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January 12, 2018

RESET: Who’s an Oligarch? Rich Russians Fret Over U.S. Sanctions Label.

When Debevoise & Plimpton lawyers held a seminar in Moscow to explain the impact of new U.S. sanctions legislation, they had to rent out a hall in a hotel to hold all the worried clients who signed up.

A big reason for the interest is a provision in the law that gives President Donald Trump’s executive branch until February to identify “oligarchs” close to Vladimir Putin who can be slapped with visa bans and asset freezes as further punishment for Kremlin election meddling.

With the Treasury Department, which is leading the effort, giving little indication of how the list is being compiled, Russia’s billionaire class is in the throes of a kind of helpless anxiety. One of the country’s richest men said it would be stupid to try to lobby against inclusion in Washington because that would only put a bigger target on his back.

It’s collusion, I tells ya.

TOMORROW’S HOT TAKE TODAY: Trump’s so dishonest he won’t even stay bought.