Monday, July 10, 2017

Make It Stop!

The following excerpted article looks to be saying that a private firm, Fusion GPS, was hired by various people to  1) get dope on what kompromat the Kremlin might have on Trump; and 2) get dope on a man named Bill Browder in an effort to help Russia neuter the Magnitsky Act which sanctions Russians accused of human rights abuses.  Or, as another article says:   Opposition Research Firm Behind Trump Dossier Worked On Pro-Kremlin Lobbying Effort
Fusion’s work on the two projects — one favorable to the Kremlin (Magnitsky) and the other unfavorable (the dossier) — has drawn attention from Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  Daily Caller
I can see how it might.  It can also be argued that one project is favorable to Donald Trump and one unfavorable.  Apparently they are apolitical and will work for whoever pays them.  But it's interesting that their clients - with competing interests - are using the same company.  Is Fusion GPS the only game in town?*
The Republican has questioned why the FBI reportedly used an uncorroborated document financed by a Clinton ally as part of the basis for its investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

Grassley has also asked the FBI about reports that the bureau informally agreed to pay Steele $50,000 to continue his research on Trump. That payment was reportedly never made, though it is unclear why. Both the FBI and Fusion GPS have avoided answering Grassley’s questions about the dossier.
I can see why they might.
In his letters to the FBI, Grassley has cited a complaint that [Bill] Browder [a  London-based businessman] filed with the Justice Department last July. In that document, Browder said that Fusion GPS was waging an opposition research campaign against him on behalf of a Russian businessman who was under investigation in the U.S. for money laundering [as part of an influence campaign aimed at neutering the Magnitsky Act].


Browder was the leading force behind the campaign to pass the Magnitsky Act, a move which angered Russian president Vladimir Putin.


Fusion GPS had been hired by the international law firm, BakerHostetler. The law firm was in turn was working for Denis Katsyv, the head of a Cyprus-based company called Prevezon Holdings.

Prevezon, Denis Katsyv’s company, was implicated in the money laundering scheme. Prevezon reached a $6 million settlement with the U.S. government in the case in May.

Browder tells TheDC that he will testify about Fusion GPS, Simpson, BakerHostetler lawyer Mark Cymrot, and Akhmetshin, the former Soviet agent who is now a Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist and consultant.

Akhmetshin was the lobbyist of record for a group formed last year called the Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative Foundation (HRAGIF).

The organization’s official mission was to end the Russian adoption ban implemented by Putin. But in reality, HRAGIF used adoption as a dangle to compel U.S. lawmakers to revise the Magnitsky Act.


The anti-Magnitsky campaign took a new twist over the weekend after it was revealed that a Russian lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya met on June 9, 2016 with Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.


After The New York Times reported the existence of the meeting on Saturday, Trump’s legal team pointed to Veselnitskaya’s work on Magnitsky and that lobbying campaign’s links to Fusion GPS. A spokesman for Trump’s legal team suggested that the Russian lawyer could have sought to compromise the campaign.

It has since emerged that Trump Jr. was approached for the meeting by Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who works for Emin Agalarov, a Kazakh musician whose billionaire father is close to the Russian government.
Stop! Stop! Stop! I need pictures!

There's more. I'm not even going to attempt to put it together. My brain hurts.

Read it yourself.

 ...but hey, do what you will anyway.

*UPDATE: More on Fusion GPS

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