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US Federal Election Commission Could Create Separate Russian Probe

© REUTERS / Jonathan DrakeChildren watch their mother vote during the U.S. general election in Greenville, North Carolina, US on November 8, 2016.
Children watch their mother vote during the U.S. general election in Greenville, North Carolina, US on November 8, 2016. - Sputnik International
The US Federal Election Commission (FEC) could expand the ongoing investigation into Russia's alleged efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election by looking into whether US citizens received money from foreign agents to promote damaging stories against the candidates, FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub said on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — According to Politico, the FEC is particularly focused on whether Russian agents paid for Facebook advertisements that promoted stories targeted at damaging presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as his campaign manager Paul Manafort (C) and daughter Ivanka (R) look on during Trump's walk through at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, U.S., July 21, 2016 - Sputnik International
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"I think there is potential there for finding a violation, but I don’t want to suggest that I have prejudged anything that could potentially come before me," Weintraub said in an interview with Politico. "If there are US citizens involved in any way in spending foreign money to influence a US election, then that would be something that we could and should pursue."

A number of US congressional committees and the FBI are conducting their own investigations into Russia's alleged role in the US election and ties to President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Russian officials repeatedly denied allegations of meddling in the elections, calling them absurd, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said the Russian government had no official contacts with the Trump campaign during the election.

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