Trump’s Son Subpoenaed As Congress Battles White House Over Russia Report

FILE PHOTO: US President-elect Donald Trump along with his son Donald, Jr., arrive for a press conference at Trump Tower in New York, as Allen Weisselberg (C), chief financial officer of The Trump, looks on January 11, 2017. PHOTO: TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP

 

The Russia probe plunged Washington into turmoil on Wednesday as Donald Trump’s son reportedly was ordered to testify before a Senate panel and the White House refused to release material on investigations into the president.

A day after the top Republican in Congress called the Russia probe “case closed,” Trump’s conflict with his Democratic opponents escalated to new heights as a House panel voted to hold the nation’s Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt for refusing to turn over key documents.

Following a day of drama that included Trump asserting executive privilege for the first time in his presidency, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee took the surprise step of issuing a subpoena to Donald Trump Jr to testify as part of its investigation into Russian election interference, US media reported.

It was the first known legal summons issued to a member of the president’s family to force testimony in the ongoing investigation, and comes after special counsel Robert Mueller declined to accuse Trump’s 2016 campaign of criminal conspiracy to collude with the Russians.

Trump Jr, 41, has testified voluntarily in private once to the committee, and was peppered with questions about a June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York that he and other campaign officials had with a Russian lawyer who had offered them dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Committee aides would not confirm the subpoena or what they want to discuss with the president’s eldest son, who currently helps run the Trump Organization.

Citing a person close to Trump Jr, The Wall Street Journal reported he had offered to answer questions in writing from the committee, and planned to fight the subpoena, which demands he testify in person.

‘Constitutional crisis’

The White House has been seeking to shield a large swathe of material — including redacted portions of Mueller’s report — subpoenaed by lawmakers seeking to exert their oversight responsibility.

The rare move to invoke executive privilege came as the House Judiciary Committee took its most substantive step yet against a member of the Trump administration by approving a contempt motion against Barr.

“This was a very grave and momentous step we were forced to take today,” committee chairman Jerry Nadler said after the party-line vote.

Nadler said the contempt citation will proceed “rapidly” for a full House vote but did not offer a timeline.

He accused Trump and the White House of stonewalling by preventing America’s congressional representatives from conducting oversight of the executive branch.

“It’s an attack on the essence of our democracy,” Nadler said. “We are now in a constitutional crisis.”

The Department of Justice swiftly shot back, branding the contempt vote “inappropriate political theatrics.”

Hours earlier, Trump made clear he would assert his executive privilege to keep Mueller’s full report under wraps.

“Neither the White House nor Attorney General Barr will comply with Chairman Nadler’s unlawful and reckless demands,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd stressed that Trump had moved to keep “the entirety of the subpoenaed materials” from the eyes of Congress.

Nadler warned that such action “represents a clear escalation in the Trump administration’s blanket defiance of Congress’s constitutionally mandated duties.”

Democrats have struggled with their battle plan in the wake of the Mueller report.

Some have called for impeachment proceedings against Trump, while others stress the need to refocus on issues affecting everyday Americans ahead of the 2020 election.

Trump claimed the document exonerated him of wrongdoing. On the question of obstruction of justice, the report did not conclude Trump committed a crime, but Mueller wrote that “it also does not exonerate him.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Trump’s nemesis in Congress, has refrained from calling for his impeachment.

But on Wednesday she voiced support for the contempt move, and delivered a stinging message about the White House refusal to release the unredacted report.

“Is this what it looks like when you have nothing to hide?” Pelosi tweeted.

‘A disgrace’

For several hours in the tense judiciary hearing, lawmakers traded barbs about Barr’s brazen protection of the president and the calculated effort by Democrats to punish him and gain access to key material.

Addressing a rally of supporters in Florida on Wednesday night, Trump defended his attorney general as “great” and said that after Mueller’s two-year probe found “nothing,” the Democrats were not finished.

“You know it was going to be, like, ‘we want the Mueller report.’ Now they say, ‘Mueller report, no, we want to start all over again.’ It is a disgrace.”

Barr defied a subpoena to turn over a complete copy of Mueller’s report and the underlying evidence, and last week refused to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.

The panel approved the 27-page contempt citation in which Nadler wrote that even the redacted report “offers disturbing evidence and analysis that President Trump engaged in obstruction of justice at the highest levels.”

AFP

Trump’s ‘Coup’ Charge Fuels Assault On Russia Probe

US President Donald Trump speaks during a round table with supporters in San Antonio, Texas, on April 10, 2019.Jim WATSON / AFP

 

 

Donald Trump called the probe into his campaign’s Russia links an attempted “coup” Wednesday, while his attorney general promised to investigate FBI “spying” on the president.

More than two weeks after the probe wrapped up, apparently putting him in the clear, Trump is far from resting easy.

Raising the rhetorical temperature still further, he branded the investigation “an attempted coup. This was an attempted takedown of a president.”

“What they did was treason, what they did was terrible, what they did was against our constitution,” he said at the White House, demanding retribution.

READ ALSO: Facebook Ordered To Pay £30,000 Euros Over ‘Abusive’ Usage Terms

The blistering comments will feed a widespread conspiracy theory on the right that the Russia probe was a fiction cooked up by Democrats and a so-called “deep state” seeking to overturn Trump‘s shock 2016 election win.

Attorney General William Barr testified in Congress that he will open an inquiry into “spying” against Trump by the FBI at the origins of the probe led by independent prosecutor Robert Mueller.

“Spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Barr told the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“I think spying did occur. The question is, was it was adequately predicated? I’m not saying it wasn’t,” he said.

 Trump on the offensive 

The Mueller probe grew out of fears that state-sponsored Russian meddling in the 2016 election extended to collusion between the Trump campaign and Kremlin operatives.

The full report — minus parts deemed unpublishable for security or legal reasons — should be released “next week,” Barr told Congress on Wednesday.

For now, all there is to go on is a short March 24 summary issued by Barr.

This said that the report determined there had been no collusion, even if there was considerable evidence of general Russian meddling.

On the face of it, that conclusion was a stunning victory for Trump, who all along denounced the investigation as a worthless “witch hunt.”

Despite the apparent vindication, however, he remained on the defensive, casting himself repeatedly as victim of a politically motivated abuse of power.

With his latest blistering comments, he appears to be switching to offence.

 Spying theory 

Trump repeated Wednesday that he has nothing to fear.

“I have not seen the Mueller report, I have not read the Mueller report,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned I don’t care about the Mueller report. I’ve been totally exonerated.”

In fact, the few details known so far about the results of Mueller’s huge investigation do not necessarily amount to total exoneration.

Barr’s summary quotes Mueller saying that while there was no evidence of collusion he could not reach a definite ruling on whether Trump tried to obstruct justice — itself a serious crime.

Barr says that in his judgement there was no obstruction, giving Trump a chance to declare himself free of all suspicion.

However, the details of Mueller’s report will likely still give Trump‘s Democratic opponents ammunition in their battle to paint the president as tainted, even if not legally guilty.

Facing this danger, Trump is pushing to change the narrative to his demand that the investigators be investigated.

“There is a hunger for that to happen in this country like I have never seen before,” he said.

Barr backed him up in Congress, saying “I have an obligation to make sure that government power is not abused.”

Senator Mark Warner, a senior Democrat, accused Barr of feeding a “long-debunked ‘spying’ conspiracy theory.”

“Mr Barr knows how counter-intel investigators work. He knows there was ample evidence of Russian attempts to infiltrate the Trump campaign and that the FBI took lawful action to stop it,” he said.

AFP

It’s ‘Presidential Embarrassment’, Trump Reacts To Democrat Probe

File: U.S. President Donald Trump/Reuters.

 

US President Donald Trump lashed out Thursday at Democrats for investigating his dealings with Russia, saying his opponents are “going nuts.”

“PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT! It should never be allowed to happen again!” Trump tweeted.

He said that an expansion of the probe by the intelligence committee in the Democrat-led House of Representatives was unprecedented.

Adam Schiff, the congressman heading the committee, said it will look into suspicions of collusion between Trump and Russia and also broader allegations of financial wrongdoing in Trump’s inner circle.

READ ALSO: Trump Vows To Outspend Russia Without New Missile Pact

The powerful committee will be working in parallel with an already well-advanced probe by special prosecutor Robert Mueller into alleged links between Trump and Russian agents during his 2016 election campaign.

“Congressman Adam Schiff announces, after having found zero Russian Collusion, that he is going to be looking at every aspect of my life, both financial and personal, even though there is no reason to be doing so. Never happened before!” Trump tweeted.

Trump has repeatedly declared his innocence, claiming that the growing investigations, which also include probes by federal prosecutors in New York, are politically motivated.

However, Mueller alone has already brought charges leading to indictments of six people with ties to Trump in the Russia collusion probe.

And critics say the secrecy around the financial workings of Trump’s real estate empire and his years of interest in doing business in President Vladimir Putin’s Russia make a troubling backdrop that requires deeper probing.

Trump Denies Collusion After Major Revelations In Russia Probe

Trump Denies Wrongdoing, Slams Cohen 'Stories' On Hush Payments
This combination of file pictures created on April 11, 2018, shows Michael Cohen (L), President Trump’s ex-personal lawyer, and US President Donald Trump. NICHOLAS KAMM, MARK WILSON / AFP / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA

 

United States President Donald Trump on Saturday again denied that his presidential campaign colluded with Russian operatives, but made no comment about claims that he directly organised hush payments to ward off a possible sex scandal during his White House run.

Trump took to Twitter, his favorite means of communication, to address the multiple court filings that dropped on Friday in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s sweeping investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“AFTER TWO YEARS AND MILLIONS OF PAGES OF DOCUMENTS (and a cost of over $30,000,000), NO COLLUSION!” the president said.

While the filings indeed did not appear to reveal evidence of collusion, they did offer a wealth of new information about what Mueller’s team is looking into, along with other federal prosecutors in New York.

Prosecutors directly implicated Trump in efforts to buy the silence of two women who claimed they had had affairs with him, saying he directed his then-attorney Michael Cohen to offer them hush money.

“With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election,” the New York prosecutors said.

“In particular, and as Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1,” they added, referring to Trump.

The payments are technically unrelated to the Russia probe, but prosecutors painted a damning picture of the “extensive, deliberate, and serious criminal conduct” of Cohen — once a member of Trump’s inner circle of trusted aides.

In August, the 52-year-old Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance law in connection with the payments.

“Cohen deceived the voting public by hiding alleged facts that he believed would have had a substantial effect on the election,” prosecutors said.

‘Synergy on a government level’

In a separate sentencing memo, Mueller said that Cohen was in contact with a Russian national as far back as November 2015 — months before Trump formally won the presidential nomination and well before previously reported contacts — who offered “synergy on a government level.”

That Russian national claimed to have ties to the Kremlin and repeatedly proposed a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The individual said the meeting could have a “phenomenal” impact “not only in political but in a business dimension as well,” but Cohen never followed up, Mueller said.

That combination of political and business interests could spell trouble for Trump, whose real estate empire was seeking to build a signature tower in Moscow as late as mid-2016 in the midst of his White House bid.

Last week, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the Moscow real estate project.

Recent filings in the Mueller probe have suggested the White House knew that Cohen planned to lie to lawmakers about his contacts with Russians.

Due to his “relevant” and “substantial” help, Mueller declined to recommend additional jail time, but Cohen is still expected to face four to five years behind bars.

Multiple ‘lies’

Also on Friday, new twists and turns emerged in the case against Trump’s onetime campaign manager Paul Manafort, who was convicted in August of financial fraud and witness tampering charges and pleaded guilty to a second set of charges a month later.

Prosecutors accused Manafort of multiple “lies” to investigators: about his contacts with administration officials even after striking a plea deal; about a debt payment; and about his interaction with a suspected Russian intelligence officer.

The breach of the plea deal could lead to a stiffer jail sentence than the 10 years originally envisaged for the 69-year-old veteran Republican consultant.

Manafort has been convicted mostly on charges related to his work for pro-Moscow politicians in Ukraine between 2004 and 2014.

But he has also been investigated for his possible role in alleged campaign collusion with Russia during the election.

Mueller has been inching ever closer to the White House, and on Friday, Trump fired off a feverish volley of tweets against a probe he dubs a “witch hunt,” accusing Mueller of “big time conflicts of interest” and alleging he coerced false testimony from witnesses.

For House Democrat John Garamendi, these may be “the opening days of an impeachment.”

Trump is a president who “clearly has surrounded himself with criminals,” he told CNN.

“During the campaign, laws were broken… And now we have the president implicated in that,” he said.

 

AFP

Trump Attacks Russia Probe Ahead Of New Mueller Reports

Trump To Visit Pittsburgh After Synagogue Massacre
US President Donald Trump/ AFP

 

US President Donald Trump unleashed a series of attacks Friday on US Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team, with the prosecutor expected to release documents that could shed new light in the Russia probe.

Repeating his regular dismissal of the probe as a “total witch hunt,” Trump accused Mueller of political bias in an early morning tweetstorm alleging that the prosecutor had coerced false testimony from witnesses.

He complained that investigators were ignoring Democrats’ dealings with Russians and suggested his own deputy attorney general was “totally conflicted.”

Trump’s tweets came with Mueller’s team expected to file court documents related to two pivotal figures in their probe into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia to swing the 2016 election: former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the president’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen.

“Robert Mueller and Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey are Best Friends, just one of many Mueller Conflicts of Interest,” Trump tweeted, referring to the former FBI chief he sacked while Comey was leading the Russia probe.

Trump has repeatedly disparaged the 19-month-old investigation but ratcheted up his attacks as the probe in recent weeks appeared to leave him increasingly under pressure.

Among five tweets, Trump also attacked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was in charge of the probe until Trump in November named Matthew Whitaker, who had criticized Mueller’s investigation, as acting attorney general.

Trump asked whether Rosenstein isn’t “totally conflicted,” while also singling out a member of Mueller’s team, Andrew Weissmann, who has been involved in the prosecution against Paul Manafort.

On Friday, the special counsel’s team was expected to provide a court with details of Manafort’s lying to investigators.

Manafort chaired the Trump election campaign from March until August 2016. In September this year, he admitted financial crimes related to his work before 2015 for Russia-supported Ukrainian politicians and agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s probe.

But last week the special counsel’s office said Manafort had violated his plea deal by lying.

Also on Friday, prosecutors were expected to file more details about the cooperation which Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen has provided the special counsel.

Cohen has admitted lying to Congress about pursuing a real estate deal with Russia on Trump’s behalf.

Comey is to testify behind closed doors Friday to the House Judiciary Committee, which is conducting a Republican-driven probe into the conduct of law enforcement officials.

Mueller has already charged more than 30 individuals, most of them Russians.

Among those pleading guilty in the Mueller, probe is Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security advisor. Mueller reported this week that Flynn has given “substantial assistance” to the investigation and should serve no jail time.

AFP

Top White House Lawyer To Leave As Russia Probe Heats Up

FILE PHOTO: Don McGahn, the lawyer for Donald Trump and his campaign, leaves the Four Seasons Hotel after a meeting with Trump and Republican donors on June 9, 2016 in New York City. PHOTO: Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP

 

Donald Trump said on Wednesday that White House counsel Don McGahn would soon be leaving his post, a crucial shift as the probe into Russia’s election interference probe closes in on the US president’s inner circle.

McGahn, who has advised Trump on dealing with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, also has been interviewed at length as a cooperating witness by Mueller’s team.

He will be leaving his White House post “in the fall,” Trump said via Twitter.

The 50-year-old lawyer is one of the few people left in the White House who had a senior role in Trump’s election campaign, where McGahn was general counsel.

His replacement, according to media reports, could be his current deputy White House counsel Emmet Flood, a Washington veteran who represented President Bill Clinton when he faced impeachment in the late 1990s.

Trump also maintains a team of private lawyers led by former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani to deal with his personal legal troubles.

Helped fill courts with conservatives

McGahn’s departure will come “shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court,” Trump said.

“I have worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!” he added.

As the president’s official legal advisor, McGahn has served Trump well, advising on relations with Congress and the Justice Department as well as dealing with Mueller.

He has also been at the centre of one of the Trump administration’s biggest political successes: placing dozens of pro-Republican, conservative judges on the Supreme Court and other federal courts around the country.

McGahn was instrumental in Trump’s nomination of both Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — judges with strong conservative records — to the Supreme Court.

But his personal relations with Trump have been formal and at times testy, as he has tried to protect the president from a slew of accusations and investigations into his personal behaviour, his business, and his campaign’s alleged collusion with Russians in the 2016 election.

According to media reports, McGahn has struggled to prevent the president from acting on his impulses to interfere dangerously in the Russia investigation.

He also has had to mediate the deep tensions between Trump and the Justice Department over the probe.

According to the New York Times, McGahn threatened to quit in June 2017 rather than carry out Trump’s directive to fire Mueller, just weeks after he was named.

McGahn has also pushed back when Trump has sought to oust Attorney General Jeff Sessions, also out of frustration over the Mueller probe.

Witness against Trump?

Those and other episodes, including the firing of FBI director James Comey, have made McGahn a potentially important witness as Mueller examines whether Trump illegally tried to obstruct the investigation — an offence that could lead to impeachment.

Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that McGahn had “cooperated extensively” with Mueller’s team, taking part in at least three interviews totalling 30 hours.

Trump, who has repeatedly called the probe a “rigged witch hunt,” said he had authorized his team to “fully cooperate” with investigators.

But the Times said McGahn’s cooperation arose in part from a feeling that he needed to protect himself, and speculation quickly mounted about whether McGahn’s testimony could harm the president.

Trump suffered a one-two punch in court this month when his longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and former campaign manager Paul Manafort was found guilty of tax and bank fraud.

AFP

Trump Urges US Attorney General To End Russia Probe

(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on August 1, 2018 shows US President Donald Trump(L) and US Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Washington, DC. NICHOLAS KAMM, SAUL LOEB / AFP

 

US President Donald Trump called Wednesday on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US elections, calling it “a disgrace to the USA.”

The president’s latest tweet on the probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller came on the second day of a trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on unrelated bank and tax fraud charges.

“This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further,” Trump said, calling Mueller’s probe “a disgrace to USA.”

jm/ch

12 Russian Intelligence Officers Indicted For Hacking US Democrats

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (C), Acting Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Edward O’Callaghan (R) and Assistant Attorney General John Demers hold a news conference at the Department of Justice July 13, 2018, in Washington, DC. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP

 

Twelve Russian intelligence officers were indicted by a United States grand jury on Friday, just three days before President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, for interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

Announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the charges were drawn up by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who is looking into Russian interference in the November 2016 vote.

Rosenstein told reporters the Russian military officers were accused of “conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election,” including by hacking Democratic Party emails ahead of the vote.

“Eleven of the defendants are charged with conspiring to hack into computers, steal documents, and release those documents with the intent to interfere in the election,” he said.

“One of those defendants and a 12th Russian are charged with conspiring to infiltrate computers of organizations involved in administering elections.”

Rosenstein said he had briefed Trump about the indictment before Friday’s announcement.

Trump, who is currently visiting Britain, is scheduled to meet with Putin in Helsinki on Monday.

AFP

Trump Attacks Ex-CIA Chief Over Russia Probe

Trump Says High Oil Prices 'Will Not Be Accepted'
US President Donald Trump                                                                                              Mandel NGAN / AF

 

President Donald Trump attacked the probe into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia as a “political hit job” on Monday, as a part of a mounting White House effort to paint the probe as politically motivated.

In the latest salvo from Trump’s administration and his Republican Party, the president assailed former CIA chief John Brennan, a strident critic, as having initiated the investigation.

A day earlier, Trump demanded the Justice Department investigate the FBI for allegedly planting an informant in his campaign, and his lawyer pressed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to speed up the probe to avoid it affecting November’s mid-term elections.

Both moves highlighted the heightened political stakes surrounding the year-old probe, as Mueller seeks to interview Trump himself amid growing chances of an impeachment effort against the president if evidence of collusion and obstruction of justice is found.

“This was a Political hit job, this was not an Intelligence Investigation,” Trump said in a series of tweets, quoting Fox News commentator Dan Bongino.

Brennan, the CIA’s head from 2013 to 2017, “started this entire debacle about President Trump,” the president said. “He has disgraced himself, he has disgraced the Country, he has disgraced the entire Intelligence Community.”

FBI infiltrated Trump campaign? 

In recent weeks, Trump has stepped up his attacks on the Russia investigation, aiming to erode trust in Mueller’s integrity in the event the probe takes aim at the president himself.

After hitting the one-year mark last week, Mueller’s probe has taken on increasing political weight as the country heads towards midterm elections.

Investigators have already issued 22 indictments, including of top Trump aides like chairman Paul Manafort and former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

More indictments are expected, but Mueller and his team have remained absolutely silent about the direction of the investigation and what evidence they have, especially with regard to Trump.

Aiming to exploit that silence, Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to order the Justice Department to investigate the FBI’s implanting of “at least one” informant in his 2016 campaign, suggesting it was an act of political espionage by President Barack Obama’s administration.

Late last week, some US media identified a British-based American academic and former government official, with longstanding ties to the CIA, as the informant who sought meetings with several Trump aides during the campaign at the FBI’s request.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Chris Wray and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats met Trump to discuss the issue Monday.

Based on the meeting, the Justice Department will include in its ongoing investigation into the 2016 election “any irregularities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s or the Department of Justice’s tactics concerning the Trump Campaign,” according to the White House.

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani added pressure on the probe, telling media Mueller hopes to wrap up by September 1 — a target date that no one on Mueller’s team has made public.

Vice President Mike Pence reiterated that stance, telling Fox News: “I think it’s time that the special counsel wraps it up.”

The White House is gambling that by both pressuring and denigrating the investigation, Republicans can gain voter support ahead of the November elections.

If Mueller finds evidence of criminal behavior by Trump, it is crucial the Republicans prevent Democrats from gaining control of the House of Representatives, which would rule on any impeachment motion.

Analysts say Trump’s strategy to attack the CIA and FBI could be working.

“The FBI and DOJ are reluctant to publicly respond in any way that makes them appear political,” said Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University.

“By tweeting the accusation, the president has already cast the doubt in the public mind.”

AFP

Bill Browder Warns U.S. Congressional Panel Of Russian Influence

William Browder, the financier whose promotion of the Sergei Magnitsky Act has rankled the government of Russian President Vladmir Putin, told a U.S. Senate panel on Thursday that Putin is attempting to create chaos in the United States.

He explained that Putin is attempting to create the chaos in an effort to reverse the sanctions legislation imposed on certain Russian associates implicated in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian investigator who peered deeply into the dark corners of dealing of Russia’s oligarchs.

Browder, a founder of the Hermitage Capital Management fund which specialized in Russia investments, employed whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky as a lawyer and has spearheaded an international campaign to expose corruption and human rights violations in Russia after Magnitsky’s death in custody.

Magnitsky was arrested in 2008 shortly after alleging that Russian officials were involved in a $230 million tax fraud case, and died in prison nearly a year later while awaiting trial, causing an international uproar.

After lobbying by Browder, the U.S. Congress passed the Magnitsky Act, which bars Russians believed to have been involved in his death or other severe human rights abuses from entering the United States, and freezes their assets there.

” Vladimir Putin, I believe to be the richest man in the world. I believe he’s worth $200 billion. That money is held all over the world in banks in America and all over. The purpose of Putin’s regime has been to commit terrible crimes in order to get that money.

“He doesn’t want to lose that money by having it frozen. So he personally is at risk of the Magnitsky Act. It’s a very personal venal issue which is why he’s so upset,”. He said

The second reason is that in order to get that 200 billion he’s had to instruct a lot of people working for him, let’s say, 10,000 people working for him to do terrible things: to arrest, kidnap, torture and kill, just to take people’s properties away.

And, as a result, the only way he could get people to do such terrible things is to say if you do these terrible things there will be no consequence. You will enjoy absolute impunity and, as a result of the Magnitsky Act, he can no longer guarantee absolute impunity because all of a sudden we’ve created consequences in the West.” Browder told the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee

Trump Not Under Investigation In Russia Probe, Says Lawyer

Trump Willing To Work With Russia And ChinaPresident Donald Trump’s personal lawyer said on Sunday that Trump is not under investigation in the probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential race, adding that the president has not received any notification that he is being investigated.

Jay Sekulow, a lawyer who is part of a team hired by Trump to deal with allegations of collusion by his campaign with Moscow, appeared to contradict Trump’s statement on Twitter on Friday that he was being investigated for firing his FBI director last month.

Trump had tweeted, “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”

“The president is not, and has not been under investigation for obstruction,” Sekulow said on NBC’S “Meet the Press,” one of four political shows where he appeared on Sunday.