Browder-Magnitsky Scandal Erupts Worldwide.

(Originally published at Consortium News and The Komisar Scoop)

Mueller Report Gets the Trump Tower Meeting Wrong; Promotes Browder Hoax

Consortium News
July 3, 2019

Natalia Veselnitskaya didn’t have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton and when the Russian lawyer met with Trump’s people her focus was not on the 2016 campaign.

By Lucy Komisar

A “key event” described in the Mueller Report is the Trump Tower meeting where a Russian lawyer met with the president’s son Donald Trump Jr, his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Russiagaters have been obsessed with the meeting, saying it was the smoking gun to prove collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign to steal the 2016 election. Months after Mueller concluded that there was no collusion at all, the obsession has switched to “obstruction of justice,” which is like someone being apprehended for resisting arrest without committing any other crime.

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Trump team members in Trump Tower, and in background her interpreter, Anatoli Samochornov, who was also at the meeting. (photo: Lucy Komisar)

The Mueller report thus focuses instead on “efforts to prevent disclosure of information about the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Russians and senior campaign officials.”

But the report on this topic is deceptive. Ironically, as it attacks Donald Trump and top campaign officials for lying, the report itself lies about the issue the meeting addressed.

It wasn’t to provide dirt on Hillary Clinton, which the Russian lawyer did not have and never produced. That was a ploy by Robert Goldstone, a British music publicist whose job is to get what his clients want, in this case, a meeting. So, recklessly, he invented the idea of Clinton dirt as a bait-and-switch to get Trump’s people to come to it. He got the lawyer the meeting for her to lobby a potentially incoming administration against the Magnitsky Act, which is why she was in the United States in the first place.

The Magnitsky Act is a 2012 U.S. law that was promoted by William Browder, an American-born British citizen and hedge fund investor, who claimed his “lawyer” Sergei Magnitsky had been imprisoned and murdered because he uncovered a scheme by Russian officials to steal $230 million from the Russian Treasury. It sanctioned Russians he said were involved or benefitted from Magnitsky’s death. It has since been used by the U.S. to put sanctions on other Russians and nationals from other countries.

The lawyer lobbying against the act, Natalia Veselnitskaya, told Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort that Browder’s story was fake, a smokescreen to block the Russians from going after him for multi-millions in tax evasion. She argued the Magnitsky Act was built on this fraud. Manafort’s notes, included in the Mueller Report, trace what she said.

The Trump people did nothing illegal to meet with her. Their problem was the exaggerating communications Goldstone sent them about Veselnitskaya having “dirt” on Clinton. (While U.S. election laws says it’s illegal for a campaign to receive “a thing of value” from a foreign source, it’s never been established by a court that opposition research fits that description, the Mueller Report admits. ) Veselnitskaya testified to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in November 2017 that Browder’s major American client, the Ziff brothers, had cheated on American and Russian taxes and contributed the “dirty money” to the Democrats.

The Mueller investigators appear not to have looked into her charges. The report promotes Browder’s fabrications, citing “the Magnitsky Act, which imposed financial sanctions and travel restrictions on Russian officials and which was named for a Russian tax specialist who exposed a fraud and later died in a Russian prison.”

Magnitsky’s mother in Nekrasov film.

But instead of his “lawyer” Magnitsky exposing Russian fraud, for which he was jailed and killed in prison, Magnitsky was actually Browder’s accountant who was detained under investigation for his part in Browder’s tax evasion and died of natural causes in prison, as Magnitsky’s own mother admits to filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov in the film “The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes.”

Mueller’s investigators might have started with documents filed in U.S. federal court in the case of Veselnitskaya’s client, Prevezon, a Russian holding company that settled a civil-forfeiture claim by the U.S. government that linked it, without proof, to the tax fraud.

The documents include a deposition where Browder admits that the alleged “lawyer” Magnitsky did not go to law school nor have a law degree. Magnitsky’s own testimony file identifies him as an “auditor.”

Why does that matter? Because it was Browder’s red herring. Magnitsky had worked as Browder’s accountant since 1997, fiddling on Browder’s taxes on profits from sales of shares held by Russian shell companies run by his Hermitage Fund. He was not an attorney hired in 2007 to investigate and then expose a tax fraud against the Russian Treasury.

That fraud was exposed by Rimma Starova, the Russian nominee director of a British Virgin Islands shell company that held Hermitage’s reregistered companies and who gave testimony to Russian police on April 9 and July 10, 2008. It was reported by The New York Times and  Vedomosti on July 24, 2008, months before Magnitsky mentioned it in an Oct. 7 interrogation.

Kremlin-connected?

The Mueller Report says Veselnitskaya promised dirt on Hillary Clinton as “part of Russia and its government support for Trump.”  Two days before the meeting, Goldstone emailed Trump Jr. and said “the Russian government attorney” was flying in from Moscow. She had not been a government attorney since 2001, 15 years earlier.

Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan. (Jorge Láscar, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

I interviewed Veselnitskaya in New York in November 2016. She explained what she later told the Trump group, that Browder’s clients the Ziff Brothers had invested in Russian shares in a way that routed the money through loans so that they could evade U.S. taxes. [“Not invest – loans” in Manafort’s notes.]

The report says, “Natalia Veselnitskaya had previously worked for the Russian government and maintained a relationship with that government throughout this period of time.” Later it says that from 1998 to 2001, she had worked as a prosecutor for the “Central Administrative District” of the Russian Prosecutor’s office. “And continued to perform government-related work and maintain ties to the Russian government following her departure.” We are meant to presume, with no evidence, as the media does – that means “a Kremlin-connected lawyer.”

When Trump Jr asked for evidence, how the payments could be tied to the Clinton campaign, she said she couldn’t trace them, according to the Mueller Report.

Then she turned to the Magnitsky Act. The report repeats earlier fakery: “She lobbied and testified about the Magnitsky Act, which imposed financial sanctions and travel restrictions on Russian officials and which was named for a Russian tax specialist who exposed a fraud and later died in a Russian prison.” Magnitsky did not expose a fraud. Rimma Starova did.

A footnote in the report said: “Browder hired Magnitsky to investigate tax fraud by Russian officials, and Magnitsky was charged with helping Browder embezzle money.” Browder did not hire Magnitsky to investigate the fraud. Magnitsky had been the accountant in charge of Hermitage since 1997, 10 years before the fraud.  Embezzlement refers to Browder shifting assets out of Russia without paying taxes.

But the investigation’s focus was not on Browder’s fakery — the substance of the Trump Tower meeting — but on the communications organizing the event. The section on obstruction says Trump became aware of “emails setting up the June 9, 2016 meeting between senior campaign officials and Russians who offered derogatory information on Hillary Clinton as ‘part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.’”

That would have been Goldstone’s inflated promises.

The report says “at the meeting the Russian attorney claimed that funds derived from illegal activities in Russia were provided to Hillary Clinton and other Democrats.” Trump Jr. told a White House press officer that “they started with some Hillary thing, which was bs and some other nonsense, which we shot down fast.”

As Veselnitskaya told me, she knew the Ziffs made contributions to Democrats. She probably started with that. Manafort’s notes don’t report a “Hillary thing,” but are about Browder and the Ziffs.

On the issue of Browder, the Magnitsky story and the essence of the Trump Tower meeting, the Mueller Report is a deception intended to keep the myth of collusion in the air while dismissing that any collusion took place.

Mueller Report deals with Browder and Trump Tower mostly in Part I, pages 110-123, and Part II, pages 98-107.

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Continue reading “Browder-Magnitsky Scandal Erupts Worldwide.”

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UNILATERAL SANCTIONS AND INTERNATIONAL LAW

Alfred de Zayas' Human Rights Corner

Vienna, 27 June 2019

Prof. Alfred de Zayas, Geneva School of Diplomacy

Excellencies, distinguished colleagues, ladies and
gentlemen,

The world order established by the UN Charter takes
precedence over other international and regional treaties and imposes positive
and negative obligations on member states, including the United States of
America and the European Union. This is stipulated in Article 103 of the
Charter, the supremacy clause.

The question arises whether in the light of the UN
Charter unilateral coercive measures could be considered compatible with modern
international law? The orthodox answer
is that only those sanctions that are imposed by the Security Council
under Chapter VII can be considered legal. Article 41 of the charter stipulates
“The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed
force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions “. But even Security Council decisions and
resolutions must be…

View original post 4,060 more words

Gulf Of Tonkin, Incubator Babies, 9/11, WMD, Viagra, Sea Of Oman…

By Jerry Alatalo

Is humanity witnessing the end of the false flag wars era of history?

hile we begin with the Gulf of Tonkin false flag which was deceptively and tragically used as “justification” for the Vietnam War, the use of false flags for starting illegal wars of aggression goes back much further in the history of mankind. With the most recent example, the incidents in the Sea of Oman, being perceived by such a wide-ranging and significant number of people on Earth as a false flag, one might suggest humanity is witnessing a definite crossroad, turning point and end of an era.

It was on an evening nationwide broadcast in 1964 where United States President Lyndon Johnson told the American people that war in Vietnam was coming, all the while knowing the Gulf of Tonkin incident was a false flag which never occurred, and undoubtedly lied through his teeth to the world. Millions of Vietnamese men, women and children perished; sixty thousand American soldiers perished; according to Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, the level of destruction in Vietnam was four times the level of destruction in all nations on Earth during the entire World War II.

In the first war against Iraq in the early 1990s, then U.S. President George H. W. Bush led the way and went along with Washington politicians and corporate media organizations, strongly pushing the lie about Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait “tearing babies out of their incubators!”. Tens of thousands of Iraqis perished from American bombings, the war begun and “justified” on cunning lies.

In damning contrast to a typical building collapse, the explosive demolition of the Twin Towers on 9/11 saw steel beams laterally ejected with enough force to impale the nearby skyscraper.

Undoubtedly the 9/11 false flag of September 11, 2001 represents the #1 greatest military deception in human history, and was used as the basis for a still-operative, immeasurably destructive, bogus, catastrophic “war on (of) terror”. After 17 years, the good men and women of the 9/11 justice legal group Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry were able to force U.S. Attorneys at the Southern District of New York to agree, in March 2018, to a Grand Jury for the purpose of examining evidence of, among other major alleged crimes, the controlled demolitions of the Buildings 1, 2 and 7 on September 11, 2001.

The Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry is still waiting – some 15 months later – to present their enormous compilation of powerful evidence in the yet-to-begin Grand Jury process. It is highly likely that, once the 9/11 Grand Jury process finally begins, it will inevitably become shown and proven that 9/11 was indeed a false flag event, and the course of human history will become radically transformed, in an extremely positive manner which reduces the criminal practice of war on Earth to near nonexistent status.

This is why it is important for the American people to support the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry in its efforts to reveal the brutal-yet-necessary truth.

After the 9/11 false flag events were successfully and deceptively described, and largely accepted by the American people, as an act of war by Middle East terrorists, the administration of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney et al joined with the United Kingdom’s Tony Blair and other western nation leaders in pushing the lies that Saddam Hussein of Iraq was close to possessing nuclear weapons of mass destruction, and Hussein’s being involved in the attacks of 9/11.

Even years after the second Iraq War ended, a significant number of Americans still believe Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks.

With little opposition, and helped by Bush administration Secretary of State Colin Powell’s outright lying at the now infamous United Nations Security Council meeting on Iraq, – like Lyndon Johnson before him, George W. Bush went on nationwide prime time television announcing the beginning of “shock and awe” bombing of Iraq.

An estimated one million Iraqi men, women and children perished in the illegal war of aggression, millions became displaced and refugees, – while thousands of American soldiers were killed, and many more thousands suffered physical, psychological and spiritual injuries of immense proportion.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was eventually murdered in grisly fashion, after the Barack Obama administration used more war propaganda deception to convince uninformed Americans to go along with the intense 2011 bombing of Libya by U.S./NATO forces.

Among the set of lies coming from Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton were those falsely accusing Gaddafi of supplying his soldiers with Viagra for the purpose of using rape as a weapon of war. Obama, like Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush before him, lied to the American people and the world by asserting military action was urgent, because Gaddafi was, Obama deceivingly emphasized at the time, within days of starting to massacre thousands of his own people.

Many feel the true reason for the 2011 overthrow and murder of Gaddafi was his serious and real intention of establishing an African currency, and securing for the first time monetary independence for the people of the African continent. Many feel Hillary Clinton’s obscene display of self-satisfied delight, marked forever in history by her repugnant “We came, we saw, he died!” followed by a shocking eruption of laughter, was a major factor leading to her defeat in the 2016 election.

In Syria, a number of false flag chemical attacks have occurred during the warring time period starting from March 2011 to now, in June 2019. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have perished in the fighting while millions have become displaced, and to date no foreign state-sponsors of terrorist killers operating in Syria have become held accountable. Fortunately, thus far the chemical weapons deceptions have been unsuccessful at sparking any dangerous escalation of violence leading to world war.

On Thursday June 13, 2019 in the Sea of Oman …

This endless war deception insanity needs to stop … And it must become stopped now.

(Thank you to RT at YouTube)

Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Talks Peace, Justice, And True Religion.

(Editor’s note: It is difficult to remember an interview of an international leader matching the high level of truth, wisdom and spiritual power as that of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently on the program Going Underground RT. We strongly recommend and encourage people to share widely this timely, profound, outstanding discussion on the world’s most pressing and urgent issues. JA)

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(Transcript of Ahmadinejad interview, followed by video)

…That’s all while the EU, Britain and the USA continue economic warfare against another fossil fuel power, Venezuela. Welcome President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. One of the world’s greatest revolutionaries, Hugo Chavez, remembered by supporters and enemies alike today, died six years ago this week. You knew him. Was he, as NATO, mainstream media has it, a dictator?

In the name of God the most merciful … Americans and the British can label people however they want. We have to see what their standards and criteria are for labeling people in such a way. Do you know of a dictator who loves his people; who could walk freely among the people on the streets; listen to their demands, and fulfill them?

Of course Mr. Chavez was against the domination of foreigners over his country and other countries. He was a strong supporter of freedom. He became president with a high percentage of the people’s votes. I believe you should ask the people who make such labels why they are trying to fan the atmosphere of vengeance among the public.

Those who knew Mr. Chavez closely know that he was a very kind man, a really lovely person. And on various occasions I saw him in many parts of Venezuela. He went to the people, moved freely without any security or bodyguards, he listened to the people for hours. He loved his people and that is how he lived.

I think if you want to have a better world you need to have certain standards that are acceptable by all the nations of the world. The standard as defined by those with hundreds of years of colonial history who waged wars, even today they set their sights on the wealth of other nations, and they cannot run their own economy independent of other nations. Those standards have failed to bring security to the world, and this does not bring friendship among nations.

Well, the US and European Union want to overthrow his successor Maduro of the Bolivarian revolution, just like the US wants to overthrow the government of Iran.

Before speaking about changes, we have to ask: do Americans have the right to overthrow Maduro in Venezuela? If we accept that others have the right to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, then no space would be left to talk about human rights, international laws, freedoms and humanity. The Venezuelans are independent, brave, well-informed people. They seek freedom and they love Liberty.

Let us allow other people to decide on their own. The destiny of the Venezuelan people should be decided by themselves, not the president of the USA.

After Donald Trump violated the UN nuclear deal with sanctions, are things basically the same between Washington and Tehran as they were when you were president?

That was expecting too much. We had accepted the regulations and the provisions of the IAEA. Can we think of a sustainable peace if a government is to enjoy more rights than others do? Can we entertain the ideas of brotherhood and friendship? This is dictatorship, but at the international level. The US administrations should allow people to participate in running the affairs in a democratic atmosphere. They should not seek more rights than others, nor meddle in the affairs of other countries. The path they have been on in the past decades has destructed the world security, and created concerns for the future among all the people of the world.

Americans are respectable people. The USA, however, has many problems at home; the US president and his administration need to spend their time fixing people’s problems in their own country. If they imagine that the resolution is to create trouble and put other nations into chaos, then that would mean they are sowing deep vengeance and animosity among the nations. I believe that this is not the right way.

Do you think these kinds of violations of UN resolutions are symptomatic of capitalism itself?

Yes, capitalism by its nature is based on cruelty and injustice. Actually, we don’t have capitalism in the world anymore. It’s the system of capitalists who are dominating the resources of the world. They deprive other people of many opportunities. The nature of a capitalist system is unjust distribution of opportunities, natural wealth and riches. In this situation there is no chance for others, so the freedoms of other humans will be restricted, and that is the greatest war against justice.

While all chances for growth, improvement, development will be hindered, – this is injustice by definition. It’s unacceptable to see one side amass colossal wealth in astronomical figures while on the other side they remain in poverty. There are many prisoners in the United States; we also have detainees in Iran. I oppose any form of prison in principle, and I think many prisoners are held captive for two main reasons: firstly discrimination – social gaps cause extreme deprivation and poverty, and secondly, a number of people regard themselves superior than others. They keep their rights for themselves to trump on the rights of society and other people.

If we try to put in place the joint management of the world, then all human beings will partake in society’s interests and effectively participate in shaping that society. Then hopefully detention centers would be scrapped, and in future we will not see anybody behind bars anymore.

Also, some thinkers look at the phenomenon of prison from a different angle. In any geographic location where some people or a nation are under pressure their freedoms are confined, their rights are ignored, and they are not allowed to develop themselves and reach a proper status. Then that geographic location then becomes a prison. Wherever superpowers pressure people, confine them and infringe their rights, that place becomes a jail.

I hope through universal unity and joint efforts by all humans we will not witness anyone making prisons, nor anyone committing such a crime that would make them deserve to be thrown behind bars. If natural sources of wealth and opportunities are distributed evenly we would never see four million people sleeping on park benches in the United States. Humans, every single one of them, are important. Is there a lack of wealth in the United States? If resources and opportunities were divided equally, nobody homeless would remain on the streets.

You tweeted a picture from the UK-backed war on Yemen, and said the starving child was because of the capitalist system. How does capitalism kill?

Yes, any system that stands against the interests of the people would fall into decay, even if they develop and grow for a short period. You should look at the names of the weapons manufacturers who are taking the lives of people in Yemen, and you’ll notice that the nature of capitalism is war and destruction. We want a world without weapons, because weapons are designed to kill. Warfare cannot serve justice.

Do they send weapons to produce food for the people in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, or do they do it for slaughter? When arms sales are a lucrative business, then this is entwined with conflicts and war. Everybody knows part of the US governing body are the owners of weapons factories. Without tension, without wars, those weapon factories will shut down. You could find a pretext and start a war among people and nations.

The question is: what are the United States and Britain doing in the Persian Gulf region? Who allowed them to come into our region? Many problems in many parts of the world would be solved when the US and the UK and their like leave that region. They must allow people to decide for themselves. Yemeni people should be allowed to take their decision on their own. Those who sell weapons to kill people will have a terrible fate and God almighty is just; he will defend the rights of the oppressed.

Let us close down weapons factories. Can we expect to stop wars when some economies have arms production as a major pillar of their economic growth and employment? Can we assume no war will happen when some country’s economic growth relies to a large extent on the production of bombs – atomic bombs, rockets and warplanes, and a bulk of employment is dependent on arms industry?

We hope one day we will see that arms industries turn into an industry that produces equipment to improve the quality of life. So, let me give you some statistics. The world military spending is one thousand five hundred billion dollars, while 1.2 billion people live in absolute poverty, and can’t afford even a meal a day.

If we make a global consensus to issue this military spending within a five-year period and allocate it to the poor or improve economic growth of other nations, would there be insecurity anymore? Is this option better, or is war the solution? Is it better to earn revenue by serving humanity, or earn money by killing people? These are possible and feasible options, if we had a humane approach and we think of humankind.

We should care about every single person who loses his or her life in wars. People have feelings, emotions and families. In our culture, killing an innocent person amounts to killing all humankind. I hope that the day will come when all of us would act humanely, and when others look at us they would see humanity in friendship. What’s the difference between man and other creatures when you don’t love others? The extent of the love in your heart determines what kind of a human you are.

When your heart is full of love you can’t produce means for taking the life of another person. I cannot imagine this, and hope the conditions of the world will soon change in favor of justice, humanity, liberty and friendship. We believe that the basis of social life is justice, mutual respect and cooperation, so, anybody anywhere in the world who makes an attempt to spread justice deserves our respect and support. Everyone, everywhere should support them.

We believe religions came to bring further unity and solidarity among human beings. If they are dividing people in the name of religion, then be sure that this has nothing to do with the truth of religion. Humans are all the same. These governments must stand by the people, promote peace instead of wars, friendship instead of animosity. Then life will become beautiful for everyone.

I’ll stop you there. More from the former President of Iran after the break.

Continue reading “Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Talks Peace, Justice, And True Religion.”