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Bill Browder Describes What Will Happen To Him If Trump Accepts Putin’s Plan

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Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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One of Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics says that the Russian leader will have him killed if President Donald Trump follows through with a proposal to hand him over to the Russian government.

“To hand me over to Putin is basically to hand me over to my death,” Bill Browder, a London-based banker and human rights activist, said on CNN Thursday. “Effectively what the Russians have said very clearly on a number of occasions is they would like to get me back to Russia, they would like to send me back to Russia. And once I’m back in Russia, they would like to kill me.”

Browder, a U.S.-born British citizen, is the leading lobbyist behind the Magnitsky Act, a law passed by Congress in 2012 that sanctions Russian human rights abusers.

The bill is named after Browder’s lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky. Browder says that Magnitsky was murdered in a Russian prison in 2009 because of investigation into a massive tax fraud scheme involving Russian organized crime. The Kremlin has accused Browder of fabricating the Magnitsky case in order to cover up his own financial misdealings.

Browder told CNN that his work on the Magnitsky Act has made Putin “extremely angry” because the law freezes up wealthy Russians’ assets and prevents them from traveling to Western countries. Putin retaliated against the Magnitsky Act in 2013 by barring Americans from adopting Russian children.

“He would like to get his hands on me, he’d like to kill me like he killed my lawyer eight and a half years ago,” Browder said Thursday.

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Putin mentioned Browder by name during a joint press conference with Trump in Helskini Monday.

The Russian leader offered to allow special counsel Robert Mueller to attend interviews between Russian authorities and 12 alleged Russian military officers indicted for hacking Democrats’ emails. In exchange, Putin wants American authorities to grant Russians access to individuals he claims “have something to do with illegal actions on the territory of Russia.” (RELATED: Oppo Researcher Behind Trump Dossier Helped Pro-Kremlin Campaign Against Bill Browder)

Putin went on to accuse Browder of engaging in tax fraud when he worked as a businessman in Russia. He also claimed Browder and his associates funneled money to the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Browder denied contributing to the Clinton campaign.

The allegation is similar to one made during the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016. During the meeting, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya carried a memo accusing Browder of tax fraud and of making illegal contributions to the Clinton campaign. In a strange twist, Veseltniskaya was working on the anti-Browder campaign with Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned the anti-Trump dossier. (RELATED: Bill Browder, A Staunch Putin Critic, Praises Trump Over New Sanctions)

Simpson provided some of the research on Browder.

Trump suggested during Monday’s press conference that he is open to Putin’s proposal.

“I think that’s an incredible offer,” Trump said.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Wednesday that Trump and Putin discussed the offer during a private meeting before the press conference. She said that Trump did not make commitment on the issue, but that he will meet with aides to discuss it.

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