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Top Democrats demand Mnuchin explain sanctions relief for Russian oligarch

Oleg Deripaska
Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov via Getty Images

The heads of seven House committees sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Tuesday asking him to explain why the Trump administration has moved to end sanctions on entities linked to Russian aluminum oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

Between the lines: Deripaska previously employed Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and is under sanctions for extortion and illegal business practices. Manafort, who was reportedly in debt to the Russian oligarch, offered to provide Deripaska "private briefings" during the 2016 campaign, according to the Washington Post.