FBI and IRS agents in Cleveland and Miami on Tuesday raided the offices of a company tied to a Ukrainian oligarch suspected of pushing dirt on Vice President Joe Biden.
Vicki Anderson, a spokesperson for the FBI’s Cleveland office, confirmed the raids of Optima Management to TPM, declining to comment any further because the matter “is still under seal.” Nobody was taken into custody, Anderson added.
Optima Management is partly owned by Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, per court documents filed in Delaware last year.
Kolomoisky has faced a federal criminal investigation out of the Northern District of Ohio for at least a year. The oligarch told the New York Times in November 2019 that, were he the President of Ukraine, he would open the investigations into Biden that Trump and Giuliani have sought.
The next month, associates and political allies of Kolomoisky’s met with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani in Kyiv, offering the former NYC mayor a fabricated narrative about Biden.
The meetings fueled suspicion that, in the words of one Western official based in Kyiv who spoke to TPM on condition of anonymity, Kolomoisky was “trying to become friends with Trump and Giuliani” as the feds’ investigation of him progressed.
The oligarch appears to have stayed involved in the campaign to damage Biden since then.
Earlier this year, after a Ukrainian member of parliament began releasing supposed audio recordings of Biden speaking with Ukraine’s president in 2016, Kolomoisky released a statement demanding that a criminal investigation be opened based off of the tapes.
A spokesperson for Optima Management declined to comment on the raids.
Buzzfeed reported in May that a Cleveland federal grand jury was examining allegations of money laundering against Kolomoisky.
Michael Sullivan, an attorney for Kolomoisky, did not immediately return a request for comment.
Giuliani, who has represented Trump since 2018, has hawked his access to top Justice Department officials to foreign clients, reportedly asking the DOJ for leniency towards a Turkish bank, a Venezuelan businessman, and others.
Another attorney for Kolomoisky, Bud Cummins, told TPM in November 2019 that he tried to convince federal prosecutors at the Southern District of New York in October 2018 to investigate allegations around Biden and separate charges that Paul Manafort was brought down by a Ukrainian plot — another Trumpworld hobbyhorse. Cummins has denied to TPM that his work for Kolomoisky was related to his conversations with SDNY.
Giuliani has continued to reference Cummins’ attempt, criticizing then-U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoff Berman for failing to take on the investigation.
Two other associates of Kolomoisky’s who co-own Optima have also lawyered up in Trumpworld, hiring Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz to represent them in a civil suit.