Why is the owner of Warner Music getting sucked into Robert Mueller’s probe of Trump and Russian collusion?

Len Blavatnik, the owner of Warner Music, was born in Ukraine and made billions in the post-Soviet era, making friends with various Russian oligarchs (including Putin buddy Roman Abramovich) along the way. Now living in the US, he’s also a generous donor to the Republican Party.

You see where this is going, right?

According to ABC News, Robert Mueller’s Russia probe might have some questions for Blavatnik, especially since he has access to enough money to think about buying a Hollywood studio or two. From The Hollywood Reporter:

[H]e is one of several U.S. citizens with deep foreign ties who have attracted Mueller’s attention by donating millions to GOP causes in the past few years. Foreigners are not permitted to make such donations, but as American citizens, billionaires like Blavatnik can. Among the checks that Blavatnik has written through Access is a $1 million contribution to Donald Trump’s inauguration committee, which raised a record-setting $106.7 million (more than double the previous record set by Barack Obama, though Trump’s event involved a smaller staff and fewer events). What became of all that money remains a mystery.

Starting in the 2015-16 election season, Blavatnik’s political contributions “soared and made a hard right turn,” according to an analysis by business professor Ruth May in The Dallas Morning News. In that cycle, he contributed $6.35 million to Republican candidates and incumbent senators. The biggest beneficiary was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose Senate Leadership Fund received a $2.5 million donation followed by another $1 million in 2017. Blavatnik or Access gave generously to PACs associated with Sen. Lindsey Graham ($800,000) and to Sen. Marco Rubio ($1.5 million).

No one is saying there’s any wrongdoing, but the fact that he’s on Mueller’s radar is interesting, no?

Read the rest of the Hollywood Reporter story here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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