Everyone, and I mean everyone, needs to either listen to or read Browder's testimony. It's incredibly relevant to the current investigation.
Good to see he's still out there telling his story, everyone needs to hear it.
Highlights from Bill Browder's Senate Judiciary Testimony:
Russia has a well-known reputation for corruption; unfortunately, I discovered that it was far worse than many had thought.
When Putin was first elected in 2000, he found that the oligarchs had misappropriated much of the president’s power as well. They stole power from him while stealing money from my investors.
in July 2003 ... Putin arrested Russia’s biggest oligarch and richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. After Khodorkovsky’s conviction, the other oligarchs went to Putin and asked him what they needed to do to avoid sitting in the same cage as Khodorkovsky. From what followed, it appeared that Putin’s answer was, “Fifty percent.” He wasn’t saying 50 percent for the Russian government or the presidential administration of Russia, but 50 percent for Vladimir Putin personally. From that moment on, Putin became the biggest oligarch in Russia and the richest man in the world
Over 25 Interior Ministry officials barged into my Moscow office and the office of the American law firm that represented me. The officials seized all the corporate documents connected to the investment holding companies of the funds that I advised. I didn’t know the purpose of these raids so I hired the smartest Russian lawyer I knew, a 35-year-old named Sergei Magnitsky. I asked Sergei to investigate the purpose of the raids and try to stop whatever illegal plans these officials had.
Sergei went out and investigated. He came back with the most astounding conclusion of corporate identity theft: The documents seized by the Interior Ministry were used to fraudulently re-register our Russian investment holding companies to a man named Viktor Markelova known criminal convicted of manslaughter. After more digging, Sergei discovered that the stolen companies were used by the perpetrators to misappropriate $230 million of taxes that our companies had paid to the Russian government in the previous year.
As I thought about it, the murder of Sergei Magnitsky was done to cover up the theft of $230 million from the Russian Treasury. I knew that the people who stole that money wouldn’t keep it in Russia. As easily as they stole the money, it could be stolen from them. These people keep their ill-gotten gains in the West, where property rights and rule of law exist. This led to the idea of freezing their assets and banning their visas here in the West.
In 2010, I traveled to Washington and told Sergei Magnitsky’s story to Senators Benjamin Cardin and John McCain. They were both shocked and appalled and proposed a new piece of legislation called The Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act.
Despite the White House’s desire to reset relations with Russia at the time, this case shined a bright light on the criminality and impunity of the Putin regime and persuaded Congress that something needed to be done. In November 2012 the Magnitsky Act passed the House of Representatives by 364 to 43 votes and later the Senate 92 to 4 votes. On December 14, 2012, President Obama signed the Sergei Magnitsky Act into law.
Putin was furious. Looking for ways to retaliate against American interests, he settled on the most sadistic and evil option of all: banning the adoption of Russian orphans by American families.
since 2012 it’s emerged that Vladimir Putin was a beneficiary of the stolen $230 million that Sergei Magnitsky exposed.
I estimate that he has accumulated $200 billion of ill-gotten gains from these types of operations over his 17 years in power. He keeps his money in the West and all of his money in the West is potentially exposed to asset freezes and confiscation. Therefore, he has a significant and very personal interest in finding a way to get rid of the Magnitsky sanctions.
The second reason why Putin reacted so badly to the passage of the Magnitsky Act is that it destroys the promise of impunity he’s given to all of his corrupt officials.
There are approximately ten thousand officials in Russia working for Putin who are given instructions to kill, torture, kidnap, extort money from people, and seize their property. Before the Magnitsky Act, Putin could guarantee them impunity and this system of illegal wealth accumulation worked smoothly. However, after the passage of the Magnitsky Act, Putin’s guarantee disappeared. The Magnitsky Act created real consequences outside of Russia and this created a real problem for Putin and his system of kleptocracy.
One of the most shocking attempts took place in the spring and summer of last year when a group of Russians went on a lobbying campaign in Washington to try to repeal the Magnitsky Act by changing the narrative of what had happened to Sergei.
Who was this group of Russians acting on behalf of the Russian state? Two men named Pyotr and Denis Katsyv, a woman named Natalia Veselnitskaya, and a large group of American lobbyists, all of whom are described below.
Her first step was to set up a fake NGO that would ostensibly promote Russian adoptions, although it quickly became clear that the NGO’s sole purpose was to repeal the Magnitsky Act. This NGO was called the Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative Foundation (HRAGI).
Through HRAGI, Rinat Akhmetshin, a former Soviet intelligence officer naturalised as an American citizen, was hired to lead the Magnitsky repeal effort.
Veselnitskaya also instructed U.S. law firm Baker Hostetler and their Washington, D.C.-based partner Marc Cymrot to lobby members of Congress to support an amendment taking Sergei Magnitsky’s name off the Global Magnitsky Act. Mr. Cymrot was in contact with Paul Behrends, a congressional staffer on the House Foreign Affairs Committee at the time, as part of the anti-Magnitsky lobbying campaign.
Veselnitskaya, through Baker Hostetler, hired Glenn Simpson of the firm Fusion GPS to conduct a smear campaign against me and Sergei Magnitsky in advance of congressional hearings on the Global Magnitsky Act.
As part of Veselnitskaya’s lobbying, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, Chris Cooper of the Potomac Group, was hired to organize the Washington, D.C.-based premiere of a fake documentary about Sergei Magnitsky and myself. This was one the best examples of Putin’s propaganda.
On June 13, 2016, they funded a major event at the Newseum to show their fake documentary, inviting representatives of Congress and the State Department to attend.
While they were conducting these operations in Washington, D.C., at no time did they indicate that they were acting on behalf of Russian government interests, nor did they file disclosures under the Foreign Agent Registration Act.
From Trump's Interview with The New York Times.
"The meal was going toward dessert," Trump said. "I went down just to say hello to Melania, and while I was there I said hello to Putin. Really, pleasantries more than anything else. It was not a long conversation, but it was, you know, could be 15 minutes. Just talked about things. Actually, it was very interesting, we talked about adoption."
Pyotr & Denis Katsyv:
Prevezon is owned by Russian businessman Denis Katsyv.
Pyotr Katsyv, was vice premier and minister of transport of Moscow region from 2004 to 2012. Katsyv’s deputy minister was Alexander Mitusov, Veselnitskaya’s ex husband.
Lawyer who met with Don Jr., Manafor, and Kushner at Trump Tower about "adoptions", Represented Prevezon
Aide to Dana Rohrabacher, fired after meeting with Rinat Akmetshin to receive Anti-Magnistksy materials.
Gave Behrends the materials, also at Trump Tower famous for "Opposition Research".
Prevezon, a real-estate company incorporated in Cyprus, laundered millions of dollars into New York City real estate garnered high-profile attention given its ties to a $230 million Russian tax-fraud scheme and Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
The case was settled in May 2017, two months after Trump fired the prosecutor, Preet Bharara.
Ike Kaveladze 8th at TT meeting:
In 2000, the U.S. Government Accountability Office accused Kaveladze of laundering more than $1.4 billion from Russia and eastern Europe through U.S. banks in a scheme that spanned nearly a decade.
Edited to add links to persons connected.
Thanks for the Gold y'all!
Everyone should listen to this episode of Planet Money: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/07/14/537304186/episode-784-meeting-the-russians . I never clearly understood what the Russians have been trying to achieve this until I heard it
Read his whole book, it's well worth it.
I'm just about 3/4 of the way through reading it currently. Wound up staying up until midnight (late for my old ass) last night reading it. Definitely recommend it.
Edit: the book is called "Red Notice".
The second half of Pod Save the World this week too. It's such a powerful story.
Thus inspiring the Magnitsky act
Who was Sergei Magnitsky and just what was the tax fraud that he blew the whistle on? From Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, on page 259:
[William] Browder used to be one of the President's [Putin] more vocal supporters, back when he was the largest foreign investor in Russia. He'd come back to the country in the 1990s when most in Western finance said it was crazy to even try. He proved them all wrong. Then in 2006 he pissed off the wrong people in Russia and was banned from the country. Then things got worse: the documents for his old investment vehicles were taken in a raid by the police. Browder told a Russian lawyer, Sergey Magnitsky who worked for a Moscow-based law firm called Firestone and Duncan, to follow the trail. It turned out the investment companies were being illegally signed over by the cops to petty criminals, who would then ask for tax rebates on the companies would hundreds of millions of pounds, which were then granted by corrupt tax officials, signed off on by the same cops who had taken the documents out in the first place and wired to two banks owned by a convicted fraudster - an old friend of the aforementioned cops and tax officials. Officially, the tax officials and cops earned only a few thousand a year, but they had property worth hundreds of thousands, drove Porsches, and went on shopping trips to Harrods in London. And this was happening year after year. The biggest tax-fraud scheme in history. Magnitsky thought he had caught a few bad apples.
Magnitsky gave an interview to Bloomberg Business Week. Twelve days later he was arrested; he was tortured and eventually died in a Russian prison a year later. It hadn't been a case of a few bad apples. An anonymous letter by a whistle-blower to a Russian newspaper said the tax-rebate mechanism was known as the 'black till of the Kremlin,' used systematically for everything from personal enrichment to financing covert wars or foreign elections.
His name was Sergei Magnitsky. A true, courageous hero. Fuck Putin and his Mafia state.
For anyone doubting whether to bother reading this or not, please do it. It absolutely sounds like it's going to become relevant to the Russian collusion investigation and is a fascinating read on international corruption from a credible source.
Read it all in two days. One of the most enthralling books I've read in a while and I highly recommend everyone reads it
And if that's not enough, the latest episode of Pod Save The World sums it up really good too when they are interviewing Bill Bowder.
If you listened to his C-SPAN testimony, you're probably good.
I'm a resident assistant at a state university and I found his statement so incredibly compelling that I made a bulletin board for my residents highlighting the major points. This stuff is more important than the MSM would have you think, I'm glad I saw a number of redditors saying it's a must-watch.
And if you want something a little more compact, check out last week's Pod Save The World. He's a guest. Incredibly articulate dude.
At this point I think it should be expanded to include freezing accounts and assets of anyone whom fails to register as a foreign agent.
Putin is the biggest criminal ever. The ultimate gangster.
Putin is a psychopathic thug idolized by the weak.
For those that are interested in a great synopsis, I highly recommend NPR's Planet Money podcast with Browder. Also, it's relatively short at 20 minutes.
the self promotion is a little clumsy, but I clicked.
I would gild you if I wasn't a . This shit is making my blood boil, I need to take a break from the internet today. Seriously.
Invent an alternative history regarding the westerner. Push a positive Putin spin. Attack the western world rich.
Go back to rigging elections you facist.
There can be US born and raised foreign agents.
Please stop using /sub/politics in attempt to gain views for your YouTube videos. This is the 3rd time I've clicked a link to that video, where it had no relevance to the discussion at hand. There is already enough noise here without people trying to promote themselves.
There is an actual discussion happening here, please try and be respectful of that.
When they say "talked about adoption" they aren't lying; they were talking about what Trump could possibly do to get Putin to roll back his adoption-ban, which was put in place specifically in response to the Magnitsky Act.
I actually read his testimony in that Atlantic article yesterday and it all clicked when Browder mentioned the retaliation by banning foreign adoption of Russian children.
Donald Jr., Kushner and Manafort are guilty as sin for attending that meeting.
You guys sure let your memes get stale.
Came here to say same. When "certain folks" say the west ought to forge good relations with Putin's Russia, they ought to see him for what he is; a murderous criminal who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
Like Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn.
I thought the plot pretty much summarized the whole book, while of course leaving a lot of details out. So you're saying it's worth going into them? Do you learn something valuable?
Excuse me for being naive, but if its a book just to pass the time, then I already have a lot on my plate..
How about not letting foreign agents have accounts and assets except in the country they are registered in the first place, then no one would have money laundering as a reason to lie about it.