enterprise tends toward crony capitalism as we are now seeing in the US today. China is today more fascist than communist with its form of government controled free enterprise/crony capitalism. Russia similar in many respects. History seems to have taught that productivity requires an ability for folks to be allowed to benefit from their labor to some degree.

    • “laughing stock of the world” Really? The only ones laughing at American elections are those who believe in and aspire to authoritarian forms of government. America’s national level election system was set up to stop a small group of cities from being able to dictate to the entire country, and on the whole it has worked.

      • you got that wrong. People are laughing that result of the election is called into question by some kind f an all mighty Russian interference. Even Russians are laughing all the way to the nearest liquor store.
        Get real, why the America’s population after nearly 250 years of democracy would take any note what Putin or anyone else might favour. You elected Trump, accept it and good luck to him and all Americans regardless who the voted for.

      • 2hotel9
        August 24, 2017 at 6:31 am
        “laughing stock of the world” Really? The only ones laughing at American elections are those who believe in and aspire to authoritarian forms of government. America’s national level election system was set up to stop a small group of cities from being able to dictate to the entire country, and on the whole it has worked.

        Yes, really. I find it very difficult to support any kind of voting system that doesn’t know who is voting. Everyone voting should be required to provide incontestable ID or they don’t vote. This is not difficult as arrangements can be made in advance. If this applies to everyone there can be no complaints of discrimination.
        I also believe that voting should be in person with exceptions only for valid reasons (health, absence etc.). If you can’t make the effort, you don’t deserve a vote.
        Convenience is not a good enough reason for postal voting as it is fairly clear that it is easily subverted to enable powerful individuals to “farm” votes from people who are either naive or dependent on them, particularly religious/isolated communities. This is already happening in the UK.

        • I hand over ID every time I vote, whether asked or not. It is what an American does. Anyone who opposes presenting ID when voting is NOT an American.

    • “It is Clinton and not Trump who won popular vote anyway”
      Which is irrelevant because it’s states that elect the President, not individuals.
      And millions of Democrat voters were dead or illegal. Why do you think they oppose the kind of voter ID laws that are the norm in most Western nations?

      • Mark G
        They would have trouble getting all of the illegal alien and dead people votes with voter id laws. Though, they would probably come up with a way.

    • Hitler got the popular vote too, what’s your point, they both campaigned under the system that we have trying to get the most electoral votes and Hillary lost. If they had campaigned to get the popular vote then Trump would have spent more time in New York and California so you have no idea whether he would have won or lost a popular vote campaign. He is the president that the long and the short of it, he won it fair and square and the people that voted for him deserve to have him treated with respect.
      I thought Obama was the worst president that we have ever had in office, his policies in my mind were the most destructive and counterproductive policies possible. He Balkanized or society to a degree never seen before. But he was the president and while I opposed everything he stood for in never attacked him personally, I never attacked the people that voted for him, I never tried demonize everyone that supported him. I voiced my opinion and sucked it up till he was gone.

      • My point is that the losers have nothing to complain about. If they don’t like to loose with the system as it is, the next time they get in they should have a go at changing constitution, and will see how they might get on with it, I assume not very far.

      • “He Balkanized or society to a degree never seen before.”
        Ah, Bob you don’t know too well my compatriots and their neighbours, at the smallest of disputes they take to arms and start shooting at each other.

      • Vukcevic
        Sorry if I misunderstood the point you were trying to make. I believe our system is the correct one, it balances popular vote and regional differences pretty nicely.

      • My bad Bob, my statement was not entirely clear, after re-reading it I can see why. I may be occasionally out of step on science, but as far as politics is concerned I bring kind of perspective from someone who was educated behind iron curtain and at one time was considered to be ‘top class material’ to be conscripted into the Communist Party, but I politely declined and was soon gone.
        As far as the Balkans are concerned, only part that has majority of reasonable thinking/acting population is the Melania’s Trump homeland, my lot is regretfully at the opposite end of the scale.

    • vukcevic, the nature of how Mrs Clinton got a “popular majority” is why the US should, and will not change the electoral system. All the margin for Clinton came from California (where I used to live), and some of those votes may be from real, living, US citizens.
      Playing games in one state is limited to that state under the current system.

    • vukcevic
      Without the electoral system it is entirely likely that there would not be a UNITED states of America.
      At the time of the negotiations the smaller states having lived under the governance of a large system would never again accept the potential of an overbearing government that could happen if they were controlled by the states with much larger populations. No incentive for them to join to be ruled by someone else in their effort to escape the ruler then in power. The compromise for the less populace states was that the Senate would have 2 Senators from each state and the House would have representation according to the size of the population and the electors are based on the total amount of senate and house members.
      I believe it has worked well and I doubt the smaller states will ever want to give up and be ruled by New York and California.
      Until the 2016 election all reasonable people accepted the outcome of the election. We seem to have a different crowd now that would be overbearing if they won.

    • “Americans need to stop being laughing stock of the world and change their electoral system if they think it isn’t good enough.”
      Only those who lost think it is not good enough.
      I have to admit our election system got me to laughing, too, when Trump won. I’ve been laughing about it just about every day since. How lucky can a nation/world get! Pull out of the fire at the last minute!

    • American electoral system is by far more fair than the British, the oldest democracy in the known Universe with one of the most unfair electoral systems.
      2015 general election results
      CON …… 36.9%……. 331 MPs
      LAB ……. 30.4%……. 232 MPs
      UKIP …….12.6%…….1 MP
      There was a referendum with proposal for a more fair system but the people rejected it.

  11. So, what we have in Blavatnik is another foreign national dabbling in American politics, a Soros MiniMe, as it were. As for Schneiderman, we have yet another Democrat Party partisan who is using the power and authority of government to attack an individual for personal reasons. Why, as a nation, do we keep allowing this crap to go on? From either side of the aisle?

    • I would think Shneiderman is getting close to being accused with maliscious prosecution by now. Does this political witchhunting actually play with voters? It would make me furious.

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