This story is so horrifying that I am shocked it is not being reported more heavily by the press. This is I am sure due in large part to the distractions from the Don and the Mooch. On July 26, the Senate Judiciary Committee had planned a hearing with Bill Browder. That is also the day that Mooch came out with his trashy, low class attacks on Reince Preibus. The world was shocked that day and the hearing with Bill Browder was delayed one day. The next day Trump came out with his ban on transgender people in the military. Leaders in the military were not informed and were shocked. But, to their credit, the Senate Judiciary Committee went ahead with their hearing. Before the hearing Bill Browder released a detailed statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee and also allowed it to be printed in its entirety by The Atlantic. This is the link. Please read it. This story is a complicated and truly shocking story of which everyone should be aware. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/bill-browders-testimony-to-the-senate-judiciary-committee/534864/ What follows is my summary.
Bill Browder was a businessman who had extensive dealings in Russia and was a friend of Putin. Browder and his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky discovered a $230 million tax corruption scandal involving Russian oligarchs. Bill Browder left Russia on business and Magnitsky reported the corruption to Russian authorities, expecting the authorities to arrest the people involved. However, the “authorities” arrested him instead. In 2009 Magnitsky was found murdered in jail. He had been beaten to death. Magnitsky was convicted of tax evasion after his death. Broward was also accused of tax evasion by Russian authorities and was banned from entering Russia. Attempts to kill Broward also occurred.
In 2012, Congress passed a new law to target human rights abusers with the freezing of their assets in the U.S. and also banned their entrance into the U.S. The act was called the Magnitsky Act. Putin was furious and retaliated by banning the popular Russian adoption program to U.S. parents. It turned out that Putin was furious because he was the recipient of much of the $230 million and that he kept most of his money in the west. According to the Magnitsky Act, “Putin could be held personally subject to Magnitsky sanctions”. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/bill-browders-senate-judiciary-committee-hearing_uk_597ee55ce4b02a4ebb7675a6
Putin is reported to have as many as 10,000 “officials in Russia working for Putin who are given instructions to kill, torture, kidnap, extort money, from people and seize their property.” http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/bill-browders-senate-judiciary-committee-hearing_uk_597ee55ce4b02a4ebb7675a6 This put the cross hairs on Putin. It also created a problem for Putin because previously he had always been able to promise protection to his operatives around the world. After the passing of the Magnitsky Act, Putin could not promise immunity to his network of agents. He was also at risk of losing his money which was held in disreputable Russian banks around the world.
Enter Natalia Veselnitslaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Don Jr. in Trump tower on June 9, 2016. She is currently working as a Russian lobbyist trying to get the Magnitsky Act repealed. She previously acted as a lawyer for the owner of the company “Prevezon—the Kremlin-tied company then charged with hiding a fraction of the $230 million Russian tax scheme in Manhattan luxury real estate.” http://www.thedailybeast.com/this-is-why-natalia-veselnitskaya-was-in-new-york
Broward said that Putin keeps control over people by first offering a bribe, and then by blackmailing them with the threat of exposure. Broward explained that once a person was ensnared in Putin’s version of the WorldWide Web, there was no escape. Is this Trump’s situation? It has been said that Putin saved many of Trump’s businesses from going under. Trump took the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant to Moscow in 2013. A Russian oligarch helped arrange that. Author James Dodson is quoted as describing a golf outing with Eric Trump, “So when I got in the cart with Eric,” Dodson says, “as we were setting off, I said, ‘Eric, who’s funding? I know no banks—because of the recession, the Great Recession—have touched a golf course. You know, no one’s funding any kind of golf construction. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years.’ And this is what he said. He said, ‘Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.’ I said, ‘Really?’ And he said, ‘Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.’ Now that was three years ago, so it was pretty interesting.” https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/05/eric-trump-russia-investment-golf-course Is this the reason that Trump is so chummy with Putin and complimentary of Putin and his regime?
So many of Trump’s family, friends and high ranking officials of his campaign are connected to Russia; is it possible for Trump not to be caught in Putin’s trap? I don’t think so.