Chuck Grassley

United States Senator from Iowa

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Checking the Facts: There Is Evidence Fusion GPS Was Paid by Russia While Compiling Trump Dossier

Aug 17, 2017
Witness before Committee Reaffirms Sworn Testimony
                                                                                                                                           
WASHINGTON – Bill Browder, a witness before a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, reaffirmed his testimony regarding Russian funding of a public influence campaign by Fusion GPS following a Washington Post “Fact Checker” article that contradicted his earlier testimony by claiming, “…there is no evidence Fusion took money from the Russian government."
 
The ‘Fact Check’ attempted to assess a statement by White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders in which she said, “The Democrat-linked firm Fusion GPS actually took money from the Russian government while it created the phony dossier that’s been the basis for all of the Russia scandal fake news.”
 
Browder previously provided relevant testimony on two important factual elements of that statement: first that Fusion GPS took money from the Russian government; and second that it did so while it was working on the Trump dossier.
 
In a point-by-point response to Grassley’s questions on the matter, Browder reiterates and expands on portions of his testimony overlooked or excluded by the Post. Specifically, when asked whether Browder stands by his testimony that Fusion GPS received money from the Russian government, Browder wrote:
 
“Yes, I stand by my testimony that Fusion GPS received money from the Russian government,” I have based my determination on the following facts:
 
  1. Fusion GPS was involved in the anti-Magnitsky campaign in Washington DC in the spring-summer of 2016.
  2. The anti-Magnitsky campaign was a major foreign policy priority of the Russian government.
  3. Fusion GPS was paid by the Katsyv family, which is headed by a high-ranking Russian government official named Pyotr Katsyv.
4.Pyotr Katsyv is a senior member of the Putin regime. Currently, he is Vice President of ‘Russian Railways’, a huge Russian transportation company, in which the Russian government is the sole shareholder. He was previously for many years Vice Chair of the Government and Minister of Transportation of the Moscow region…”
 
Browder goes on to detail the methods by which the Russian government arranges for propaganda work in other countries, the methods by which it pays those agents through proxies, the timeline of work conducted by Fusion GPS in 2016 and how Fusion GPS under those facts should have been required to register as a foreign agent. He additionally comments on the Post article, for which he was interviewed, saying that his quote in the article was “not really” fair.
 
The hearing examined, in part, whether Fusion GPS should have registered as a foreign agent for its work to sway public perception against human rights sanctions imposed on the Russian government. The Post article does not challenge Fusion GPS’ claim that it wasn’t required to register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act even though the article points out that the firm discussed its work with several reporters and was paid through a law firm that was hired by Russians. Under the law, firms or individuals are required to register if they are doing lobbying or public relations work on behalf of a foreign government or entity to influence the U.S. Government or the public perception on policy matters, even if they are working through an intermediary.
 
Read the full letter from William Browder to Grassley here.
And read Grassley’s letter to Browder here.
 
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