How Hermitage Capital, Ziff Brothers And The Clinton Global Initiative Prompted The Trump Jr. Meeting

Tyler Durden's picture

When Trump Jr. took his now-infamous meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya he was promised "official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father."  That said, Trump Jr. has since described Veselnitskaya's 'damaging information' as nothing more than "inane nonsense."

So what "information" was Veselnitskaya peddling that could be used as a political weapon in the 2016 presidential election? 

According to a note from Bloomberg this morning, the answer to that question is a very sordid tale that involves Hermitage Capital, Ziff Brothers Investments, The Clinton Global Initiative, a decade-old story on an international tax evasion scandal and a new film Veselnitskaya had been eagerly promoting called “The Magnitsky Act — Behind the Scenes”...all of which probably helps explain why a British publicist was involved in setting up the original meeting, why Trump Jr. was confused by Veselnitskaya's "inane nonsense" and why Jared Kushner decided to leave the meeting after 5-10 minutes.

Where do we start?  Veselnitskaya's story focuses on William Browder, a fund manager at Hermitage Capital, and his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. 

On a side note, if that Magnitsky name sounds familiar it's because he's the person behind the "Magnitsky Act" which resulted in a U.S. law that branded 18 Russians as human-rights abusers.  Magnitsky died in a Moscow prison after uncovering what he said was a tax fraud that diverted $230 million from Russian taxpayers into the pockets of a handful of civil servants. The 2012 law angered the Kremlin, which then prohibited most adoptions from Russia to the U.S., chilling relations between Washington and Moscow.



So how did Veselnitskaya come to focus on Hermitage and Ziff?  Bloomberg explains:

Veselnitskaya’s apparent interest in Browder and Hermitage picked up a decade-old thread. Browder, who was pressing for greater transparency in Russia’s financial sector, was kicked out of the country in 2005. Russian officials accused him and his lawyer, Magnitsky, of tax evasion and put them on trial -- Browder in absentia, and Magnitsky after his death. Browder was convicted of tax fraud in 2013.


Just weeks before the Trump Tower meeting, Russia’s general prosecutor had returned to the matter. On May 19, 2016, the office issued a statement that its investigation into purchases of shares in gas giant Gazprom by Browder’s Hermitage Fund and his investors, including Ziff Brothers, had found they evaded more than 1 billion rubles ($16 million) in Russian taxes, transferring the profits to Ziff-controlled companies overseas. Russian prosecutors said they suspected the transactions also may have violated U.S. law and that they planned to send an international-assistance request to the U.S. seeking a probe.


Veselnitskaya repeated those allegations in comments to the Russian press about the Magnitsky case at the time.


On June 4, 2017, Yuri Chaika, Russia’s general prosecutor, said on national television that his agency “has presented serious evidence of violations of the law by Browder and the Ziff brothers” to U.S. officials. There’s no indication of any U.S. response to that claim.

And the connection to the Clinton Global Initiative?  Apparently Browder’s firm, Hermitage Capital, is listed as a contributor of $10,000 to $25,000 because he paid to attend a CGI conference about a decade ago and Ziff Brothers’ Daniel Ziff is recorded as contributing $50,000 to $100,000 to CGI.

So why did Veselnitskaya care?  Apparently it all relates back to her efforts to roll-back the Magnitsky Act.

She’s also traveled to the U.S. in a matter related to the Magnitsky affair -- her only case outside of Russia, she has said. She represented Denis Katsyv, the owner of Prevezon Holdings Ltd., an investment company based in Cyprus accused by the U.S. of laundering gains from the alleged tax fraud against the Hermitage Fund into New York real estate. Prevezon settled the case for $5.9 million in May, while admitting no wrongdoing.


Days after the Trump Tower meeting, she appeared in Washington, D.C., for the screening of the film, “The Magnitsky Act — Behind the Scenes,” at the Newseum. The movie’s premise is that Browder himself was behind the fraud, and it attempts to cast doubts on whether Magnitsky was tortured to death.


Afterward, Veselnitskaya told Sputnik News that she had filed a report with Congress, claiming that Browder had duped Congress into adopting the Magnitsky Act, which placed financial and travel sanctions on individuals associated with the alleged tax fraud.

Confused yet?  Perhaps the only thing we 'understand' about this story with any level of real clarity is Jared Kushner's seemingly logical decision to leave the meeting with Veselnitskaya after only 5-10 minutes.

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MickV's picture

#TrumpDerangementSyndrome turned to 15.

Thoresen's picture

More nothingburger.
The more we look, the more we think the press should be looking at Clinton.

Erek's picture

Stop the Trump witch-hunt and go after the real witch, Hillary, her Warlock Bill, her black cat Obama and all those child-molesting demons she brought forth from her corner of hell. Break them on the wheel, drag them to the town square, bind them all to a stake and start a nice cheery fire.

Looney's picture


William Browder is a tax cheat. He made tons of money in Russia, through the Hermitage Fund, without paying a penny in taxes.

When his assets in Russia were frozen by the Tax Authorities, he ran back to the US.

He’s been bitching about his “stolen” money ever since. Fuck him!


FrozenGoodz's picture

Lol the spin cycle has officially hit 6th gear

DownWithYogaPants's picture

I would take a meating with Nathalia too.  She looks fresh enough. 

HowdyDoody's picture

Did Trump know Jr was meeting with these people? And when did he know it?

Edit: There she is sitting behind McFaul at a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Russia, June 14, 2014:

How do you spell 'setup'?

espirit's picture

Beware a White Russian with dark eyes.

Methinks if you cross her, she will hang your balls in her trophy room.

Rancho Texican's picture

Veselnitskaya's visa was denied. So who in the Obama admin let her into the country? And why was she seen 8 days later meeting with Obama's Russian ambassador?

HowdyDoody's picture

Full details of the Veselnitskaya visit in 2016

"Now it is discovered via video and images, that only 5 days later, June 14th 2016, Ms. Veselnitskaya was a guest of former Obama administration Russian Ambassador Michael McFaul in Washington DC for a House of Representatives hearing on U.S. Policy Toward Putin’s Russia."

"The actual date of the arguments in the case U.S. -v- Prevezon Holdings was the EXACT SAME date as the meeting in Trump Tower – June 9th 2016"

"And look at the participating attorneys. A smorgasbord of anti-Trumpers writ large. Attorney(s) appearing for the case:

JACOB W. BUCHDAHL (Cory S. Buland, on the brief), Susman Godfrey LLP, New York, NY, for Movant-Appellant Hermitage Capital Management Ltd.

PAUL MONTELEONI, Assistant United States Attorney (Cristine Phillips, Margaret Garnett, Assistant United States Attorneys, on the brief), for Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, for Plaintiff-Appellee the United States of America.

MICHAEL B. MUKASEY (Jennifer F. Mintz, Jarrod L. Schaeffer, on the brief), Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP, New York, NY, for Defendants-Appellees Prevezon Holdings Ltd., Prevezon Alexander, LLC, Prevezon Soho USA, LLC, Prevezon Seven USA, LLC, Prevezon Pine USA, LLC, Prevezon 1711 USA, LLC, Prevezon 1810 LLC, Prevezon 2009 USA, LLC, and Prevezon 2011 USA, LLC.

Before: POOLER, LOHIER, and CARNEY, Circuit Judges.

Yes, THAT Preet Bharara: "

For the record, I do not support Trump, nor do I support any Clinton, any Bush or Obama. To me, they are all from the same swamp of <1% ers.

However, this whole thing stinks.

fleur de lis's picture

Somewhere along the line she is a Clinton concubine.

No way would an adoption lawyer have the connections to ride the tiger so visibly.

No way would a Russian adoption lawyer publicly take on the US President for a doublecross and risk a visit from the KGB.

She was a participant in a trap.

The question is who set the trap.

The adoption lawyer thing is her cover story.

She is a US Deep State concubine.

Check her bank accounts.

She probably has more money than all the adoption lawyers in Moscow combined.



HowdyDoody's picture

After graduating law school, she worked for 5 years in the Moscoc state prosecutor's office handling new laws that came into being. Then, bam, a private practise with 30 employees including 5 attorneys, big influential clients, and international law cases. Talk about a flying start to a career!

There is also the suggestion of a link between Ukrainian oligarchs and the Clintons. Hackers have recovered emails from big Ukraine players suggesting a flow of funds from the IMF and Ukraine oligarchs through intermediary banks to the Clintons and 'Our man Yats' Yatsenyuk, who now resides in the US.

The potential funding flow:

Full story:

fleur de lis's picture

Check emails and other communication and contacts between Veselnitskya and Icky Vicky Neudelmann.

How much does anyone want to bet she was mixed up in the Maidan carnage.

If that broad has any brains she is on her way to her friends in the DC Swamp asking them for asylum.

If the Ruskies have any brains they will be going through her electronic records, travel records, researching her associates, and checking her domestic and offshore accounts. 

And tell her not to skip town.

She's not as smart as she thinks if this can be exposed so quickly with her left holding the bag.

She is too stupid to realize it, but she is now a loose end.



PrayingMantis's picture

... if you want to go deeper into the Russian lawyer's rabbit hole, here's another angle that might connect to McCain, Russian Railways, James Comey, Hillary Clinton, Rezidor Hotel Group, Mark Sutton, Tim Morse, Yahoo, Ten-X, Vladimir Yakunin, Andrei Yakunin, Petr Katsyv, Denis Katsyv, Marissa Mayer, Orbis Business Ivntelligence, Ltd., Christopher Steele, Natalya Veselnitskaya, Michael McFaul, David Kramer, et al ...

>>> ... "... the Russian attorney now at the center of America’s ongoing “Deep State” coup against President Donald Trump has been identified by the Federal Security Service (FSB) as being a “private snitch” (informant) who was working under the direct command of former FBI Director James Comey—and who after successfully penetrating the Trump campaign, was “rewarded” by her receiving a lucrative contract from the McCain Institute. ... " ...

... >>> ...


Creative_Destruct's picture

My hope is that, after being force-fed a massive diet of back-room pre-cooked  "nothing burgers," the general public will just do a giant desensitization puke-up.

weburke's picture

russians blocked child adoptions because they knew it was partly for pedafile shits.

AntiLeMaire's picture

Yeah a few days later she is sitting behind McFaul, and a few months earlier her visa to US was denied, so this time she must have had State Department help or similar ... As she is in the seat of honour, I would guess the SD.


And now Graham is wondering how she got into the country, wait until he hears the actual answer, LOL:)


Unreliable Narrator's picture

The story is simple, article above notwithstanding:


1.  Donald was to be one of the "pied piper" candidates (per DNC strategy memo, April 7, 2015 - see Wikileaks).

2.  Should the Donald do well, dirt would be required on the Donald - real or fabricated.

3.  Fusion GPS eventually hired by [ McCain? DNC? HRC? all three? ] to produce said dirt.

4.  Fusion GPS needed both a story and sufficient "evidence" to give the story plausibility.  MI6 Steele provides story.

5.  Evidence took two forms:

a. Electronic.  "Tea Leaves" (cybersecurity researcher April Lorenzen) creates forged DNS logs from a Trump server repeatedly contacting Alfa Bank in Russia (see weaponized autism) and gives the info to alphabet agencies (June 2016) and later Slate (October 2016).  The June 2016 disclosure to alphabet agencies helps prompt a FISA warrant.

b. Human.  At the same time the Trump server was supposedly contacting Alfa Bank, Goldstone sets up the meeting with Natalia V, making sure to use key words and tricky phrases that implicate Russian gov't involvement.  Timing being concurrent with the forged DNS server logs is not a coincidence.  Fusion used pre-existing relationship with Natalia (she's Fusion GPS client and Russian oligarch Katsyv's defense lawyer in a massive racketeering case, along with having many other connections to Fusion) to use her as a diversion.  In combination with the electronic data above, FISA warrant issued.

6. After FISA warrant, dossier given to FBI.  Plausibility has been established.  It doesn't matter at this point that the dossier was amateurish, as it provided a distraction for the FBI to vet it.

7. Trump expected to lose, so nothing much was done with this prior to the election, other than to establish a Trump-loves-Putin story about unhealthy dictator worship.  No need to risk wider exposure.

8. Unthinkable happens.  Trump wins.

9. Time to arm the landmines that were previously set, but never used.  Time to get that email to NYT.


Viola.  Russian influence narrative.


Note carefully McCain's statement that "there are many more shoes that will drop".  These are just the landmines we know about.  There are others.  The only question will be how many of them can be set off before someone official is able to accurately trace them to their real source (McCain / Clapper / HRC / Bush?).  Unofficial people have already done this.  The only question is whether the WH has also done it and is prepared for what is to come.

I'm guessing it will be clear in very short order whether DJT plays 4D chess or is about to get quadruple-jumped in checkers.

pods's picture

Well, whether or not this is nothing really doesn't matter. Getting into the car today to drive into work, I turned on the local radio station news program.  It was all collusion all the time. Chuckie Sschumer quotes all over.  This has been labeled the "smoking gun" or "gamechanger."

It matters not what the truth is anymore. The die is cast and now the next couple weeks/months are once again going to be filled with BS about Russian meddling.  And this is bigger than Trump.  It might harm him, but what it really does is help foster the "Russia is evil" meme in everyone's mind. Minds that already have been programmed like that from the cold war days. 

In short, more power for the deep state and Israel firsters to achieve their objective of demonizing Russia in the US.


carlnpa's picture

I believe the entity that benefits the most from TDS is China.

Russia is our natural ally against China, what better way to prevent this alliance.

China IS coming to take our ball away.

veritas semper vinces's picture

Your belief is wrong. China and Russia are aligned economically,militarily,strategically,geopolitically.AND they have all the GOLD.And they are tired of the thieving,killing and lying of the American-Anglo-Zionist Empire.So,they are going to kill it.

Bay of Pigs's picture

Yes, and if you read any MSM blog you will see that the anti Russian narrative is accepted widely by the gullible and brainwashed American public. And as history has shown us time and time again, this will lead to war.

pods's picture

It really is. I like to listen to the radio in the morning on my way in to get a gauge as to what the "other 99%" are thinking. And it is getting rough. Nevermind there is zero evidence of hacking, the 99% take it as fact.  I would say it is that deep rooted hatred of the Russians that lead them to think like that, but in reality, they don't really think at all.  They accept an accusation as fact, evidence notwithstanding. It is all emotion, based upon their historical hatred of anything Russian.  The media is more than happy to fuel that fire.

They could be priming us for war, it makes sense as the US economy is in a dreadful state.  The media has been pushing the Assad meme for a while, I wonder if there is going to be something erupting over there soon?

Sucks either way, as the US really needs to start adressing some serious problems that are here and now, nevermind the unfunded liabilities coming later.


Wild tree's picture

Pods, one minor correction. There is no "Could Be", the MSM are beating the war drums incessantly.

War is the camouflage for the dollar default; although if it does rain fire and brimstone, will there be enough people left to care if the dollar dies? To many spies, to many lies, and who will be left to care when the dollar dies.

Zorba&#039;s idea's picture

The Russian collusion narrative our Legacy Storytellers are pumping is akin to an epic "Twilight Zone" story...I can well imagine Rod Serling introducing the storyline..."If at first you choose to deceive, oh what a wicked web you is a story depicting all those who become tangled up in their web of lies...for Eternity." Enjoy!

More_sellers_than_buyers's picture

Best most rational explanation I have heard to date.

Unreliable Narrator's picture

It's almost always simple.  You just have to examine who benefits and what risks they are willing to take (which change with time).  Someone (not me) once said, "Show me how someone is incentivized, and I will predict his behavior."  Human behavior is not mysterious or complicated.  When it appears so, it is because we have assumed the wrong incentives.

espirit's picture

Perhaps oversimplification is the best meme to understand the situation.

Pugs and Dims playing 'Russian Roullete'.

So far the Dims are losing badly, and everytime McStain shoots himself there's no effect so he passes it along...

Unreliable Narrator's picture

Right.  The only thing that matters is how likely it is that they (the ones at the top - McCain, HRC, etc.) think they will be caught.  And not a little caught - like an article on ZH - but a lot caught, like an arrest or indictment.  The latter is very unlikely, even if the play becomes obvious to the majority of Americans.  The potential benefits of destroying the renegade branches of the Repubs and undermining populism are quite substantial.  The likelihood of blowback consequences is very small.

In other words, there's almost no chance they wouldn't take the risk.  It's a given.

Beowulf55's picture

The likelihood of blowback consequences is very small.

And that is why I wait for the economic collapse that will wash all these traitors and this government away. 

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

But, today I patiently polish my knife to slit their throats.  Tomorrow I go hunting. 

landauer's picture

Excellent account except for the last three points, which should read ...

7 Story placed in cold storage.

8 Everything goes to plan.

9 Game on.

                ... there, fixed it.

Barrock's picture

What it with all of these investment fund managers?  Are they all corrupt?  

machiavellian-trader's picture

He tried his luck in the UAE with a new fund and couldnt survive. I commented to him on twitter than he is what u stated above, complete silence. I read his book by the way. Ungrateful prick made HUUUGE money in those days, is now crying.

new game's picture

all this is: cunts, bitchez, basterds and cocksuckers and most importantly, dirt diggers for fame and fortune.

Tsunami Wave's picture

Why aren't senate and congressional republicans, attorney general, vice president defending donald trump?

Why after so much evidence and testimony from Jim Comey, Jeff Sessions, even mess-ups from the media are they still going after Trump over this false scandal?

Why is Jeff Sessions nor the rest of the justice department not going after Hillary Clinton and her campaign for their far-worse misdeeds?

Why are the left/neo con republicans only focused on Russia, and not other issues going on right now?

Why is the right wing media going along with this and not other issues as well?

WTF is seriously going on???

spiral galaxy's picture

Because they a bunch of limp wristed weenies! Such a collection of pansy asses

FrozenGoodz's picture

Political suicide's not fun ... at some point [potentially now post Jr. e-mails] the GOP lawmakers have to decide between ride or die Trump to get w/e they can done vs. future political careers ... each and every one of those house reps that supported the healthcare bill will now have to explain to their consititiuents why they wanted to remove 20+ million from healthcare in their primaries ... it's easy to avoid them on the weekends when you can hide in a broom closet ... there's no escaping their sins in elections


Good luck in 2018

Boxed Merlot's picture

...explain to their consititiuents why they wanted to remove 20+ million from healthcare...

Most of the representatives there have constituents that lost their primary care physicians, saw their deductibles, rates and co-pays rise to the stratosphere while their health needs go unmet and their overall security reduced to panic levels.

That's one of the blessings of Representative government and what will eventually help right this failing system of do-good-ism being peddled by the previous administrations and their insulating bulwarks of doling out the public's wealth and goodwill, portraying it as their own.


Zorba&#039;s idea's picture

Word to your thawed cranium, the good ship OhNo!care! has it was intended to Dumbass, largely due to a classic principle...."Fallacy of Composition". Further, Twenty million is a complete fabrication with net enrollment in the exchanges of approximately 2.5 million. OhNo!care is largely a Medicaid expansion with enrollment due to most participants substituting a previous plan which their previous providers, (Employer/Individual plan) discontinued. The US Individual market was plus Twenty million and it is this market that the HC Insurance providers leveraged the most with double digit premium increases YOY along with radical reductions in coverage/benefits. Lastly, Medicad expansion as the primary solution to solving all of USA! USA! USA!'s HC problems is unsustainable and as the majority of Americans have come to know..Unfucking Affordable. See you idiots in 18'. BTW, from the context of all the Lies Owhatshisname said, "You can keep your plan, you can keep your Doctors, you will on average save $2500/yr" 2012 my Individual BCBS (silver equivalent) plan cost $5600 for premium&deductible with a 80/20 split. By 2017, a BCBS bronze plan cost $16,250 for premium&deductible with a 65/35 split. Your narrative has expired and 2018 will reaffirm America is waking up. You and your kind, obviously are lost in your grand delusions fueled by all the hopium you have had blown up your asses. Watch out for the puddles

KimAsa's picture

Do you really have to ask? Ok:

Seth Rich and pizzagate.

new game's picture

it is called the the "code of ethics" of the deep state.

simple shit maynard...

iamerican4's picture

Capitol Hill is well ensconced blackmailed pedo homos...conformed servants of our satanic Vatican banker/FedScammers Rothschild/Rockefeller ruling false-elite.

See Kay Griggs' Godless witness how Organized Crime controls Congress, the Pentagon and the MIC.