WASHINGTON — California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says the testimony of financier William Browder to the committee about Russia’s influence peddling in the United States was the “best” she has heard on the matter.
Browder testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Wednesday about Foreign Agents Registration Act enforcement in relation to the committee’s larger Russia investigation.
“I thought it was some of the best testimony I’ve ever heard. As a matter of fact, I just had another call with him this afternoon. He spoke, I thought, comprehensively without a note without a stammer and it’s obvious that his knowledge is extraordinary,” Feinstein told The Daily Caller.
Browder testified that Fusion GPS, the firm that created the infamous dossier on Donald Trump, had acted on behalf of Russian interests to repeal the Magnitsky Act, legislation which financially hurt Vladimir Putin and his associates.
The law is named after murdered Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, who defended Browder when the American financier became the target of the Putin regime while living in Moscow. Browder described how Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, the same attorney that met with Donald Trump Jr. last year, used Fusion GPS to conduct a smear campaign against him.
“Veselnitskaya, through Baker Hostetler, hired Glenn Simpson of the firm Fusion GPS to conduct a smear campaign against me and Sergei Magnitsky in advance of congressional hearings on the Global Magnitsky Act. He contacted a number of major newspapers and other publications to spread false information that Sergei Magnitsky was not murdered, was not a whistle-blower, and was instead a criminal. They also spread false information that my presentations to lawmakers around the world were untrue,” Browder said in his written testimony.
Browder added, “As part of Veselnitskaya’s lobbying, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, Chris Cooper of the Potomac Group, was hired to organize the Washington, D.C.-based premiere of a fake documentary about Sergei Magnitsky and myself. This was one the best examples of Putin’s propaganda.”
Although Democrats are not talking much about the various Russia investigations on Capitol Hill, Feinstein insists that the Judiciary Committee’s Russia investigation is not winding down and she expects to hear from former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in September.
“It’s certainly very active in intelligence. There have been a lot of interviews done. And Judiciary is gearing up. We’re asking some documents this month one’s from Donald Trump and Manafort and we understand they are beginning to give us documents August 2,” she said. “And we’re grateful for that answer and we hope to have him before us in September.”