The Trump Administration was reportedly considering Putin’s proposal to interrogate Americans in exchange for assistance with the Robert Mueller investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential elections.
Putin suggested earlier this week that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators could come to Russia to question the 12 Russians indicted in hacking the Democratic National Convention and Hillary Clinton’s campaign in return for Russian investigators questioning what he described as fugitives on American soil, according to CNN.
“For instance, we can bring up Mr. Browder in this particular case,” Putin said during the press conference on Monday. “Business associates of Mr. Browder have earned over $1.5 billion in Russia. They never paid any taxes, neither in Russia nor in the United States, and yet the money escaped the country. They were transferred to the United States.”
Trump called Putin’s offer an “interesting idea,” but the Senate unanimously voted to reject the offer.
Bill Browder responded to the Trump administration potentially turning him over to Russia and Putin calling him out by name. Browder spoke with CNN and stated that his support for the Magnitsky Act, which was signed by Obama in 2012 has made him Putin’s number one enemy.
Browder also said that he will suffer a similar fate to his lawyer, who inspired the bipartisan bill via Mediaite.
“He would really like to get his hands on me. He’d like to kill me like he killed my lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, eight and a half years ago…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. And so, anything that begins that process is effectively a death sentence for me.”
Browder says that it is not the first time Russia has tried to extradite him. The financier has said he has been on the Interpol list seven times and has been detained in Spain.
The American-born investor reacted to Trump calling Putin’s proposal an “incredible offer,” stating that it the consideration was “insane” and “crazy.” Browder is confident that American law will protect him from a potential extradition to Russia in spite of Trump’s interest in the idea.
During the Presidential election in 2016, a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was hired to lobby against the Magnitsky Act, met with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner in Trump Tower.
Veselnitskaya reportedly attempted to offer information on Hillary Clinton in exchange for Trump repealing the Magnitsky Act.
White House later stated that Trump disagrees with Putin’s offer.