Dump the Lobbyists! Sen. Grassley’s Complaint on Fusion GPS and Their Russian Spy

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The Russian lobbyist who met with Donald Jr. last year, one Rinat Akhmetshin, appears to be an ex-Soviet counterintelligence officer. He has at times denied it, but Sen. Grassley reported he was a self-admitted former spy who lobbies in the U.S. for Russian interests. The obvious question is, if so, how did he get U.S. citizenship?

Both he and Natalia Veselnitskaya met with Donald Jr. last year to discuss the Magnitsky Act which they want repealed. Donald Jr. thought he was getting opposition research.

Hillary supported the repeal of the Act after her husband received a lucrative speech offer in Russia and donations went to the Clinton Foundation.

Repeal would protect Russian murderers and human rights abusers.

Both Rinat and Natalia have ties to Fusion GPS, a firm that is also committed to repeal of the Magnitsky Act. Fusion GPS is the organization that came up with the mostly debunked Russia dossier.  In other words, Fusion GPS hired a Russian spy.

The complaint

Sen. Grassley filed a complaint last year about Akhmetshin for not registering as a foreign agent during his lobbying activities.

The senator’s website posting reads:

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 last year, 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.

Grassley wrote in his complaint that Akhmetshin admitted he was a Soviet counterintelligence officer. He also wanted to know why Fusion GPS didn’t register as lobbyists for foreign agents.

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).

The NY Post reported:

The Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month threatened to subpoena the firm, Fusion GPS, after it refused to answer questions and provide records to the panel identifying who financed the error-ridden dossier, which was circulated during the election and has sparked much of the Russia scandal now engulfing the White House.

What is the company hiding? Fusion GPS describes itself as a “research and strategic intelligence firm” founded by “three former Wall Street Journal investigative reporters.” But congressional sources say it’s actually an opposition-research group for Democrats, and the founders, who are more political activists than journalists, have a pro-Hillary Clinton, anti-Trump agenda.

“These weren’t mercenaries or hired guns,” a congressional source familiar with the dossier probe said. “These guys had a vested personal and ideological interest in smearing Trump and boosting Hillary’s chances of winning the White House.”

This is an investigation that must be included in Mueller’s probe.