Manage episode 210462464 series 2359906
If you know Bill Browder's story already, you surely won’t mind hearing it again. It’s extraordinary. If you haven’t heard it before, get ready. Bill Browder very well may be Vladimir Putin’s public enemy No. 1. Why? Remember that “Hillary dirt” Russia meeting that Don Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort had with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016 – the one the White House said was about Russian adoptions?As you’ll hear, “Russian adoptions” is code for the Magnitsky Act – legislation passed in 2012 that now blocks more than 40 Russian government officials and businesspeople from entering the U.S., froze their U.S. bank assets and banned them from accessing U.S. banking systems. Bill Browder is the force behind the Magnitsky Act.Everything about Browder’s story is made for a movie – His upbringing, professional career, and especially his life since an early-morning November 2009 phone call informed him that his lawyer, Sergei Magnitzky had been beaten to death by guards on a Russian prison floor.And as we know from the recent UK poisoning of that Russian ex-spy and his daughter – as well as various journalist killings – sitting in Putin’s crosshairs is, to put it mildly, an uncomfortable place. Just this week – after our conversation occurred, so we didn’t discuss it – Browder was briefly arrested in Spain on a Russian arrest warrant. Turned out the warrant had expired, and Browder was released. But the threat is always there.