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Mike Johnson Accepted Donations From Oligarch Linked to Convicted Russian Agent

Speaker Mike Johnson YouTube/Screenshot

House Speaker Mike Johnson accepted campaign funds from a company owned by Russians. One owner, Konstantin Nikolaev, supported Maria Butina, a Russian convicted for acting as an unregistered foreign agent. This fact, as reported by Newsweek, has reignited scrutiny over Johnson’s campaign finances and his stance on foreign policy issues, particularly his opposition to a $95 billion foreign aid bill, which includes support for Ukraine.

In 2018, American Ethane, a company with 88% Russian ownership, contributed to Johnson’s campaign. The company was co-founded by American John Houghtaling but largely owned by Russians, including Nikolaev, a known ally of Putin. Johnson’s campaign returned the funds upon learning of their origin, in compliance with laws against foreign campaign contributions.

The controversy resurfaced after Johnson opposed the foreign aid bill, drawing attention on social media and prompting questions about the influence of past contributions on his political decisions. Critics on platforms like X, formerly Twitter, have highlighted the connection between Johnson’s campaign finances and his policy positions.

Nikolaev’s financial activities extend beyond American Ethane. He owns a significant stake in Russia’s largest private rail transport operator and a company supplying ammunition to Russian forces in Ukraine. His support for Butina, who infiltrated conservative groups in the US, adds another layer to the controversy surrounding the funds.

Johnson’s office has not commented on these renewed allegations. The situation underscores ongoing concerns about foreign influence in American politics and the need for transparency in campaign financing.