One of the many targets of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS is accusing them of assisting the Kremlin in its effort to have him “imprisoned and killed.”
The strong allegation comes from Bill Browder, a London-based banker who spearheaded the Magnitsky Act, a sanctions law vehemently opposed by the Russian government.
Browder made the allegation in response to the recent revelation that Fusion GPS and its founder Glenn Simpson compiled what he says is false information about him that was given to Yuri Chaika, Russia’s prosecutor general, and to Donald Trump Jr. during the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.
“If it is true that Glenn Simpson was supplying information about me to the Russian government, it’s far more serious than smear campaigning or Foreign Agents Registration Act violations,” said Browder, the head of Hermitage Capital.
“It would mean that Simpson was assisting the Putin regime in their plot to get me back to Russia to have me imprisoned and killed.
It was previously known that the Washington, D.C-based Fusion GPS’s investigation of Browder was beneficial to the Russian government and its effort to reverse the Magnitsky Act. But it was revealed only last week that information Fusion collected on Browder was shared directly with Chaika, whose position is the Russian equivalent of the U.S. attorney general.
Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian attorney who attended the Trump Tower meeting, is who provided both Chaika and Trump Jr. with the Fusion-generated information on Browder. She took a four-page report into the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting, which was attended by Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Veselnitskaya worked with Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, on the anti-Browder project. Reuters reported on Thursday that Simpson compiled the research for the Trump Tower memo. And NBC News reported on Friday that similar research put together by Simpson was given by Veselnitskaya to Chaika in Oct. 2015.
Browder, who was born in Chicago but is a British citizen, is a target of the Kremlin’s ire because of his role in pushing through the Magnitsky Act, which passed Congress in 2012. The Russian government recently issued an Interpol arrest in an attempt to apprehend Browder. Vladimir Putin reportedly approved the move against the 53-year-old money manager, who wrote a book about his travails called “Red Notice,” a reference to the term used for Interpol warrants.
Fusion GPS, which is based in Washington, D.C., became involved in the Browder matter after being hired by BakerHostetler, a law firm representing Denis Katsyv, a Russian businessman who faced penalties because of the Magnitsky Act.
Simpson worked closely on the investigation with the Moscow-based Veselnitskaya, who represents Katsyv and his firm, Prevezon Holdings.
Veselnitskaya’s affiliation with Simpson is one of the stranger story lines arising from both the Trump Tower meeting and the dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC.
Theories have circulated that Fusion GPS arranged the Trump Tower meeting in order to compromise the Trump campaign or that Simpson relayed details of the meeting provided by Veselnitskaya to Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the dossier.
Fusion was being paid for its dossier work at the same time it was being paid by BakerHostetler to investigate Browder.
Adding even more fuel to those theories was a report this week that Simpson and Veselnitskaya met just before and just after she attended the Trump Tower session:
BUSTED! MEETING BETWEEN FUSION GPS AND RUSSIAN LAWYER BEFORE AND AFTER:
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 Jr. 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 opposition research firm has faced renewed scrutiny after litigation revealed that the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid for that research. Congressional Republicans have since questioned whether that politically financed research contributed to the FBI’s investigation of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – making Fusion’s 2016 contacts with Russian interests all the more relevant.
DNC MONEY FUNNELED THROUGH LAW FIRM TO FUSION GPS?
The June 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya occurred during a critical period. Bank records show Fusion GPS was paid by a law firm for work on behalf of a Kremlin-linked oligarch while paying a 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. Court records show email correspondence and published reports corroborate the pair’s presence together. They also were together after the Trump Tower meeting.
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