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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Donald Trump Jr. / Natalia Veselnitskaya / Sergei Magnitsky / The U.S. Magnitsky Act / What’s all this about?

Sergei Magnitsky
1972 - 2009


Unless you’ve been on vacation at the North Pole, you’ve been bombarded daily with news and opinions about Donald Trump Jr. (The President’s son) having a meeting (weeks before the Presidential Election) with a Russian Attorney (possible operative) representing (allegedly) the Russian Government and indirectly Vladimir Putin.


Well, let’s just say that Donald Trump Jr. kind of stepped in it when he agreed to meet with Natalia Veselnitskaya.  She apparently teased Junior with the claim that she and ‘the Russians’ had ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton.  He reportedly responded in an email with “I love it.”  Now, one would normally think that Junior would be smarter than that and, perhaps, considering the circumstances, use more grown-up terms in his emails, but…

Anyway, Natalia had nothing on Hillary other than what she might have read in the National Inquirer.

Nonetheless, Natalia did have a pitch to make to Junior; and it concerned the Magnitsky Act.  I know you’ve heard this term bantered-about recently, but most have no idea who Magnitsky is/was or what he has to do with the ‘Act’; a law passed by the U.S. Congress.  Apparently, Putin hates this law, and in particular the name.  After the law passed, Putin retaliated by prohibiting Americans from adopting Russian orphans – even some children already in the pipeline for adoption.

The U.S. law (Magnitsky Act) bans numerous Russian officials and various Russian oligarchs from entering the U.S.  Also, as I understand it, a lot of Russian money held in the American banking system was ‘frozen.’

The purpose of the law was in retaliation for the inhumane and barbaric treatment, and the ultimate death, of Sergei Magnitsky in a Russian prison.

Sergei Magnitsky was a Russian attorney and auditor who reportedly uncovered ‘State’ sponsored theft that benefited Vladimir Putin and some of his close associates.  We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars.

Well, Putin et al took this unkindly – as you might imagine.  Magnitsky was imprisoned and died under the most difficult and abusive conditions imaginable.

There is a longer story to all of this which was exposed in a very good book Red Notice; authored by Bill Browder.  The book gives you some insight into Putin’s Russia and the Russian prison system.  Not pretty – think North Korean not pretty.


True Nelson