Bill Browder, the CEO and co-founder of Hermitage Capital, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday to shed light on the activities of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm behind the widely discredited “dodgy dossier” that detailed President Donald Trump’s alleged escapades in Russia.
Browder has emerged as a central player in the ongoing investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections because of his connection to Sergei Magnitsky, an attorney he hired to investigate official corruption in Russia, and who died in a Russian prison in 2009. Congress passed the Magnitsky Act in 2012, imposing sanctions on the officials held responsible for his death. Vladimir Putin reportedly despises the legislation and has been working furiously for years to get it overturned.
According to Browder, Fusion GPS was acting on behalf of Russia at the time it hired British spy Christopher Steele to dig up dirt for the anti-Trump dossier.
Sen. Lindsey Graham: You believe they were working for the Russians?
Browder: In the spring and summer of 2016 they were receiving money indirectly from a senior Russian government official.
Graham: These are the people that were trying to undermine Donald Trump by showing he had nefarious ties to Russia. Is that what you’re saying?
Browder: What I’m saying with 100 percent certainly is that they were working to undermine the Magnisky Act and the timing of that…
Graham: The Fusion GPS product apparently is that they hired a guy to look into Trump? Is that right?
Graham later went on Fox News to discuss the significance of the revelations. “What we learned today is that the Russians were behind the organization that tried to get dirt on Trump,” he said.
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