The Progressive Populist: The Gripping Story Behind the Case for Trump-Putin Collusion

The following is an excellent article written by Jefferson Morley on the Salon.com website on August 10, 2017 which wa spublished in the September 1, 2017 issue of The Progressive Populiston page 8 titled “The Gripping Story Behind the Case for Trunmp-PutinCollusion” and I quote:

“The gripping story behind the case for Trump-Putin collusion”

Bill Browder’s explosive testimony provides compelling insight at the heart of the Russia investigation

Skip to Comments

Topics: AlterNet, Bill Browder, Donald Trump jr. e-mails, Elections 2016, Foreign Agent Registration Act, meeting, NPR, president donald trump, Putin, quid pro quo, Russia collusion, witness,

The gripping story behind the case for Trump-Putin collusion(Credit: Getty Images/InvisibleNature/Pressphotos/AFP)
This article originally appeared on AlterNet

AlterNet

The most important witness so far in the investigation of President Trump’s ties to Russia didn’t even qualify for CNN.

While the Washington press corps and the rest of the world was distracted last week by the antics of the Mooch, Spicey, and the Donald, Bill Browder, an American-born British banker, was relegated to the side stage of C-SPAN3. For the Senate Judiciary Committee and the hard-core cable audience, Browder laid out what NPR called “a terrifying and complex picture of Putin’s Russia.”

A week later, Browder’s testimony remains the #1 article on TheAtlantic.com website, and for good reason. It is a gripping story that makes sense of the motive forces behind the collaboration of Trump and Putin in the 2016 election.

While Browder was only summoned to Capitol Hill to talk about the Foreign Agent Registration Act, his testimony about Putin’s government provided something that Washington and the public at large sorely need. Amid a welter of revelations and allegations, Browder provided a coherent narrative of how and why Putin sought Trump’s help.

Red capitalist

Browder is well qualified to tell the tale. He is the grandson of Earl Browder, the leader of the American communist party who had lived in the Soviet Union in the 1920s. In the ultimate act of familial rebellion, Bill Browder emigrated to Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

“My grandfather had been the biggest communist in America,” he wrote in a memoir, “and as I watched these events unfold, I decided that I wanted to become the biggest capitalist in Eastern Europe.”

Browder founded and ran one of the largest investment firms in Russia, Hermitage Capital Management, from 1996 to 2005. He made a fortune but learned the hard way about the price of crossing Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Browder claimed Putin demands a 50 percent cut of all major business ventures in Russia, making him the world’s richest man with a fortune of more than $200 billion stashed in Western banks. The figure is impossible to confirm, but Browder’s personal story of life among the oligarchs makes it sound plausible.

When a group of Russians muscled Browder and a partner out of $230 million via extortion and forgery, he and his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky went to the authorities with a fraud claim.

“And we waited for the good guys to get the bad guys,” Browder said. “It turned out that in Putin’s Russia, there are no good guys.”

Browder’s account would make for an gripping Hollywood screenplay. Magnitsky was arrested and when he refused to withdraw Browder’s case was mistreated and eventually died in Siberian prison, Browder dedicated his life to exposing Putin. In return, he got a reign of terror. One of the lawyers on his team was poisoned; another was thrown out of a fourth-floor window (and survived).

Seeking justice for his dead friend, Browder came to the United State to press U.S. senators for passage of a law to sanction the Russian officials involved in the Magnitsky affair by prohibiting them from entering the United States or using the American banking system. Putin retaliated by prohibiting adoption of Russian children by American citizens.

“The Magnitsky Act created real consequences outside of Russia and this created a real problem for Putin and his system of kleptocracy,” Browder testified.

Enter Donald Trump

In the spring of 2016, Putin was probing for ways to get the Magnitsky Act repealed. A Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya become “the point person” for Putin’s campaign against the law and Browder.

When she offered incriminating information to Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son replied “I love it,” and arranged a meeting with his brother-in-law Jared Kushner and then campaign manager Paul Manafort.

The result was the famous June 9, 2016, meeting in Trump Tower. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that when the New York Times first reported on the meeting in early July  2017, President Trump personally dictated the false statement that the “unimportant” meeting only concerned Russian adoptions.

(A trivial conclave about “adoption” is Jared Kushner’s story too, and he’s sticking to it, albeit not under oath.)

In fact, the meeting concerned the repeal of the Magnitsky Act and what it would take to get it repealed.

Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya have both said no incriminating information about Clinton ended up changing hands in the meeting, a rather narrow defense that seems designed to evade the possibility that the incriminating information changed hands soon after.

Quid pro quo

The highlight of Browder’s testimony came when Sen. Dianne Feinstein D-Calif. asked Browder if the meeting could have been the Russian government’s way of offering a “quid pro quo” in exchange for repealing the law that Putin loathed.

“This was a big ask,” Browder replied. The Russians were seeking to roll back sanctions that crimped the travel and finances of Putin and his circle of oligarchs. “They wouldn’t have gone in and said ‘please can you repeal this for us,’ without having something to offer in return.”

That was the art and the essence of Trump Tower deal: DNC dirt in exchange for Magnitsky Act repeal.

To be sure, Browder has not proven a violation of the law beyond a reasonable doubt, as Glenn Greenwald and others have demanded. Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller will have to decide what, if any, laws were broken there.

But Browder strengthened the case for collusion by clarifying in vivid language the reasons for the June 9, 2016, meeting. He has identified the essentials of the corrupt bargain that drove Trump’s assault on Hillary Clinton and his embrace of Vladimir Putin during the 2016 election.

Jefferson Morley

Jefferson Morley is a staff writer for Salon in Washington and author of the forthcoming book, Snow-Storm in August: Washington City, Francis Scott Key, and the Forgotten Race Riot of 1835 (Nan Talese/Doubleday).”
(THIS VERY INTERESTING STORY ABOUT BANKING IN RUSSIA INVOLVING AN AMERICAN-BORN BANKER, WHO CAUSED THE U.S. TO PUT SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA, WHICH THE LEADER OF COMMUNIST RUSSIA, VLADIMIR PUTIN WAS HOPING REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP WOULD TAKE THE MAGNITSKY SANCTIONS OFF OF RUSSIA.  JUST LIKE THEY’RE HOPING THE U.S. WILL TAKE THE SANCTIONS OFF RUSSIA FOR INVADING UKRAINE AND SEIZING THE CRIMEA REGION.  A PROBLEM FOR COMMUNIST RUSSIA WAS WHEN THE U.S. CONGRESS VOTED OVERWHELMINGLY TO KEEP THE SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA FOR SEIZING THE CRIMEA REGION AND PRESIDENT TRUMP RELUCTANTLY SIGNED IT.  IT’S NOW GOING TO BE INTERESTING OT SEE WHAT PRESIDENT TRUMP DOES ABOUT THE SANCTIONS CONCERNING RUSSIAN BANKING AND WHO IS MAKING ALL THE MONEY, PARTICULARLY SINCE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S NAME SHOWS UP 3,540 TIMES IN THE PANAMA PAPERS AS QUOTED FROM THE MIAMI HERALD ARTICLE DATED APRIL 29, 2016 WRITTEN BY KEVIN HALL, FRANCO ORDENEZ AND VERA BERGENGRUEN TITLED “WHAT PANAMA PAPERS SAY–AND DON’T SAY–ABOUT TRUMP.”  LOOK THIS ARTICLE UP YOURSELF ON THE COMPUTER.  THERE’S PLENTY OF EVIDENCE FOR SPECIAL PROSECUTOR, ROBERT MUELLER TO INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, PARTICULARLY IN HOW HE’S RUNNING HIS INVESTMENTS ALL AROUND THE WORLD AND HOW MUCH DID HE BORROW FROM FOREIGN BANKS TO DO SO BECAUSE HE COULD GET BLACKMAILED.
LaVern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen Member and USAF Veteran

 

Advertisements

About tim074

I'm a retired dairy farmer that was a member of the National Farmer's Organization (NFO). Before going farming, I spent 4 years in the United States Air Force where I saved up enough money to get my down payment to go farming. I also enjoy writing and reading biographies and I write about myself as well as articles and excerpts I find interesting. I'm specifically interested in finances, particularly in the banking industry because if it wasn't for help from my local Community Bank, I never could have started farming which I was successful at. So, I'm real interested in the Small Business Administration and I know they are the ones creating jobs. I have been a member of Common Cause and am now a member of Public Citizen as well as AARP. I have, in the past, written over 150 articles on the Obama Blog (my.barackobama.com) and I'd like to tie these two sites together. I'm also on Twitter, MySpace and Facebook and find these outlets terrifically interesting particularly what many of these people did concerning the uprising in the Arab world. I believe this is a smaller world than we think it is and my goal is to try to bring people together to live in peace because management needs labor like labor needs management. Up to now, that hasn't been so easy to find.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s