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Alexei Druzhinin / Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

A investigation from BuzzFeed News has found the "British government is suppressing explosive intelligence" related to the 2012 death of Russian whistleblower Alexander Perepilichny, who was found dead in England with traces of a rare toxin in his stomach. Before he died, Perepilichny helped expose a Russian money laundering scam worth $230 million.

  • Putin's role: U.S. intel officials said they passed intelligence to MI6, the British spy agency, that Perepilichny was likely "assassinated on direct orders from Putin or people close to him." The Office of the Director of National Intelligence last year asserted with "high confidence" Putin sanctioned the alleged murder.
  • Similarly, French police are treating the death as a suspected organized assassination, but British police haven't cooperated with that investigation.
  • Theresa May's government invoked national security powers in 2016 to withhold evidence from the inquest into his cause of death.

U.S. and U.K. officials said the U.K. government doesn't want to hurt U.K.-Russian relations, as in a 2006 incident in which the U.K accused Moscow of murdering former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko in London.

"Several officials said the British government was particularly keen to preserve the flow of Russian money into London banks and properties," BuzzFeed writes.

What's next: The inquest into his cause of death opened June 5 this year and will last several weeks. The police and Perepilichny's wife are arguing he died of natural causes. His life insurance company is arguing murder and is accusing the police of a cover-up. His lawyers are claiming he was killed for exposing the fraud.

Don't forget: nine Russians have died under suspicious circumstances since November 2016, including six diplomats, a former KGB official with links to the Trump dossier, a former Russian MP, and a top Russian space official who was found dead March 18, apparently from stab wounds, while being held on embezzlement charges, which he denied.

Go deeper

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Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.