Jim Jordan Confronted With Trump Campaign's Link to Russian Oligarch

Representative Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, was confronted on Sunday about former President Donald Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort's link to a Russian oligarch.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's 448-page report released in 2019 revealed the findings of the two-year investigation that looked into whether members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election. The probe also focused on Manafort's work for Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs while he was Trump's campaign chairman.

The report also found that Manafort told Konstantin Kilimnik, a man with suspected connections to Russian intelligence services, about important battleground states in the 2016 race, including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Michigan.

Manafort expected Kilimnik to share information about the Trump campaign with Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire and industrialist who has close links to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Jim Jordan Confronted With Trump Campaign's Link-to-Russian-Oligarch
Representative Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, speaks during an on-camera interview on January 9 in Washington, D.C. Jordan was confronted on Sunday about former President Donald Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort's link to a Russian oligarch. Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

On NBC News' Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd asked Jordan whether or not he will look into the role Manafort played with Deripaska.

"To the extent that may come in," Jordan said, as he discussed his role as House judiciary chair and his committee's investigations.

Earlier this month, Jordan urged Democrats to join Republicans in the newly formed subcommittee that aims to investigate the "weaponization" of the federal government. The Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government will be chaired by the Ohio congressman, and is expected to consist of 13 Republicans and five Democrats.

Jordan, a staunch Trump supporter, also spoke on Sunday about the "weaponization" of federal agencies, and criticized the FBI as he mentioned Charles McGonigal, the special agent in charge of the FBI's counterintelligence division in New York from 2016 to 2018.

However, Todd pushed back against Jordan's reference to McGonigal, pointing out Manafort, who was the manager of the Trump campaign, also had ties with Deripaska.

"You know who his American adviser was, Oleg Deripaska? The former campaign manager to Donald Trump's campaign, Paul Manafort," Todd told the GOP lawmaker. "Does this not also raise some troubling signs here?

"It sure does," Jordan responded.

"Paul Manafort was the go-between for Oleg Deripaska. He gave him polling information on the campaign," Todd added.

McGonigal was accused last Monday of working with Deripaska, who is also referred to as "the big guy and "the client," according to an unsealed indictment, the Associated Press reported last week.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said that McGonigal, who participated in investigating Russian oligarchs, took money from Deripaska in 2021 to investigate another oligarch. The special agent also worked in 2019 to remove sanctions imposed on Deripaska, according to the AP.

The FBI has been under scrutiny by some Republicans after the bureau raided Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate last summer to seize hundreds of classified documents, which the former president removed from the White House in 2021. Trump, however, has maintained his innocence. The FBI was also criticized for working with Twitter to allegedly censor some content by conservatives, according to the recently released Twitter Files.

Newsweek reached out to Jordan's office for comment.

Update 1/29/2023, 4:55 p.m. ET: This article has been updated with additional information.