by Matt Palumbo Posted: November 27, 2019
Throughout the Spygate saga, one of the most suspicious “proofs” of collusion came from when Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya had her infamous “Trump Tower” meeting with Donald Trump Jr. While cited in the media as evidence of Russian collusion, Veselnitskaya was working with Fusion GPS at the time to defend the firm Prevezon, which had been accused of laundering money for the Russian government. Fusion, meanwhile, was funding and producing what would become the anti-Trump “Steele dossier.” Could that meeting have been orchestrated simply to give the appearance of collusion? Veselnitskaya met with Fusion’s founder Glenn Simpson the day of, and day after the Trump Tower meeting. Simpson claims the two never discussed the meeting, but are we to really believe he was helping Steele “prove” Russian collusion while working with a Russian who just met with Trump’s son, and this meeting didn’t come up in conversation?
As the Washington Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy reports:
Businessman Bill Browder alleged Fusion GPS acted as an agent for Russian interests in 2016, when the country was trying to combat the Magnitsky Act and its sanctions on Russian officials.
Much of Veselnitskaya’s work centered on trying to discredit Browder, who successfully lobbied for the Magnitsky Act after his friend Sergei Magnitsky died in Russian custody.
“The work that Simpson did involved trying to change the narrative of how Sergei Magnitsky was killed,” said Browder. “He and the Russians paying him wanted people in Washington to believe that Sergei Magnitsky died of natural causes instead of being killed. Glenn Simpson claimed that Sergei Magnitsky wasn’t a whistleblower and that he was criminal. He also claimed that all of my testimonies to have Magnitsky sanctions imposed were untrue.”
Browder said he believes Fusion GPS’s work violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act. He sent a complaint to the Department of Justice in 2016, and then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley urged the department to look into it in 2017.
Browder pointed out that Fusion GPS and Simpson began working for Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, and provided her with anti-Magnitsky research for years. Veselnitskaya, a former Russian prosecutor, maintained Russian government ties, according to special counsel Robert Mueller, including lobbying against 2016’s expanded Magnitsky Act.
Browder also said that Fusion had created a dossier about him. “Since the Russians were working so closely with Simpson on the anti-Magnitsky, anti-Bill Browder dossier, it would seem unlikely to me that the Russians wouldn’t know that there was another dossier being created,” he said.
Browder continued that Simpson “was a person who was coordinating an advocacy campaign for Natalia Veselnitskaya, and the Trump Tower meeting seemed to be part of that advocacy campaign,” said Browder. “It seems a little odd that he would know about everything else but not that one meeting.”
“Odd” would be an understatement.