The Daily Beast has just revealed that last April, Vladimir Putin’s favorite Republican Congressman Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) traveled with a Congressional delegation to Moscow where he met privately with Russia’s Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika.
Chaika is the very same Russian government official who music publicist Rob Goldstone emailed Donald Trump Jr. about to set up an apparently incriminating meeting for dirt on Hillary Clinton last year.
The Daily Beast reports that the Republican legislator came back to America with a secret document and mission: to hold a posthumous show trial of murdered Russian tax auditor Sergey Magnitsky and his client Bill Browder in Congress:
Members of the team of Russians who secured a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner also attempted to stage a show trial of anti-Putin campaigner Bill Browder on Capitol Hill.
The trial, which would have come in the form of a congressional hearing, was scheduled for mid-June 2016 by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), a long-standing Russia ally who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe. During the hearing, Rohrabacher had planned to confront Browder with a feature-length pro-Kremlin propaganda movie that viciously attacks him—as well as at least two witnesses linked to the Russian authorities, including lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
A driving factor in passing Magnitsky Sanctions against Russia, which Congress approved in 2012, was that Russia put the dead auditor on trial posthumously along with his client Bill Browder, violating all international norms of the rule of law. So the Russians asked Rohrabacher to do the same in the United States Congress, and he complied.
Rep. Rohrabacher took documents from the Russian official Yuri Chaika last April, and then scheduled Congressional hearings, acing to remove the name Magnitsky from the new Global Magnitsky anti-corruption law and touted Putin’s cause in a House Foreign Relations Committee meeting on May 18th, 2016. (see video below)
The House Foreign Relations Committee rejected Rohrabacher’s amendment and his extensive arguments, approving the anti-corruption bill over his objections.
Next, the Republican-controlled foreign affairs committee decided to hold a hearing about “U.S. Policy Toward Putin’s Russia“(Transcript) instead of the hearing Rep. Rohrabacher wanted to hold grilling Browder and his dead employee, which was heard on June 14th, 2016.
Rep. Rohrabacher and Veselnitskaya attended an anti-Magnitsky propaganda film screening at Washington’s Newseum the night before the hearing. A showing of the Russian propaganda film at the EU Parliament only six weeks earlier was scrapped in a major political flap over its false contents. Rep. Rohrabacher had dinner with the major players in Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting at a private club for Republicans after the film:
During Royce’s hearing, Rohrabacher approvingly compared Donald Trump to Vladimir Putin. The congressman also submitted, for the congressional record, testimony that claimed Russia had not been behind the radioactive poisoning of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko in London.
Rohrabacher, Behrends, Akhmetshin, Veselnitskaya, and Matlock had dinner together later that night at the Capitol Hill Club, a private members’ establishment for Republicans. The evening was organized by Lanny Wiles, a veteran GOP operative.
The following day, Veselniskaya attended the House Foreign Relations Committee meeting and was quoted in a Sputnik News story about both events.
Rep. Rohrabacher’s top aide Paul Behrends – a former Blackwater lobbyist – was also at the meeting with Russian officials, and deeply involved in shepherding the Russian government’s agenda through the halls of power in D.C. In fact, also he knows ex-Blackwater CEO Erik Prince personally after serving with him in Rohrabacher’s office when the soldier for hire was just a Naval cadet and intern, long before he became Trump’s secret back channel to Russia this January.
Paul Behrends reached out to Bill Browder a couple of weeks before the loaded hearing and tried to get him to testify.
Russian prosecutor-general Yuri Chaika is so notriously corrupt and deeply loathed in Russia – as Maddow reported on MSNBC – that he personally inspired a Pussy Riot song and hand gesture based on his name, which translates as ‘seagull.’
Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya worked previously as a prosecutor for Chaika and she told the Wall Street Journal that she regularly met with the government lawyer. Her client in America was a Cyprus company named Prevezon, and its owner’s father is also a Russian transportation executive.
All of those men worked underneath a Russian billionaire former public railways boss Victor Yakunin, who publicly endorsed Donald Trump on CNBC in a story entitled “Putin Ally Backs Donald Trump for President” days after Donald Trump Jr.’s damning meeting with the lawyer Veselnitskaya and Rohrabacher’s hearing:
“It was always Republicans when, in the old days, some of kind of bridges were constructed. If Mr Trump is coming into power, that will be more facilitative to faster establishing new kinds of relations.”
Victor Yakunin is considered extremely close to Putin and has siphoned billions of Russian state dollars into strange places according to this extensive Reuters expose.
While in Russia last April, Rep. Rohrabacher met with the former state-owned Russian Railways boss Vladimir Yakunin, who was forced out of official office in 2015 when his son applied for British citizenship – seen as a disgrace akin to leaving the family businesses with the loot. Vladimir Yakunin served as a UN Diplomat for the USSR in the 1980s, prompting rumors of having KGB training.
Politico confirmed the meeting between Rep. Rohrabacher and the sanctioned tycoon in Moscow, just after last year’s election.
In fact, the list of dubious behaviors is so disgusting, that even Republican Senator Chuck Grassley – better known for being a staunch Trump apologist – has been raising hell with the Department of Justice to get to the bottom of an apparent spy ring in the House of Representatives.
The Global Magnitsky Act was ultimately added to a major defense bill and passed last December, aiming to sanction officials who commit human rights atrocities.
The Russian government’s aggressive and illegal lobbying efforts expose a web of corruption that stretches directly from the Kremlin’s halls of power right into Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s office and into the Trump campaign. President Trump’s reliance on felonious assistance from Russian government agents has been revealed and his campaign’s admitted collusion must be punished by Special Counsel Mueller to the fullest extent of the law.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition