nsucurrent.com March 20, 2018

Senators to scrutinize foreign agents -- but not Trump Jr

29 July 2017, 12:35 | Colleen Roy

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Browder, who is now being thrust into the political spotlight, testified on Thursday that he believes Magnitsky was "murdered as my proxy".

Repeal of the Magnitsky Act is Vladimir Putin's "single most important foreign policy priority", William Browder told Congress on Thursday.

Browder testified: 'In a kleptocracy like Russian Federation and other countries the way that the world works is that the president of that country allows certain people to get rich, he often gets a share of the wealth of those people and then he can rely on those people to do the state's bidding in situations where it may not be appropriate or they may not want to show the government's face'. The high-level Russian sources he developed during his time there have made him useful to the State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who have worked with him in the past to investigate Russian corruption.

The hearing with Browder had originally been planned as a blockbuster event with requests of public testimony from Trump Jr., Manafort and Glenn Simpson, whose firm helped craft the "Steele Dossier" with stunning allegations against Trump. He alleges that Russian law enforcement stole $230 million his company had paid in taxes. This man said the Russians were behind Fusion GPS.

That has been the focus of two of the Russian advocates who took part in the Trump Tower meeting in June 2016: attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya and lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin.

For his efforts in uncovering this corruption, Magnitsky was arrested by the same Interior Ministry officials he was accusing of stealing the tax money and thrown in prison where, according to the official finding of the Russian government, he died of a heart attack.

On July 11, Donald Trump Jr., the president's son, disclosed emails he exchanged arranging a meeting with a Russian lawyer named Natalya Veselnitskaya. "Particularly at a time when we face unprecedented interference in our democratic process by a certain country, namely Russian Federation", said Sen. Not only was she working for a family in Russia closely tied to Putin, but she also worked for Russian security service the FSB "in the Moscow region where she's from", Browder said.

Browder responded, "It's absolutely essential that they do, and it's absolutely essential that there's transparency about who people are talking to and about what their interests are". "To me, this just shows you how deep the Russians are into our democracy and if you are Republican and you are Democrat, if you don't get...the point I was trying to make, it's a unsafe mistake because they are trying to screw up our elections and our democracy on both sides of the aisle". "They wouldn't have gone in without being prepared to offer something in return".

"Nobody was talking about adoption", Browder said.

"Anyone who knows me understands that I am the Member of Congress least likely to take directions from government officials, especially foreign government officials".

In the USA, if you represent the political interests of foreign governments, by law, you're supposed to register as a "foreign agent". Lindsey Graham asked, "You believe that Fusion GPS should of registered under FARA, because they were acting on the behalf of the Russians?"

The collusion between Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya was denied by both White House and the Kremlin with the latter saying that Veselnitskaya does not represent the Russian government.

Fox News' Catherine Herridge reported on the details of Russia's ties to Fusion GPS this morning, which caught the President's attention.

Last month, Trump's Justice Department suddenly chose to settle the money laundering case against the real estate company.

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