FBI Raids Company Tied To Ukrainian Oligarch Who Pushed Biden Disinfo

The FBI seal is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, DC on July 5, 2016. - The FBI said Tuesday it will not recommend charges over Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of stat... The FBI seal is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, DC on July 5, 2016. - The FBI said Tuesday it will not recommend charges over Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state, but said she had been "extremely careless" in her handling of top secret data. The decision not to recommend prosecution will come as a huge relief for the presumptive Democratic nominee whose White House campaign has been dogged by the months-long probe. (Photo by YURI GRIPAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read YURI GRIPAS/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS

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.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Muckraker
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: