Sen. Grassley: Rinat Akhmetshin Worked With Fusion GPS, Company Behind Phony Pee-Gate Dossier

Chris Menahan
Jul. 14, 2017

Russian-American lobbyist and former Soviet military officer Rinat Akhmetshin, who we learned today also attended the Don Jr meeting, worked with the shady Fusion GPS company behind the discredited "Pee-Gate" dossier, according to Senator Chuck Grassley.

From Mediaite:
Rinat Akhmetshin has been the man of hour since revelations emerged that he attended the infamous Trump Jr meeting.

But it get's better. In addition to that, it now appears that he worked as a lobbyist along alongside Fusion GPS, the company which put together the infamous Trump dossier.

The unverified dossier was published by Buzzfeed in January and was intended as opposition research against Trump. It got it's nickname the "Pee Tape Dossier" because of the claim contained within that Russian intelligence agencies had footage of Trump urinating on a prostitutes in a bed at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow.

The collaboration was highlighted in a complaint filed by GOP Senator Chuck Grassley last year. According to Grassley, Akhmetshin also did not register as a foreign agent during his lobbying activities.

"It is particularly disturbing that Mr. Akhmetshin and Fusion GPS were working together on this pro-Russia lobbying effort in 2016 in light of Mr. Akhmetshin's history and reputation.  Mr. Akhmetshin is a Russian immigrant to the U.S. who has admitted having been a Soviet counterintelligence officer," Grassley said in the complaint.
Akhmetshin and Fusion GPS were lobbying against the Magnitsky Act.
According to the complaint, Akhmetshin also lobbied alongside former Congressman Ron Dellums, who was reportedly hired by Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who also met with Trump Jr. At the time, they told staffers “they were lobbying on behalf of a Russian company called Prevezon and ask[ing] [the Committee] to delay the Global Magnitsky Act or at least remove Magnitsky from the name,” Grassley’s complaint said.

Prevezon is a Russian holding company that had ties to the money laundering fiasco that Magnitsky uncovered. They paid $6 million to settle and did not admit fault. Even more interesting is Veselnitskaya was Prevezon’s lawyer and came to New York for this case, which is where she was just before her meeting with Trump Jr.
From Grassley's statement posted March 31, 2017:
WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is asking whether a suspected former Russian intelligence officer-turned U.S. lobbyist and the firm behind the unsubstantiated anti-Trump dossier should have registered as foreign agents for their efforts to bring down a U.S. law on behalf of the Kremlin. According to a complaint filed with the Justice Department, Fusion GPS, which was also involved in the creation of the unsubstantiated dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, was involved in the pro-Russia campaign to kill the Global Magnitsky Act around the same time.

In 2012, President Obama signed into law the Magnitsky Act, named for a lawyer who suspiciously died in Russian custody after accusing Russian government officials and members of organized crime of using corporate identity theft against Hermitage Capital Management to fraudulently obtain and launder $230 million, some of which allegedly ended up in U.S. real estate projects. The Magnitsky Act imposed sanctions against those involved as well as other Russians designated as human rights abusers.

In 2013, the Justice Department opened a case to seize the U.S. assets of Russian-owned Prevezon Holdings, which received millions of dollars from the theft and used it to purchase real estate in New York, according to the department’s complaint. In response, Prevezon Holdings and the Kremlin launched a campaign to undermine the Magnitsky Act and discredit Magnitsky’s claims of corruption, according to a 2016 complaint by Hermitage CEO William Browder. Fusion GPS and Rinat Akhmetshin, among others, were involved in the pro-Russia campaign in 2016, which involved lobbying congressional staffers to attempt to undermine the Justice Department’s account of Magnitsky’s death and the crime he uncovered, repeal the Magnitsky Act itself, and delay efforts to expand it to countries beyond Russia, according to Browder’s complaint. Akhmetshin, a Russian immigrant, has reportedly admitted to being a “soviet counterintelligence officer,” and has a long history of lobbying the U.S. government for pro-Russia matters. Fusion GPS was reportedly tasked with generating negative press coverage of Browder and Hermitage.

Despite the reported evidence of their work on behalf of Russian interests, neither Fusion GPS nor Akhmetshin are registered as foreign agents under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA).

FARA was passed to improve transparency of individuals and organizations that lobby the U.S. government or act as publicity agents on behalf of a foreign principal. Grassley has previously raised concerns about the department’s inconsistent enforcement of FARA. This case is particularly important given that Fusion GPS was apparently simultaneously working on the unsubstantiated dossier alleging collusion between Trump presidential campaign associates and Russia, which the FBI reportedly agreed to continue funding. Because Fusion GPS had not registered under FARA, it is unclear whether the FBI was aware of the company’s pro-Russia activities and its connection with Ahkmetshin when evaluating the credibility of the dossier the company helped create.
In case it wasn't clear: the FBI is actively funding foreign intelligence agents to dig up dirt on Donald J. Trump.

Now, we learn Fusion GPS-connected Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Fusion GPS-connected Russian lobbyist and former Soviet military officer Rinat Akhmetshin met with Don Jr. to hand him worthless documents about Hillary Clinton.

From the AP:
Veselnitskaya brought with her a plastic folder with printed-out documents that detailed what she believed was the flow of illicit funds to the Democrats, Akhmetshin said. Veselnitskaya presented the contents of the documents to the Trump associates and suggested that making the information public could help the campaign, he said.

“This could be a good issue to expose how the DNC is accepting bad money,” Akhmetshin recalled her saying.

Trump Jr. asked the attorney if she had sufficient evidence to back up her claims, including whether she could demonstrate the flow of the money. But Veselnitskaya said the Trump campaign would need to research it more. After that, Trump Jr. lost interest, according to Akhmetshin.

“They couldn’t wait for the meeting to end,” he said.
This sure as hell sounds like a setup.

Incidentally, if the Russians wanted to meddle in our politics, the Democrats' phony Russkie conspiracy narrative gives them every ability to do so. Any random Russian can now claim they "colluded" with Trump or his associates and trigger a political firestorm.

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