Last year, I read a riveting book by Bill Browder, Red Notice, which in part goes into great detail and at length about his working relationship with his lawyer in Russia, Sergei Magnitsky, who was investigating tax fraud by high-ranking Russian officials to victimize Browder. It was Magnitsky's beating-death in a Russian prison that got Browder to tirelessly push for and finally get passed by Congress the Magnitsky Act, that prohibits any business with human rights violators, while putting sanctions and freezing assets on the 18 Russian officials responsible for Magnistski's death.
You likely have seen Browder on TV a lot recently and the Magnitsky Act in the news, since getting that law reversed was supposedly the reason the Russian government lawyer met with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort.
On Monday night, Mr. Browder was on MSNBC. He said he knows the Russian government lawyer well, and was scathing in his description. He said he is certain that she soon will be making a public statement, and that it will be a lie.
The very next day, just hours after making that assurance, the Russian government lawyer did indeed make a public statement. She said she never told Trump Jr. that she had incriminating dirt on Hillary Clinton and he must have only heard what he wanted to hear.
To be clear, whatever the truth is doesn't matter in terms of Trump Jr.'s actions and motivations. He's admitted that he thought a Russian agent had incriminating evidence on Hillary Clinton. But I've been following Browder since reading his book, and he's been pretty spot-on in everything he's said about dealing with Russians, so I was all the more fascinating by this latest step today.
By the way, during Bill Browder's efforts to get the Magnitsky Act passed, he and his organization, Hermitage Capitol Management, produced a 10-minute video of the situation. (He writes about it in the book.) It was intended to explain the story in a clear way, but also to have the record out in the public in case anything happened to him, as well. They ended up making several videos, if I recall correctly. But this is that first --
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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