Senate Democrats Delay Witness from Testifying Against Fusion GPS


"They had meetings all up and down Capitol Hill with members of Congress trying to do the same thing", he said.

Bill Browder testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he suspects Fusion GPS gives "incentives" to journalists who push stories for their "smear campaigns". Not only was she working for a family in Russia closely tied to Putin, but she also worked for Russian security service the FSB "in the Moscow region where she's from", Browder said. "Mr.Browder has traveled from overseas to be here today to testify about the Russians' efforts to manipulate our government and media".

Browder got kicked out of Russian Federation after helping to expose an alleged $230 million fraud, where he claims companies his shareholders owned were essentially stolen and tax revenue taken.

Named after Browder's lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, who died amid allegations of beatings and medical neglect in a Russian jail after working to expose a purported tax fraud scheme by Russian officials, the 2012 law authorizes sanctions against human rights abusers in Russia and bans their entry to the United States.

According to Donald Trump Jr., who posted his emails about the July meeting, Veselnitskaya "wanted to talk about adoption policy and the Magnitsky Act". The bureau also reportedly struck an informal agreement to pay Steele $50,000 in order to continue gathering information about Trump.

'The interest and the goal in that meeting was to repeal the Magnitsky Act.

Thor Halvorssen, head of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation, told the Senate Judiciary Committee in written testimony that Washington-based political intelligence firm Fusion GPS operated a campaign against journalists who threatened to expose a multibillion-dollar fraud involving faulty South American electric power plants, the laundering of its proceeds in USA banks and a kickback scheme to pay off Venezuelan officials.

Needless to say, Putin hasn't taken kindly to all this.

One proposal discussed was removing a loophole that allows the removal of banks and other businesses from the treasury sanctions list without asking Congress first. For example, it's possible to remove banks from the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions list with executive action after they've been added. As a result, the only way he can get people to do such awful things is to say if you do such bad things, there will be no effect'.

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If all that weren't damning enough, Thor Halvorssen, president and CEO of the Human Rights Foundation, has also provided eye-opening testimony to the Judiciary Committee alleging that Fusion GPS is also operating in violation of the Foreign Agent Registration Act, owing to its involvement in an oddly similar scheme to prevent scrutiny of Venezuelan kleptocrats that are funneling money out of the oil-rich but unstable socialist country. But Browder fought back, giving an affadavit to the Justice Department accusing Fusion of acting in the interests of Russian Federation without registering as a foreign lobbying company.

He described it as "a loophole you can drive a truck through in the Lobbying Disclosures Act".

Fusion GPS, which Simpson co-founded in 2010 with other Journal reporters, was hired by a GOP donor in September 2015 to conduct research on Trump.

Congress then passed sanctions legislation in response in order to punish officials believed to be involved in Magnitsky's death.

The act requires people working on behalf of foreign governments attempting to influence USA public opinion or policy to register with the Justice Department.

"If people who haven't registered as foreign agents are convicted, prosecuted, and imprisoned, then everyone in the future will register as foreign agents", Browder argued.

Fusion GPS was apparently representing these same Putin-connected interests when they were involved in arranging the controversial meeting Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had with Rinat Akhmetshin, a former Russian intelligence officer and naturalized American citizen, and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya a year ago.

Asked his opinion of FARA compliance, Browder said the Trump Tower was meeting emblematic of the law's shortcomings.