I smell a rat. Warning bells in my brain are going off. What is Russian for “set up”?
Let’s go over the facts. Donald Jr is a novice. People know he’s a novice and maybe a bit cocky.
A “friend” (and I use that term loosely) sends him an email that the Russians want to help his dad win against Hillary, and are willing to give up the dirt on her dealings in Russia. The email is suspect at best. It’s like it was written to be released in order to embarrass someone over a subject not yet created. Who does that? Putin? Podesta? Never Trumpers? Fusion GPS?
Now in context, this is before the Podesta created Russian collusion lie was started. It was during the time Obama and his administration believed the Russians were messing with the election but weren’t telling anyone. It was also during the time a fake dossier about Trump in Russia was being shopped around by a organization called Fusion GPS, founded by several ex-reporters.
Here is the Heavy.com rundown. Take the time. There is SOOO much here. They are very, very suspicious. And heavily involved with both the Left and the Russians, and maybe the Obama administration and even Comey’s FBI.
Fusion GPS was behind the colorful and controversial Christopher Steele dossier that emerged as one of the most bizarre moments in an already bizarre presidential campaign. The dossier contained a listing of unverified, almost unspeakable allegations about President Donald Trump, and it emerged in news reports on January 10, 2017, just 10 days before Trump was inaugurated as president.
The company’s efforts were funded first by a Republican and, once Steele came on board and the primary was over, a Democrat. Neither donor’s name is known.
“Fusion GPS was paid by a Democratic ally of Hillary Clinton’s to conduct the research,” reports The Daily Caller.
Steele is a former British spy who wrote the unverified report on Donald Trump’s alleged activities and connections in Russia. A former intelligence officer who was based in Russia in the 1990s, Steele now runs an intelligence firm in London. The dossier contained lurid allegations involving Trump’s supposed activities in Russia that are all unverified and hotly contested. Steele has acknowledged in a defamation case in England that information in one of his memos “needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified.” All the same, he shared the dossier with the FBI and, reports CNN, the Justice Department relied on parts of it to obtain a FISA warrant to “to conduct surveillance on Trump associate Carter Page.”
President Trump has decried the dossier as false and a hoax. CNN reported that President Barack Obama was briefed on the Steele dossier because of concerns that the allegations in it could open up Trump to blackmail; the Russian government has denied the dossier’s accuracy. The 35-page dossier was written by Steele based on memos he compiled from June through December 2016.
However, Fusion GPS’ research into Trump was initially funded by a Republican.
Before the Steele dossier came into play, according to Vanity Fair, Simpson was hired “to compile an opposition-research dossier on Donald Trump.” Although Simpson wouldn’t say who funded that quest, Vanity Fair alleges through a friend of his that it was a “never Trump Republican.”
Vanity Fair reports that this donor’s interest dried up once Trump won the nomination, but Simpson had “grown deeply concerned by the prospect of a Trump presidency.” He found Democratic donors to fund the effort’s continuance, and eventually subcontracted with Steele to look into Trump’s ties to Russia for between $12,000 to $15,000 a month, according to Vanity Fair. Vanity Fair dubs Simpson the “co-conspirator and a shrewd facilitator” for Steele and the information the former British spy collected.
According to the BBC, “the opposition research firm that commissioned the report had worked first for an anti-Trump Super Pac – political action committee – during the Republican primaries. Then during the general election, it was funded by an anonymous Democratic Party supporter.” The BBC and other British news outlets had initially reported that the PAC supported Jeb Bush’s campaign, but Bush has adamantly denied having anything to do with the dossier or Steele, and the BBC amended its reports.
The New York Times says Fusion GPS’ Steele effort was funded by “Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton” whose identities are not clear.
Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), a Trump critic, asked ousted FBI Director James Comey about Fusion GPS and what Graham called “the Russian intelligence apparatus.” The Federalist described their Q and A this way:
Graham: Are you familiar with Fusion?
Comey: I know the name.
Graham: Are they part of the Russian intelligence apparatus?
Comey: I can’t say.
Graham: Do you agree with me that if Fusion was involved in preparing a dossier against Donald Trump, that would be interfering in our election by the Russians?
Comey: I don’t want to say.
Why James…why? (I have an idea.)
What is the connection between the Russian lawyer Veselnitskaya and Fusion? They know each other and work together.
The Magnitsky Act figures in a lot of this story; obscure to many Americans, it was a Russian priority to defeat. Fusion GPS’ efforts to help defeat the act led one top Republican senator, Grassley, of Iowa, to accuse the firm of acting as an agent for Russia. Fusion GPS has denied the allegation.
It’s also the topic that Trump Jr. says the Russian lawyer, Veselnitskaya, fixated on in their meeting, instead of the Clinton dirt he thought they’d be getting.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Grassley wrote a letter to the U.S. Justice Department in March 2017 that alleged that “Fusion GPS, which was also involved in the creation of the unsubstantiated dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, was involved in the pro-Russia campaign to kill the Global Magnitsky Act around the same time.”
The Magnitsky Act was “named for a lawyer who suspiciously died in Russian custody after accusing Russian government officials and members of organized crime of using corporate identity theft against Hermitage Capital Management to fraudulently obtain and launder $230 million, some of which allegedly ended up in U.S. real estate projects. The Magnitsky Act imposed sanctions against those involved as well as other Russians designated as human rights abusers,” the Grassley statement says.
Hermitage’s CEO was a man named William Browder.
Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr., is named in a complaint filed by Browder with the Justice Department as “Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer for Prevezon.” Prevezon Holdings Limited, is defined as Russian owned Cyprus registered company attempting to defeat the Magnitsky Act. According to the Browder complaint, Prevezon is “controlled/directed/influenced by the Russian Government in respect of the lobbying activity.” Trump Jr.’s own emails, which he dumped on Twitter July 11, allege he was told that Veselnitskaya was a government lawyer.
According to the Daily Beast, Browder will brief the Senate Judiciary Committee in mid July about “the lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya’s ties to the Russian government—including to former top members of the GRU and the FSB, two of the Kremlin’s main intelli
The Browder complaint further describes Veselnitskaya by saying she “is the lawyer to Prevezon and the Katsyv family,” adding that she “played a key role in organizing screenings of the film intended to rewrite the history of Sergei Magnitsky.” She also attended a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on U.S. policy towards Putin’s Russia, the complaint says. It also says that she then filed a report with Congress accusing the Magnitsky Act of being “based on lies.”
The complaint alleges that Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS “has been hired by Prevezon to lobby for the anti-Magnitsky campaign.” The complaint says that Vladimir Putin made it his “primary foreign policy objective” to get the Magnitsky Act defeated and adds that Prevezon is owned by a man named Denis Katsyv.
Uh oh… . The smell is getting worse. Before we get too far down the rabbit hole let’s lay one principle on the table- Everybody knows everybody and they move around behind the scenes. You are not going to see a direct line between Fusion and let’s say John McCain or Putin or Hillary like you saw with the Trump email.
Unlike Donald Jr., they are smarter than that. Frankly, after watching Lynch avoid pursing Hillary and Mills, et. al., it is apparent even if the lines were clear and direct they would not chase them.
According to a news release from Grassley, “Fusion GPS was reportedly tasked with generating negative press coverage of Browder and Hermitage.” Grassley alleged that Fusion GPS should have “registered as foreign agents under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA).” He alleged to the Justice Department that “Fusion GPS reportedly ‘dug up dirt’ on Mr. Browder’s property and finances, and attempted to generate negative stories about Mr. Browder and Hermitage in the media, shopping stories to a number of reporters.”
Grassley also alleged that Fusion GPS was working with Rinat Akhmetshin, “a Russian immigrant to the U.S. who has admitted having been a ‘Soviet counterintelligence officer.’” Grassley wrote the Justice Department: “Fusion GPS is the company behind the creation of the unsubstantiated dossier alleging a conspiracy between President Trump and Russia. It is highly troubling that Fusion GPS appears to have been working with someone with ties to Russian intelligence –let alone someone alleged to have conducted political disinformation campaigns– as part of a pro-Russia lobbying effort while also simultaneously overseeing the creation of the Trump/Russia dossier.”
Who is Katsyv?
A law firm named BakerHostetler represented Katsyv, who “owns a company that the Justice Department has accused of laundering money from a tax fraud that Magnitsky uncovered,” according to Politico.
According to The Washington Post, Denis’ father “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.”
The Magnitsky Act in the U.S. Congress was fought by a Russian lobbying effort because it, Politico reported, “authorizes the president to freeze assets and deny visas to foreign officials responsible for corruption and human rights violations.”
A Politico story from December 2016 reported that “BakerHostetler hired a private research firm known as Fusion GPS led by Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter. (The firm also discussed information with journalists about Trump and his associates’ ties to Russia.)”
According to The Washington Post, Fusion GPS “did work on a lawsuit that involved Veselnitskaya for more than two years.” The Post reports that “Fusion GPS has said that it was working for the law firm BakerHostetler, which was representing Prevezon, a Russian holding company based in Cyprus, in its defense against Justice Department allegations that Prevezon laundered money stolen in the fraud Magnitsky uncovered.” There’s no known evidence that the Fusion GPS dossier work and this was connected, according to The Post.
Note the Washington Post KNOWS Fusion is suspect here, but don’t work too hard to remind the readers of this as they chase the Trumps. That is bad reporting. It would be like reporting on Jeffrey Dahmer as a food critic without reminding people he prefers..well people!
Then there is this “Who is this KGB agent that met with Donald Jr!” Suddenly, we see that this “KGB agent” is everywhere, including sitting in a hearing before Congress.
This is odd. Already the Trump administration is pushing back by pointing out the attorney was in the country under the approval of the Obama administration. Plus, and this is a big deal, we have photos of her sitting in a hearing behind the American ambassador to Russia- Ambassador McPaul. Since this doesn’t look like a place to take a lunch break, I think someone should ask Congress who allowed the Russian spy to sit in a Congressional hearing?!! Suddenly, this whole collusion things starts to look a little suspect.
Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asking why Natalia Veselnitskaya was allowed to stay in the country when, according to court documents, she had to leave in early 2016.
“It is unclear how she was still in the country for that meeting despite being denied a visa beforehand and her parole purportedly expiring on January 7, 2016. This raises serious questions about whether the Obama administration authorized her to remain in the country, and if so, why?” Grassley wrote.
Veselnitskaya met with Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort in June 2016. The meeting was supposed to be about potentially damaging information on then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to Trump Jr.
Grassley is asking Tillerson if Veselnitskaya applied for a visa and for any details of a potential application, including if she had to go through any additional procedures.
He wants DHS to say if Veselnitskaya is currently in the United States. She previously said that she was granted a parole letter to enter the United States to argue a court case.
Grassley wants to know any restrictions or extensions of her parole, what agencies were involved in the decision, dates when she left or entered the country, and listed addresses.
Again, Heavy.com compiles some facts about her. I fear Donald Jr, who says he had no idea who was going to show up at the meeting, did not do his homework. I also think his “friend”, Goldstone, who set this up, did Donald Jr wrong. Or maybe, seeing that he was the one that sent the amateurish email that conveniently listed what the Dems so desperately wanted- the hint of collusion- maybe he was told to write it in a certain way to maximize the damage. I see the hand of Putin here. Remember, his goal is to create chaos no matter who won the election.
She likes social media. Here Heavy posts some of her opinions from her account.
Veselnitskaya has shown an interest in American politics, including making several posts on her Facebook page about news related to the Trump and Obama administrations. Her anti-Obama stance appears to have stemmed from the fight against the Magnitsky Act, while she expressed hope in one post that the new administration could help stabilize the relationship between the United States and her home country, ideally in a way to help her clients.
“The beginning of our trial, new lawyers, new judges, the new President, balls and blow-ups in one day, and on 5 avenue – under the conductor of Schumer, a stream of dirt in the media, complete infantilism in understanding what is happening among the masses, the most serious in humorous shows, Then the prohibition of entry into the country and again hundreds of pickets and again on weekends, the resignation of the entire top of the State Department,” she wrote in Russian, referring to the protests against the first Muslim travel ban and the resignation of Sally Yates, which happened during her second visit to New York for the Prevezon Holdings case.
She also wrote about Yates in another post, “The current US Attorney General (Sally Yates) stated that all lawyers working for the government have no right to protect the government and Trump’s orders! She says it’s illegal and inexcusable! You can argue as much as you like about banning citizens from certain countries to the country, but something I can not recall any norm that allows the Prosecutor General to do so. In such cases, the general must resign. And it’s like the game and the last days of Obama.”
This sounds like a lawyer trying to position herself in a favorable light for the incoming administration, since the last one screwed her clients over. Again, lawyers lie and manipulate. Is she a spy? Either she is a Russian lawyer trying to get on the good side of the Trump administration or a master spy who acts amateurishly.
At this point it doesn’t matter. If I were Trump, I would pull off the gloves. I would demand that Sessions, Tillerson, and the rest force their agencies to provide a list of EVERY meeting or contact reported (or not) between any major foreign state actors (China and Russia primarily) and all public servants on both sides of the political aisle- listing content, time and date. Then release that list to the public on a website called something like “Transparency. com”.
But that’s me. If they went after my kid, I’d be looking to fix that problem so no one dared try it again. I think Trump falls into the same category. Mess with him, he gets mad. Mess with his kids, he may do some serious retaliatory damage.