The detail, being brought to light herein, may raise immediate questions about the origins of the dossier. The oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, had a reported business dispute with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, is closely tied to Putin and has long been viewed as pushing Russian national interests.
Already, there have been questions about Deripaska’s possible relationship with dossier author Christopher Steele amid reports that the billionaire may have served as a source for the dossier itself.
Also, recently leaked text messages show extensive communication between a Russia-connected lawyer and Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. The attorney, Adam Waldman, was a paid lobbyist for Deripaska. The messages show Warner attempted to arrange a meeting with Steele through Waldman.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley recently sent a letter to an attorney believed to be working for Deripaska asking whether the lawyer had hired Steele’s private firm, Orbis Business Intelligence Limited, to do work on behalf of Deripaska. A recent New Yorker article profiling Steele also raised the possibility that Deripaska was one of Steele’s private clients.
At a hearing last month, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) asked FBI Director Christopher Wray whether there was information that Steele was working with Deripaska when he compiled the dossier. Wray responded that he could not answer the question at a public hearing.