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Fusion GPS also worked for Russian government in 2016 says Bill Browder-Washington Examiner…(Browder admits Magnitsky was an accountant, not a lawyer, 2015)

November 27, 2019

Magnitsky [of 2012 US Magnitsky Act] was an accountant, not a lawyer:Magnitsky was an accountant. Browder acknowledges in his deposition in U.S. federal court 2015 that Magnitsky didn’t have a law degree or go to law school. See him say it in a video clip.”

11/26/19, Putin foe [Bill Browder] says  GPS was agent for Russia while helping Clinton in 2016,” Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner

The company [Fusion GPS] that conducted anti-Trump research for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign also worked for the Russian government, producing material that was used by Moscow to pressure the United States, according to a longtime foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Businessman [and British subject since 1998] Bill Browder alleged Fusion GPS acted as an agent for Russian interests in 2016, when the country was trying to combat the Magnitsky Act [a 2012 US law signed by Obama] and its sanctions on Russian officials.

Browder, 55, championed the [US 2012] Magnitsky Act, which was named for his [accountant, not] tax lawyer, corruption whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky. Magnitsky died in a Russian prison in 2009 after his [alleged] investigation for Browder’s business [allegedly] uncovered hundreds of millions of dollars of Russian tax fraud [allegedly] implicating Russian officials.”…

[Ed. note: To Mr. Dunleavy, two points: First, Magnitsky was an accountant, not a lawyer:Magnitsky was an accountant. Browder acknowledges in his deposition in U.S. federal court 2015 that Magnitsky didn’t have a law degree or go to law school. See him say it in a video clip. In his own interrogations, Magnitsky is identified as an auditor.”...Second: No “Russian officials” were accused in any reporting, assuming you mean Russian government officials: “Magnitsky’s 2006 interrogation was about Browder’s company tax evasion. See his testimony and the cited article. And the fraud wasn’t on his fund, it was on the Russian Treasury. Fraudsters scammed the Russian Treasury by obtaining a $230mil tax refund based on fraudulent lawsuits.The tax fraud [by Browder], which is not properly described as an embezzlement as it was a fraud on the Russian Treasury, not on a company, was first reported by Rimma Starova in April 2008. The Russian newspaper Vedomosti and The New York Times reported it in July 2008. Magnitsky mentioned in in testimony only in his October 2008 interrogation....There are no Russian officials accused in any of the reports, by Starova, the newspapers or by Magnitsky.” 10/29/2019, “London Times Runs Fake Browder Opinion Piece,” Consortium News, Lucy Komisar…Of interest, “The U.S. government had staked its case against Prevezon on the credibility of Browder. Yet he was reluctant to explain under oath where he had obtained his evidence.”]

(continuing): “Putin, who despises the [US] law [about alleged actions in a foreign country and signed in 2012 by Obama], retaliated by banning American adoptions of Russian children.

“The work that [Fusion GPS co-founder] Glenn Simpson did involved trying to change the narrative of how Sergei Magnitsky was [allegedly] killed,” said Browder. “He and the Russians paying him wanted people in Washington to believe that Sergei Magnitsky died of natural causes instead of being killed. Glenn Simpson claimed that Sergei Magnitsky wasn’t a whistleblower and that he was criminal. He also claimed that all of my testimonies to have Magnitsky sanctions imposed were untrue.”

Browder said he believes Fusion GPS’s work violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act. He sent a complaint to the Department of Justice in 2016, and then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley urged the department to look into it in 2017.

“We did receive a response from the Justice Department, essentially stating that it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of a specific FARA investigation,” Grassley’s office told the Washington Examiner.

The DOJ declined the Washington Examiner’s request for comment, and a lawyer for Fusion GPS didn’t respond, though the company has previously said “it was not required to register under FARA and it did not spread false information about William Browder or Sergei Magnitsky.”

Browder pointed out that Fusion GPS and Simpson began working for Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who would later make headlines for her meeting with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower, in 2014 [it was 2016 per your link] and provided her with anti-Magnitsky research for years. Veselnitskaya, a former Russian prosecutor, maintained Russian government ties, according to special counsel Robert Mueller, including lobbying against 2016’s expanded Magnitsky Act.

The DOJ alleged that [a Cyprus-based real estate corporation] Russia-owned real estate company Prevezon Holdings laundered fraudulent money, and the company later settled with the DOJ for $5.9 million in what the department called “a $230 million Russian tax refund fraud scheme involving corrupt Russian officials.”…[The U.S. government had staked its case against Prevezon on the credibility of Browder. Yet he was reluctant to explain under oath where he had obtained his evidence.”]

[5/12/2017, “The [US] Government’s lawsuit alleged as follows: In 2007, a Russian criminal organization engaged in an elaborate tax refund fraud scheme resulting in a fraudulently obtained tax refund of approximately $230 million from the Russian treasury. As part of the fraud scheme, members of the organization stole the corporate identities of portfolio companies of the Hermitage Fund, a foreign investment fund operating in Russia. The organization’s members then used these stolen identities to make fraudulent claims for tax refunds....In a complex series of transfers through shell corporations, the $230 million from the Russian treasury was laundered into numerous accounts in Russia and other countries. A portion of the funds stolen from the Russian treasury passed through several shell companies into Prevezon Holdings, Ltd., a Cyprus-based real estate corporation that is a defendant in the forfeiture action. Prevezon Holdings laundered these fraud proceeds into its real estate holdings….“]

(continuing): “Veselnitskaya hired law firm BakerHostetler to help Prevezon in court, and the firm hired Fusion GPS, which Simpson confirmed in an interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee in August 2017.

[“Simpson and Fusion GPS co-founder Peter Fritsch wrote in their new book, Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump.“]…Browder was always eager to testify before Congress or appear on TV, but he did not want to answer questions from BakerHostetler lawyers about his role as a whistleblower in the Prevezon case. So the lawyers asked Fusion to figure out how they could get Browder’s testimony. What ensued was a legal game of cat and mouse in which Fusion developed information that would help BakerHostetler subpoena Browder multiple times, forcing him to testify about his business activities in Russia and earning Fusion his everlasting enmity. The U.S. government had staked its case against Prevezon on the credibility of Browder. Yet he was reluctant to explain under oath where he had obtained his evidence. It was an odd position for a human rights crusader to take,” Simpson and Fusion GPS co-founder Peter Fritsch wrote in their new book, Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump.

“I participated in two all-day depositions, but the case was settled before it went to court,” said Browder. “Otherwise, I would’ve been on the witness stand.”

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act documents released in 2018 show the DOJ and the FBI made extensive use of Steele’s [Golden Showers Anti-Trump] dossier in 2016. Fusion GPS was hired by Clinton’s campaign and the DNC through the Perkins Coie law firm. Fusion GPS then hired Steele [a British subject], who allegedly reached out to Russian sources to put together his dossier. Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook said they received briefings from Perkins Coie about Fusion GPS’s findings during the campaign.

Browder contended Fusion GPS created a dossier against him, too, by using “false information.”

“Since the Russians were working so closely with Simpsonon the anti-Magnitsky, anti-Bill Browder dossier, it would seem unlikely to me that the Russians wouldn’t know that there was another dossier being created,” Browder said….

In his Senate testimony, Simpson admitted to researching many of the allegations that appeared in Veselnitskaya’s talking points. When Donald Trump Jr. asked Veselnitskaya for proof, she did not provide any, according to Mueller’s report. Russian American lobbyist and former Soviet military officer Rinat Akhmetshin and the Russians then complained about U.S. sanctions and mentioned Russian adoption, and the Trump associates considered it a waste of time.

Browder believes that presentation was from Fusion GPS research, though Simpson denies any foreknowledge of the Trump Tower meeting despite seeing Veselnitskaya the day before, the day of, and the day after….

Veselnitskaya attended the meeting with fellow Russian anti-Magnitsky Act advocates, including Akhmetshin. Simpson told the Senate that BakerHostetler instructed Fusion GPS to pass anti-Browder research to Akhmetshin, who lobbied Congress against the Magnitsky Act. Akhmetshin, who is in Browder’s FARA complaint, criticized Browder in congressional testimony in 2017 and filed a lawsuit against him in 2018.

In January [couldn’t find the year], the DOJ unsealed an indictment against Veselnitskaya, now out of reach in Russia, alleging she’d obstructed justice during the Prevezon case through secret collaboration with Russia.

Fusion GPS’s co-founders said in their book that Prevezon’s court case was separate from its anti-Magnitsky Act activities.

“In early 2016, Prevezon — apart from the court case — had launched a lobbying campaign against the Global Magnitsky Act, working with Akhmetshin, in a backhanded effort to discredit [British subject] Browder in the halls of [US] Congress,” they wrote.

The firm never registered under FARA, they said, because it was not lobbying.

“Fusion had no say in the matter if Prevezon decided to take evidence from a court case and repurpose it. But all this would come back to haunt Fusion,” they wrote.”

………………………………

Added: Above Nov. 2019 article includes standalone quotes by Bill Browder but doesn’t provide a link or state the origin and context of the comments. I searched Browder’s twitter feed for awhile but didn’t see Fusion GPS mentioned. The internet lists multiple 2017 articles referencing Browder and GPS, an excerpt from a typical one is is posted below. I didn’t see any current relevant articles. Toward the end of the Washington Examiner article, the author quotes passages from a new book about Fusion GPS by Fusion GPS co-founders. Perhaps the book is the source of the standalone Browder quotes. In any case, it would’ve saved readers from wasting time trying to figure out the origin and context of the quotes. Following is typical of 2017 context:

7/26/2017: “In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, financier Bill Browder is expected to uncover another shocking revelation about Fusion GPS, the left-wing firm….According to Browder’s prepared remarks submitted to the committee ahead of his testimony, the firm spread vicious lies about Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer [Magnitsky was not a lawyer, he was an accountant: “Magnitsky was an accountant. Browder acknowledges in his deposition in U.S. federal court 2015 that Magnitsky didn’t have a law degree or go to law school. See him say it in a video clip. In his own interrogations, Magnitsky is identified as an auditor.”] who was imprisoned and [allegedly] killed for exposing corruption in Putin’s regime.

Browder’s testimony will dwell on the Russian government’s attempts to repeal a [US] law passed in retaliation for [alleged] abuses against Magnitsky, the Magnitsky Act. Russian attempts to repeal the law reached a fever pitch last year [2016] in Washington, and Browder will allege that the actors involved in this effort did not disclose their roles as agents for foreign interests, thus violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act. One of the notorious players in this game was none other than Fusion GPS.”

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