Since last week was dominated by the firing of The Mooch after his profanity-laced tirades, the media eye was taken off of more important items, like Russiagate and the Sergei Magnitsky Act. Russiagate is ongoing news, but Bill Browder testified before the Senate Judiciary on Russian meddling on the 27th, revealing some explosive information on the topic that Trump, Trump Jr., and Putin all gloss over with one word, “adoption” –because you know it’s all about the children for these guys, right? Riiiight…
Also, isn’t it fascinating that Putin and Trump both use the same tactics when discussing Magnitsky? It’s as if they might have discussed it or something. Great colluding minds think alike?
Bill Browder, author, and Head of Global Magnitsky Justice campaign (Magnitsky died defending Browder as his lawyer in Russia) recommended an article by Maureen Erwin, political consultant and columnist for the San Francisco Examiner. We’ll look at some fascinating points from this piece and then come back to Browder’s important testimony.
Bill Browder’s Tweet:
“Great column about the power of the Magnitsky Act. How to fight a kleptocracy and win – by maureen-erwin -“
Great column about the power of the Magnitsky Act. How to fight a kleptocracy and win – by maureen-erwin – https://t.co/BcMTNpVUDx
— Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) August 3, 2017
Erwin points out that the Magnitsky Act could well be Vladimir Putin’s weakness: “Have we found Vladimir Putin’s Achilles’ heel?”
“Who would believe that a man leading a regime in which the disappearance of reporters and political dissidents is just another day at the Kremlin has a squishy spot for small children?,” writes Erwin.
Indeed, why should any rational person believe that Putin cares about Russian kids being adopted into American families? Putin is the one who ostensibly instituted the adoption ban according to Erwin, and likely as a proverbial red herring. As Browder points out on Twitter, “Putin murders anyone who stands in his way as he steals billions of dollars from Russia.”
This is the same guy that Trump was “honored” to meet?
Maureen Erwin points out that the Magnitsky Act — also known as the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012, was put in place by the Obama administration with bipartisan support. It was created because of the torture and murder of a whistleblower lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky at the hands of Russian guards –at least eighteen Russian individuals were implicated.
Magnitsky was imprisoned for one year before his ultimate death just days before he would be released. Magnitsky had revealed that Putin and Russian oligarchs who were Putin’s friends and loyalists were skimming revenues from the sale of state assets. (In Browder’s case, his company was seized by Russian police and Magnitsky discovered that $230 million in taxes were stolen.) Those assets were previously all government owned and managed, but Russia was beginning to enter the open-market system after the fall of communism. Putin made sure his loyalists got to skim off the cream during these early sales –a major fraud scheme. In Russia, Putin is now the law and that law is totally corrupt.
Keep in mind that the sale of Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft, and where the proceeds went, are subject to investigation today. Did proceeds go to the Trump campaign? We may soon find out.
Magnitsky, who was only 37, was not the only one imperiled by his whistleblowing. Following his death, Magnitsky’s lawyer, Nikolai Gorokhov, had a mysterious fall from a four story building in March, right before he was set to appear on Magnitsky’s mother’s behalf in court. A Russian opposition politician, Vladimir Kara-Murza, may have been poisoned twice after encouraging the sanctions imposed by the Obama administration. He appears in the video below. Browder points out seven people in total that have been murdered in connection to Magnitsky in his testimony before the Senate. His own life has also been threatened.
Putin ostensibly instituted a ban on the adoption of Russian children by Americans in retribution for the Magnitsky Act –In effect, punishing Russian orphans. So as Erwin points, out, this seems likely to be a cover for the human rights abuses committed by his regime. Now consider that Trump reportedly directed Jr. to try to steer the conversation about his meeting with a Russian lawyer offering incriminating evidence on Hillary towards the same cover that Putin has created: adoption. It’s as if Trump took the Russian propaganda playbook straight from Vladimir, is it not?
Certain Russians, and it seems even our own sitting president, don’t want anybody focused on the murderous Russian regime. In fact, a certain Russian wants to create the narrative that Magnitsky was not murdered at all. This was the fake story perpetrated by the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with Trump’s son after dangling the carrot of dirt on Hillary, according to Browder’s testimony.
Richard Engel of MSNBC reveals the background story in this Tweet from NBC news editor and writer, Bradd Jaffy. Note the ominous parallel to Trump: Putin came to power under the guise of draining the Russian swamp, only to make it far far worse. Note also how Putin angrily says, “Do you think that no one ever dies in American jails or what? Of course, they do, and so what? Do we have to make a story out of each of these cases?” It could remind you of Trump’s defense of Putin, “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?” when asked about Putin’s killings.
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) July 9, 2017
When They Say 'Russian Adoptions,' It’s Code For Magnitsky Sanctions Against Russian Torturers and Murderers https://t.co/iGJGtFS8ni
— Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) August 3, 2017
As Browder points out, “When they say ‘Russian adoptions,’ it’s code for Magnitsky sanctions against Russian torturers and murderers.”
Watch William Browder’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee below. He may have been set up to be Putin’s scapegoat, but he and his lawyer Magnitsky have turned out to be the wrong men to mess with:
Featured image: Screenshot from MSNBC video, Twitter