In this piece on Natalia Veselnitskaya’s version of the June 9, 2016 meeting, I note that she suggested Rinat Akhmetshin attended the meeting not on behalf of Prevezon Holdings (on whose behalf she was in the US), but instead a non-profit called Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative.
This Bloomberg piece makes it clear that Robert Mueller’s team is investigating that NGO — and makes it clear that it’s just a cut-out for the same oligarchs trying to overturn the Magnitsky sanctions.
It was financed by $500,000 in donations, mostly from wealthy Russians with ties to Petr Katsyv, deputy director of Russian Railways
Most of the Russians financing the foundation said in interviews that they knew nothing about U.S. adoptions of Russian children, contradicting the foundation’s U.S. disclosure forms.
The foundation didn’t disclose those donations as a source of funding in lobbying disclosure forms. It reported spending just $50,000, less than the amount reported by outside lobbyists it hired. It disclosed to the Internal Revenue Service $526,740 in contributions and spending of $413,831 on “campaigns relating to human rights issues including foreign adoption.”
Katsyv kicked in $150,000 for HRAGI, making him the biggest donor, according to the person. He then began soliciting donations from his friends who were introduced to him by his father. His two business partners in Russia, Mikhail Ponomarev and Albert Nasibulin, each gave $100,000.
But the most important detail from the piece is that a woman who did or tried to adopt two Russians in 2012 met with Akhmetshin in August 2016 because she has lobbied in support of Russian adoptions. At that meeting and later ones, Akhmetshin told her that “things would change” with adoptions after the election.
It was August 2016 when [Sara] Peterson, of Maryland, traveled to Washington and waited at a train station sandwich shop for a Russian-American man named Rinat Akhmetshin. He wanted to know which members of Congress he should approach, she said. At that meeting and later ones, he said “things would change” after the upcoming elections.
The detail is actually really important: it suggests that someone who attended the June 9 meeting at which dirt on Hillary was offered in exchange for reversal of the Magnitsky sanctions believed that that sanctions relief would come.
And Akhmetshin expressed that confidence before the election.