Russian officials want to question former Ambassador Michael McFaul and other U.S. officials in their investigation of Bill Browder
The Russian Attorney General’s Office has named several American state officials and intelligence officers wanted for questioning in the criminal case against Hermitage Capital founder Bill Browder. The list of names includes former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, who was denied a Russian visa in June 2014 and subsequently banned from entering the country for his supposed “active participation in the destruction of the bilateral relationship and relentless lobbying in favor of a campaign to pressure Russia,” Foreign Ministry officials told Reuters at the time.
According to the Russian Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. State Department “compiled internal memos in 2009 and 2010 from Moscow about the investigation into the Magnitsky case.” The Russian agency’s official spokesman, Alexander Kurennoi, told the news agency Interfax on Tuesday that McFaul is one of the Americans suspected of involvement in Browder’s illegal activities. Russian officials are reportedly prepared to “file another formal request to question these people.”
Who else is on the list? The list of names also includes Homeland Security Department official Todd Hyman (who testified in a deposition against Prevezon, a Russian company accused of laundering proceeds from the fraud uncovered by Sergey Magnitsky), Svetlana Engert (who supposedly stole criminal case materials from Russia), Alexander Shvartsman (who supposedly oversaw Browder's stay in the U.S.), Jim Rote (a supposed CIA agent acting as Browder's “financial manager”), Robert Otto (who supposedly served as deputy director of a U.S. intelligence agency until January 2017), David Kramer (who recently served as an adviser to the U.S. State Department), Jonathan Wiener (a long-time aide to John Kerry and an adviser on national security), and Kyle Parker (a recent U.S. State Department official), according to Kurennoi.
At Monday’s summit with Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to let American investigators participate in the questioning of Russian citizens accused by the U.S. Justice Department of interfering in the 2016 presidential election, if the Americans agree to hand over British citizen Bill Browder. Russian courts have twice sentenced Browder in absentia to nine years in prison for alleged tax evasion, fraud, and deliberate bankruptcy.