The financier Bill Browder has emerged as an unlikely central player in the ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Sergei Magnitsky, an attorney Browder hired to investigate official corruption, died in Russian custody in 2009. Congress subsequently imposed sanctions on the officials it held responsible for his death, passing the Magnitsky Act in 2012. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government retaliated, among other ways, by suspending American adoptions of Russian children.
Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who secured a meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort, was engaged in a campaign for the repeal of the Magnitsky Act, and raised the subject of adoptions in that meeting. That’s put the spotlight back on Browder’s long campaign for Kremlin accountability, and against corruption—a campaign whose success has irritated Putin and those around him.
Browder will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday in a hearing about Foreign Agents Registration Act enforcement; what follows are the prepared remarks he submitted to the committee. The committee also called as witnesses former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of the Fusion GPS research firm that commissioned the Trump dossier. As of Tuesday evening, only Browder is definitely scheduled to appear during that panel.