Magnitsky Act

August 27, 2019 – The European Court of Human Rights publishes a judgement that dispels the myth behind the Magnitsky Act

The European Council of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. (Credit: Council of Europe)

“The conscientious judges of the European Court of Human Rights published a judgment a fortnight ago which utterly exploded the version of events promulgated by Western governments and media in the case of the late Mr. Magnitskiy. Yet I can find no truthful report of the judgment in the mainstream media at all.

The myth is that Magnitskiy was an honest rights campaigner and accountant who discovered corruption by Russian officials and threatened to expose it and was consequently imprisoned on false charges and then tortured and killed. A campaign over his death was led by his former business partner, hedge fund manager Bill Browder, who wanted massive compensation for Russian assets allegedly swindled from their venture. The campaign led to the passing of the Magnitskiy Act in the United States, providing powers for sanctioning individuals responsible for human rights abuses, and also led to matching sanctions being developed by the EU.

However, the European Court of Human Rights has found, in judging a case brought against Russia by the Magnitskiy family, that the very essence of this story is untrue. They find that there was credible evidence that Magnitskiy was indeed engaged in tax fraud, in conspiracy with Browder, and he was rightfully charged. The ECHR also found there was credible evidence that Magnitskiy was indeed a flight risk so he was rightfully detained. And most crucially of all, they find that there was credible evidence of tax fraud by Magnitskiy and action by the authorities “years” before he started to make counter-accusations of corruption against officials investigating his case.

This judgment utterly explodes the accepted narrative, and does it very succinctly:

The applicants argued that Mr. Magnitskiy’s arrest had not been based on a reasonable suspicion of a
crime and that the authorities had lacked impartiality as they had actually wanted to force him to
retract his allegations of corruption by State officials. The Government argued that there had been
ample evidence of tax evasion and that Mr. Magnitskiy had been a flight risk.
The Court reiterated the general principles on arbitrary detention, which could arise if the
authorities had complied with the letter of the law but had acted with bad faith or deception. It
found no such elements in this case: the inquiry into alleged tax evasion which had led to
Mr. Magnitskiy’s arrest had begun long before he had complained of fraud by officials. The decision
to arrest him had only been made after investigators had learned that he had previously applied for
a UK visa had booked tickets to Kyiv and had not been residing at his registered address.
Furthermore, the evidence against him, including witness testimony, had been enough to satisfy an
objective observer that he might have committed the offense in question. The list of reasons given
by the domestic court to justify his subsequent detention had been specific and sufficiently detailed.
The Court thus rejected the applicants’ complaint about Mr. Magnitskiy’s arrest and subsequent
detention as being manifestly ill-founded.

“Manifestly ill-founded”. The mainstream media ran reams of reporting about the Magnitskiy case at the time of the passing of the Magnitskiy Act. I am offering a bottle of Lagavulin to anybody who can find me an honest and fair MSM report of this judgment reflecting that the whole story was built on lies.

Magnitskiy did not uncover corruption then get arrested on false charges of tax evasion. He was arrested on credible charges of tax evasion and subsequently started alleging corruption. That does not mean his accusations were unfounded. It does, however, cast his arrest in a very different light.” (Read more: Craig Murray, 9/16/2019)

November 14, 2017 – The Russian-American lobbyist who attended the Trump Tower meeting, knows Clinton and her inner circle

Rinat Akhmetshin (Credit: Getty Images)

“The Russian-American lobbyist who attended the infamous Trump Tower meeting had contacts with members of Hillary Clinton’s inner circle and knew Clinton herself, he told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017.

“I knew [Clinton]; I knew some people who worked on her campaign,” the lobbyist, Rinat Akhmetshin, told the Senate Judiciary Committee in closed-door testimony on Nov. 14.

Akhmetshin, a former Soviet military intelligence officer, also said his attorney, Edward Lieberman, knows Clinton well. Lieberman’s late wife, Evelyn Lieberman, was a close confidante of Clinton’s. At one point, Akhmetshin said he was not a fan of President Donald Trump’s family.

The revelation of Akhmetshin’s Clinton links are significant because he has been portrayed as a possible conspirator in a collusion scheme between Trump’s campaign and Russian government.

Akhmetshin attended the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya.

(…) “Akhmetshin and other meeting participants all testified to the Judiciary panel the meeting was a dud and no information about Clinton changed hands. Instead, Veselnitskaya lobbied heavily against the Magnitsky Act, a law blacklisting Russian human rights abusers. Veselnitskaya carried into the meeting a memo that accused Bill Browder, a London-based banker who is the leading force behind the Magnitsky Act, of links to improper donations to Democrats.

In a bizarre twist, it turned out Veselnitskaya’s memo was put together by Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS — the firm that commissioned the Steele dossier. Simpson happened to be working with Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin to investigate Browder as part of an effort to undermine the Magnitsky Act. ” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 5/18/2018)

June 9, 2016 – Fusion GPS co-founder, Glenn Simpson, met with Russian lawyer Veselnitskaya, before and after her meeting with Donald Trump Jr.

Glenn Simpson (Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/The Associated Press)

“The co-founder of Fusion GPS, the firm behind the unverified Trump dossier, met with a Russian lawyer before and after a key meeting she had last year with Trump’s son, Fox News has learned. The contacts shed new light on how closely tied the firm was to Russian interests, at a time when it was financing research to discredit then-candidate Donald Trump.”

(…) “The June 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya occurred during a critical period. At that time, Fox News has learned that bank records show Fusion GPS was paid by a law firm for work on behalf of a Kremlin-linked oligarch while paying former British spy Christopher Steele to dig up dirt on Trump through his Russian contacts.

But hours before the Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016, Fusion co-founder and ex-Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson was with Veselnitskaya in a Manhattan federal courtroom, a confidential source told Fox News. Court records reviewed by Fox News, email correspondence and published reports corroborate their presence together. The source told Fox News they also were together after the Trump Tower meeting.”

(…) “NBC News first reported that Veselnitskaya and Simpson were both at a hearing centered around another Fusion client, Russian oligarch Denis Katsyv. His company, Prevezon Holdings, was sanctioned against doing business in the U.S. for its alleged role in laundering more than $230 million. Fox News obtained audio records from that hearing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

The wrongdoing had been uncovered by Russian lawyer and whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky, who was beaten to death in a Russian prison in 2009 after being arrested for probing Prevezon and other companies with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In December 2012, the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act was passed into U.S. law, freezing Russian assets and banning visas for sanctioned individuals. Fusion’s Simpson is believed to have been working with Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin, a former Soviet counter-intelligence officer turned Russian-American lobbyist, to overturn the sanctions.” (Read more: Fox News, 11/7/2017)

June 9, 2016 – Donald Trump Jr. meets with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower

Natalia Veselnitskaya (Credit: Yury Martyanov/Kommersant/The Associated Press)

“Before Trump Jr. was set to meet with the Russian lawyer as his father campaigned for the presidency, Trump Jr. was told Veselnitskaya’s potentially damning information about Clinton was from the Kremlin, according to emails he released.

Trump Jr. has maintained that Veselnitskaya did not have any information to share and instead wanted to discuss other matters, such as the Magnitsky Act which enacts sanctions on certain Russian officials as punishment for human rights violations.

“After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton,” Trump Jr. said in a statement.

“Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered,” Trump Jr. continued.

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attended the meeting, along with a translator.

Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who set up the meeting, was also in attendance, as well as Rinat Akhmetshin, a prominent Russian-American lobbyist, Ike Kaveladze, a business associate of a Moscow-based developer and a translator.

A spokesperson for Trump’s outside legal team said Trump “was not aware of and did not attend the meeting.” Trump Jr. said he “wouldn’t have wasted his time” by telling him about the meeting. (Read more: Fox News, 5/16/2018)

March 7 – October 31, 2016: Fusion GPS bank records show Russia-related payments to law firm representing Prevezon Holdings, sought to limit impact on Magnitsky sanctions

The records show that Fusion was also paid $523,651 by the law firm BakerHostetler between March 7, 2016 and Oct. 31, 2016.

Fusion worked for BakerHostetler to investigate Bill Browder, a London-based banker who helped push through the Magnitsky Act, a sanctions law vehemently opposed by the Kremlin.

Denis Katsyv (Credit: public domain)

BakerHostetler represented Prevezon Holdings and its owner, a Russian businessman named Denis Katsyv.

Katsyv and Prevezon sought to limit the impact of the Magnitsky sanctions.

Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and Fusion GPS founding partner, compiled the research for the anti-Browder project. He worked closely with Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who also showed up at the infamous Trump Tower meeting held on June 9, 2016.

Simpson’s research ended up in the Trump Tower meeting in the form of a four-page memo carried by Veselnitskaya. She also shared Simpson’s work with Yuri Chaika, the prosecutor general of Russia.

Simpson told the House Intelligence Committee earlier this week that he did not know that Veselnitskaya provided the Browder information to Chaika or to Donald Trump Jr., the Trump campaign’s point-man in the Trump Tower meeting.

Simpson testified that he did not know that Veselnitskaya had visited Trump Tower until it was reported in the press earlier this year.

(Read more: The Daily Caller, 11/21/2017)

June 29, 2010 – Hillary Clinton opposes the Magnitsky Act at the same time Bill Clinton gives a speech in Moscow for Renaissance Capital

Bill Clinton makes a cool half a million after giving a speech to Renassaince Capital on June 29, 2010. (Credit: public domain)

“In December 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that Hillary Clinton opposed the Magnitsky Act while serving as secretary of state. Her opposition coincided with Bill Clinton giving a speech in Moscow for Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank—for which he was paid $500,000. “Mr. Clinton also received a substantial payout in 2010 from Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank whose executives were at risk of being hurt by possible U.S. sanctions tied to a complex and controversial case of alleged corruption in Russia.

Members of Congress wrote to Mrs. Clinton in 2010 seeking to deny visas to people who had been implicated by Russian accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who was jailed and died in prison after he uncovered evidence of a large tax-refund fraud. William Browder, a foreign investor in Russia who had hired Mr. Magnitsky, alleged that the accountant had turned up evidence that Renaissance officials, among others, participated in the fraud.” The State Department opposed the sanctions bill at the time, as did the Russian government. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pushed Hillary Clinton to oppose the legislation during a meeting in St. Petersburg in June 2012, citing that U.S.-Russia relations would suffer as a result.

The Wall Street Journal report continued, “A few weeks later [June 29, 2010], Bill Clinton participated in a question-and-answer session at a Renaissance Capital investors conference. He was paid $500,000. After the appearance, Mr. Clinton received a personal thank-you call from Vladimir Putin, then the Russian prime minister, the government news agency TASS reported.”

A spokesperson for Hillary Clinton denied the connection between her stance against the bill and Bill Clinton’s paid speech, but the conflict of interest is undeniable. During the presidential election, the Clinton campaign even took measures to stop a story reporting the link. An email released by Wikileaks from a Clinton Campaign [staffer]  and Chair John Podesta in May 2015 noted, “With the help of the research team, we killed a Bloomberg story trying to link HRC’s opposition to the Magnitsky bill to a $500,000 speech that WJC gave in Moscow.” (Read more: The Observer, 7/13/2017)