Democrats call Mnuchin on whether Trump was involved in lifting sanctions against the Russian oligarch

Minister of Finance Steven Mnuchin has agreed to come to the Capitol to inform members of the House about the decision of his department to make the sanctions more flexible for companies associated with the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

He is sure that he will be grilled about the question whether President Donald Trump exerts any kind of pressure on the decision.

Deripaska worked in the past closely with Trump's former campaign chair Paul Manafort, who was convicted of corruption and is currently in prison awaiting a conviction.

The secret briefing Thursday for all members of the house was confirmed by the office of the landlord Nancy Pelosi. Seven Democratic Presidents of House Commissions asked for answers to the December Minister of Finance's announcement of the sanctions and asked Mnuchin for a briefing.

The agreement would lead to sanctions against the aluminum producer Giantal and two other companies connected to Deripaska.

FILE - On 16 October 2018, file billion secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council at the Ministry of Finance in Washington. The heads of seven house committees call Mnuchin to explain why the United States is imposing sanctions on companies associated with the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska

FILE – On 16 October 2018, file billion secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council at the Ministry of Finance in Washington. The heads of seven house committees call Mnuchin to explain why the United States is imposing sanctions on companies associated with the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska

The closed briefing will be the first of many efforts by the new Democratic House to hold the Trump administration accountable for its decisions on Russia and other issues.

Mnuchin says that Deripaska would remain on the black list as part of sanctions against Russian company leaders, but that the companies had undertaken to "significantly reduce Deripaska's property and break its control."

Lawmakers indicated that they were planning to question Mnuchin about whether President Donald Trump wanted to influence the decision, NBC reported.

The closed briefing will be the first of many efforts by the new Democratic House to hold the Trump administration accountable for its decisions on Russia and other issues.

The closed briefing will be the first of many efforts by the new Democratic House to hold the Trump administration accountable for its decisions on Russia and other issues.

The closed briefing will be the first of many efforts by the new Democratic House to hold the Trump administration accountable for its decisions on Russia and other issues.

The appearance of Mnuchin was confirmed by the office of the landlord Nancy Pelosi

The appearance of Mnuchin was confirmed by the office of the landlord Nancy Pelosi

The appearance of Mnuchin was confirmed by the office of the landlord Nancy Pelosi

Democrats say that the Deripaska deal seems to enable & # 39; significant ownership & # 39; to keep one of the companies.

The leaders of seven house committees called on Mnuchin to explain why the United States is easing sanctions for companies associated with the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

The Democrats wrote Tuesday to Mnuchin to ask for a December announcement that the US would lift sanctions against aluminum processing giant Rusal and two other companies connected to Deripaska.

Mnuchin then said that Deripaska would remain on the blacklist as part of sanctions against tycoons in the vicinity of the Kremlin, but that the companies had committed themselves to significantly reducing the property of Deripaska and his control. to cancel & # 39 ;.

In a letter to Mnuchin, the Democrats state that the Deripaska deal seems to enable & # 39; significant property & # 39; to keep one of the companies.

& # 39; As chairmen of committees with supervisory jurisdiction over the US response to Russia's attempts to interfere in our elections and other hostile actions, we have some concerns about the agreement the US has with Mr. Deripaska reached & # 39 ;, wrote the Democrats.

They asked Mnuchin to postpone execution of the termination of the sanction until he fully informed the members of Congress about all aspects of the agreement, the termination of sanctions and the impact these decisions would have on the efforts of the US to put an end to Russia's malicious activities aimed at our country. & # 39;

The Democrats gave Mnuchin until the end of Friday to respond.

The Ministry of Finance has indicated that it will give the briefing and will do so as soon as possible.

The Congress has 30 days to block the move to end the sanctions, but according to the legislators this assessment was difficult because of the timing. The Treasury announced the move just before the December recess and before the start of the government stop.

In addition to Rusal, officials of the Treasury said that sanctions against EN + Group, the holding company that holds almost 50 percent of Rusal, and the Russian energy company JSC EuroSibEnergo would also be lifted.

The announcement that the sanctions would be lifted followed a lobbying campaign paid for by the chairman of the board of directors of EN +, Gregory Barker, a conservative member of the House of Lords of Great Britain, to the government of Trump to convince the sanctions against the companies.

Barker, a former British energy minister, hired US firm Mercury LLC in May to support its efforts to negotiate Deripaska & # 39; s departure from the EN + wire and the reduction of its ownership interest in the company & # 39 ;.

The letter to Mnuchin was signed by House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass. House Financial Services President Maxine Waters, D-Calif. Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. House Oversight and Reform Committee, chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md. House Judiciary Committee President Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y .; and House Homeland Security Committee, chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.

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