Fusion GPS, the Democratic Party's go-to opposition research firm in both the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections, has startling ties to the Russian attorney who met with Donald Trump, Jr. last June and even the Russian Government itself.
Erick Erickson, writing in The Resurgent, notes that "there is a remarkably small degree of separation between Natalia Veselnitskaya and Fusion GPS, the Democrat opposition research firm that came up with the Trump dossier."
That dossier, which was widely discredited as both unverified and unverifiable (and, quite frankly, factually incorrect in a number of its key claims), is the source of many of the allegations of collusion between Donald Trump presidential campaign and The Kremlin.
Yet it seems that Fusion GPS has far deeper ties to Russia than does the Trump camp. According to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, “Fusion GPS was apparently simultaneously working on the unsubstantiated dossier alleging collusion between Trump presidential campaign associates and Russia” as it was working with Baker Hostetler (a law firm with ties to Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson) on repealing a series of U.S. sanctions known as the Magnitsky Act.
The Act seized assets from a Russian company called "Prevezon Holdings, which received millions of dollars from the theft and used it to purchase real estate in New York, according to the department’s complaint. In response, Prevezon Holdings and the Kremlin launched a campaign to undermine the Magnitsky Act and discredit Magnitsky’s claims of corruption, according to a 2016 complaint by Hermitage CEO William Browder. Fusion GPS and Rinat Akhmetshin, among others, were involved in the pro-Russia campaign in 2016."
Preveson Holdings employs an attorney by the name of Natalia Veselnitskaya, who also did work for Akhmetsin, a Russian immigrant to the U.S. who has admitted having been a 'Soviet counterintelligence officer.' In fact, it has been reported that he worked for the GRU and allegedly specializes in 'active measures campaigns,' i.e., subversive political influence operations often involving disinformation and propaganda."
Prevezon, which is a Russian group, hires Fusion GPS and Rinat Akhmetshin to generate negative press coverage on a British citizen. Prevezon also hires as legal counsel both Baker Hostetler and Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Rinat Akhmetshin also puts Natalia Veselnitskaya on the payroll.
Rinat Akhmetshin, who works in collaboration with Fusion GPS at the time it is preparing the Trump dossier, is an admitted “Soviet counterintelligence officer” who specializes in “subversive political influence operations often involving disinformation and propaganda.”
While all of this is going on, Fusion GPS is working on the opposition research dossier on Donald Trump using a foreign agent. Are we really supposed to believe that it is completely coincidental that Natalia Veselnitskaya just so happens to be the Russian lawyer who got access to Donald Trump, Jr.? Are we to believe that there is no direct relationship between Veselnitskaya and Fusion GPS?
No, of course not. There was fairly obviously a connection between Veselnitskaya and Fusion GPS. While it's far more likely that she really was simply trying to lobby the Trump camp on the Magnitsky Act than that she was part of a conspiracy to set Trump, Jr. up, this relationship--and the relationship between Fusion GPS and the Russian Government--certainly warrants closer scrutiny.