In the aftermath of the release of the Mueller report earlier this year (2019), I wrote an article debunking many of the so-called "smoking guns" behind what is often referred to as "Russiagate." Inevitably, I addressed both Fusion GPS, the private intelligence firm that produced the infamous "Steele dossier"; and Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russia attorney who allegedly offered Donald Trump Jr. and company dirt on Hillary Clinton at the equally infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting.
In said article, I noted that Veselnitskaya had actually met with Glenn Simpson, a co-founder of Fusion GPS, on the same exact morning as the Trump Tower meeting, which occurred later that day. As Fusion GPS was already compiling opposition research on Trump at the time, the Veselnitskaya-Simpson pow-wow has the air of improbable coincidence to it.
But there is no disputing that Veselnitskaya and Simpson were working in conjunction for the same client at the time. Further, the interests of this client reportedly dominated the conversion at the Trump Tower meeting. And no, that client was not Hillary Clinton.
Rather, it was Denis Katsyv, a Russian business man most well known for his holdings in the company Prevezon. Prevezon, in turn, is said to have been engaged in money laundering and tax fraud. These charges were reportedly first uncovered by the Russian accountant Sergei Magnitsky, whom the Magnitsky Act was named after.
But let us return to Fusion GPS for a moment. When not doing opposition research on Donald Trump, the private intelligence provider was snooping around the chief architect of the Magnitsky Act: hedge fund manager Bill Browder.
economic collapse and spiraling death rates then unfolding in post-Soviet Russia. By contrast, the American Browder was doing so well by 1998 that he renounced his American citizenship to avoid paying taxes. Ever since then he's been a subject of Her Royal Majesty the Queen.
Maxwell's first publisher was Pergamon Press, which specialized in scientific publications. In 1954, Maxwell traveled to Moscow and parlayed his KGB contacts into access to the Soviet Union's scientific publications.
"... Maxwell wanted to negotiate the right to translate and publish Soviet scientific journals and books in the West alongside his German and British publications. After weeks of patient waiting, playing chess and drinking vodka, he eventually persuaded the KGB to approve his venture. Yuri Gradov, the lawyer at Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga, the Soviets copyright agency, was told that the KGB had approved Maxwell's venture: 'I was ordered to conclude a deal at any price.' Indeed, the price paid by Maxwell was astonishingly low. To Gradov's surprise, the Britain was allowed to meet Russia's most important scientists and to sleep in room 107 at Moscow's National Hotel, which had been occupied in 1917 by Lenin..."
(Maxwell: The Final Verdict, Tom Bower, pg. 159)
Even if he had not, there is still a possibility that the Browder family's ties to the KGB had contributed to Browder being hired by Maxwell during the early 1990s. By this point in time, Maxwell's ties to the KGB were a close as ever. Indeed, Maxwell factored heavily into the KGB's plans for perestroika, the initial efforts to privatize the Soviet Union's economy. Maxwell's role in these efforts have been approved by Vladimir Kryuchkov, the KGB head whom Maxwell had known for years prior to his chairmanship. Shortly after being tapped to lead the KGB in 1988, Kryuchkov met with Maxwell to lay out his vision for perestroika.
"... Even more fearful at the pace at which perestroika was accelerating, Kruychkov said that for the KGB to remain a potent force he wanted to establish 'over six hundred commercial enterprises'. They would all have links to the West. Just as Maxwell's companies provided cover for Mossad's katsas, Kryuchkov envisaged his companies would provide similar protection for KGB operatives. The Russian companies would operate on sound business principles, just like any other corporation in the West. The profits from the Russian concerns would go to the KGB and help fund its foreign intelligence operations. Maxwell was assured none of these would be against the State of Israel.
"Kryuchkov had explained that behind his immediate plan was a long-term one. The six hundred companies would each employ a quota of senior party members to provide them with an income during the difficult days ahead in the transition from Communism to capitalism. Through genuine trading links, the companies would obtain access to the very heart of capitalism: Wall Street and the City of London and the Bourses of the Western Europe. Its staffs would then learn the innermost secrets of the West's banking system, the wellspring of all capitalism. Eventually it might even be possible to destabilize Western economies – and pave the way for the return of Communism."
(Robert Maxwell, Israel's Superspy, Gordon Thomas & Martin Dillon, pgs. 172-173)
And Bill Browder, the grandson of a former prominent American Communist and a onetime Maxwell employee, was at the heart of these efforts. When Browder launched Hermitage Capital in 1996, he had a curious partner in this endeavor: billionaire banker Edmond Safra, founder of the Republic National Bank of New York. Safra was both a longtime friend and business partner of Maxwell's, and an individual who had his own extensive ties to the Russian Mafia. Indeed, Safra's bizarre 1999 death may have been related to his dealings with Russian gangsters. More on this strange death can be found here.
|Am I alone in thinking Lord Lamont subsists on human blood?|
|11 Downing Street|
However, there is another potential explanation for their meetings: Arms trafficking.
In particular, James notes that future Cercle chairman Jonathan Aitken was especially close to the Savoy clique. Elsewhere, the great Geoffrey Gilson recounts in Maggie's Hammer how Kevin Maxwell had dealings with Aitken in the aftermath of his father's death and that these were potentially related to arms trafficking as well. As recently as 2003, Kevin Maxwell and his then-wife Pandora were spotted at Aitken's wedding.
Regardless, it would seem that the Maxwells and various Cercle chairmen had established a certain simpatico by the early twenty-first century, if not much sooner. I have not been able to confirm when Lamont joined the Cercle, but it does not seem like the type of organization to appoint someone its chairman who had only been with the outfit for a few years. Lamont was almost surely a member by the time of his last meeting with Robert Maxwell in 1991, putting the Maxwells in the group's orbit by time frame if not much sooner.
So much for the Maxwells. As for Browder, he has clearly been in the orbit of the Cercle for some time as well. At least one Belgian member of the Cercle complex had used Edmond Safra's Republic National Bank of New York to launder funds produced from arms trafficking during the early 1990s. But beyond that, Hermitage Capital had acquired an interesting board member by 2011: Lord Norman Lamont.
And not only was the former Cercle chairman on Hermitage's board, but Lamont was also poised to assist Browder in his quest for further sanctions against Russia by lobbying Cameron's government. Curiously, Lamont was joined in these efforts by Tory MP Julian Lewis. Lewis has had dealings with the Cercle since the 1980s. He was a protege' of another Cercle chairman, Brian Crozier. Naturally, Lewis is also a Knight of Malta. More information on him can be found here.
But then again, if Russiagate was never meant to be a serious threat to Trump's presidency, Fusion GPS found a fine way to discredit itself by doing opposition research against the Orange One after it was already working for Prevezon since at least 2015. Surely, the British must have smiled when MI6 man Chris Steele turned his dossier over to them as well.