Democrats are playing into Russia's hands

Erick Erickson:
Because of leftwing outrage and media obsession, the nation has focused on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russians to influence the American election. In the hype and hysteria, we have been distracted from an obvious issue. If, as the Obama Administration claimed, the Russians merely wanted to undermine American trust in the democratic process, would not they work both sides against each other? It is looking more and more like that may be the case.

To understand the tangled details around Donald Trump, Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. we first have to examine the Magnitsky Act. That act was named for Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who exposed massive tax fraud in Russia at the government level. For that exposure, the Russian government arrested Magnitsky, tortured him, and left him to die in jail. The international outrage was overwhelming and a bipartisan group in Congress passed the Magnitsky Act.

The legislation allowed, in part, the Department of Justice to seize American assets of Russian oligarchs exposed by Magnitsky. The Russian company Prevezon Holdings had its assets seized. It set about hiring lawyers, political strategists, and others to get is money back. Prevzon made three very interesting hires.

Prevezon hired Natalia Veselnitskaya, the lawyer who subsequently met with Donald Trump, Jr. Prevezon also hired Rinat Akhmetshin, described by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) as a former Soviet counterintelligence officer who specialized in disinformation and propaganda campaigns. Akhmetshin also retained Veselnitskaya as lawyer for a third party group that claims to be a Human Rights group. Prevezon and Akhmetshin also worked with a Democrat opposition research group called Fusion GPS.

Here is where the web starts to tangle. According to Senator Grassley, who wants Fusion GPS’s executives to testify to Congress, “Fusion GPS was apparently simultaneously working on the unsubstantiated dossier alleging collusion between Trump presidential campaign associates and Russia” while also working with Prevezon to overturn the Magnitsky Act.

Suddenly it seems more than a coincidence that Prevezon’s lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, has a meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. at the time Fusion GPS is putting together a dossier claiming the Trump campaign had been meeting with Russians. But it gets even more tangled than that.

Natalia Veselnitskaya’s visa for entry into the United States had expired by 2016. She could not enter the country and a United States Attorney denied her “temporary parole” to enter the country. Nonetheless, the Obama Administration overruled the United States Attorney and allowed Ms. Veselnitskaya into the United States on an expired visa to meet with Donald Trump, Jr.
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There is much more.

 I pointed out this possibility in discussing the NY Times story and what really gave it away to me was the Donald Trump, Jr. emails.  What they exposed was a plan to entice him into a meeting on false pretenses.

What seems strange is how the Times and the rest of the media did not see this aspect of the story they were writing.  They were too single-mindedly focused on trying to prove their bogus collusion story to notice that the premise of the meeting was fraudulent on the part of the Russians.

The plot seems clearer when you learn more about the Russian lawyer and how she happened to be in the US, to begin with.

Sen. Grassley appears to be one of the few people in Washington doing any clear thinking on the situation with Russia.

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