John Sweeney
John Sweeney

Former upstate New York Republican Congressman John Sweeney, who has close ties to President Trump, has signed a $750K one-year contract to represent Russia's Vnesheconombank, the state-controlled investment bank.

His job is to meet and lobby US officials to persuade them not to slap any new sanctions on VEB. Sweeney hired Georgetown Strategies for $25K per-month to backstop his VEB effort.

President Obama sanctioned VEB in 2014 following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea.

The Treasury Dept. in 2018 listed VEB chair Igor Shuvalov, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the members of the bank's supervisory board as affiliated with Russia's government, but did not impose sanctions.

Sweeney served three terms in Congress and was defeated in 2006 by now Empire State Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

He worked for Trump during the New York State Republican primary and then became deputy counsel of the campaign.

Following Trump's victory, Sweeney was named to the executive committee of the transition team and part of the four-member "Tiger Team" that vetted candidates for jobs in the Administration.