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Save MAGA: Exposing The Fraud Part One: Jeff Giesea

Save MAGA: Exposing The Fraud Part One: Jeff Giesea

While President Trump and his millions of supporters have been mercilessly and unfairly attacked by the mainstream media as anti-semites, racists and white supremacists for years, it turns out that a powerful self-appointed leader of the #MAGA movement named Jeff Giesea has been actively and secretly funding and supporting openly racist individuals and groups.

This is Part One of a story about the stunning betrayal of President Trump and the entire country, especially the Trump #MAGA base. It’s a story about hypocrisy, fraud, and secret social media accounts spewing propaganda, most of it aimed directly at Trump supporters by well-funded influencers who infiltrated the MAGA movement claiming they are Trump supporters, yet secretly pushing messages like Rape Melania.

The consequences of the actions of this small group of liars has been profound, including perpetuating the worst stereotypes about Trump and his supporters, further dividing the nation, and a pattern of personal destruction against anyone trying to expose them.

In an era where Americans need to be constantly on guard against what President Trump has rightly called “fake news” this is a story about how social medias stars were quite literally creating fake news and hiding their real goals.

How A Small Group of Hucksters Took Advantage Of Trump’s Momentum

After Donald Trump announced he was running for President in 2015, he also immediately became the front runner. His brash style and straight talk on issues like immigration and putting America first attracted both ardent supporters and crazed critics.

Cernovich

The 2016 election season also saw the rapid rise of a number of new “internet celebrities” like Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec, as well as the new phenomenon of “memes” like the pictures of a cartoon character named Pepe the Frog.

Trump supporters gave none of this a second thought, likely just assuming that people like Cernovich and Posobiec simply gained in popularity due to their own hard work and the exposure of the then-new video streaming platform of Periscope.

Posobiec

When the Clinton-supporting media attacked Cernovich and Posobiec and even the cartoon character Pepe the Frog as racist, the Trump base saw these claims as more examples of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Meanwhile, the MSM had no no problem smearing everyone in a MAGA hat with the same broad brush. The average Trump supporter knew this wasn’t true, because their Trump supporting friends weren’t racists and neither were they, so they saw the relentless claims were just more fake news by media that had irrationally hated Trump and his agenda from the minute he came down the escalator at Trump Tower to announce he was running.

Pepe

What the #MAGA grassroots didn’t know was that Cernovich, Posobiec and even Pepe were being actually being pushed and promoted behind the scenes by a mysterious millionaire named Jeff Giesea, a powerful figure who was actually funding and promoting real “white power” racists.

Giesea’s influence has continued after the election, where he haa continued his work behind the scenes with groups like Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA and right-learning think tanks like the Center for Security Policy.

In an effort to turn the Republican party into something that would sicken Donald Trump himself and try to profit from selling “meme warfare” to both the world’s military and political campaigns , Giesea and his associates like Cernovich and Posobiec were literally supporting the worst of what the mainstream media was accusing Trump and the #MAGA nation of.

The hypocrisy and dishonesty of Jeff Giesea is shocking and it’s being laid out here for the first time, in an effort to help expose the truth about who was actually behind many of the events and people that ended up bringing so much hatred and negative press to both Donald Trump and his real supporters.

Who is Jeff Giesea?

Jeff Giesea may not be a name familiar to many Trump supporters but during the 2016 election, Giesea’s political connections, organizational and business skills made the him the “man who helped to build the Trump Meme Army” who was directly behind the rise of social media figures like Cernovich and Posobiec. At first glance, most of his resume and public views are exactly the sort of thing that a libertarian-leaning Trump supporter would love.

Jeff Giesea

Giesea describes himself as a private person and keeps a low profile. He currently has no page on Wilkipedia, which is unusual for a person with Giesea’s business and political background, which includes work with billionaire Trump advisor Peter Thiel and the Koch Brothers.

HisLinkedIn profile says he is currently a “Strategy Consultant & Executive Coach” and in his Twitter biography, he describes himself as:

Media entrepreneur now interested in politics & national security. Toddler dad, gay, Stanford sports fan, independent thinker. It’s complicated but works.

However, as we’ll see in Part Two of this series, the real Jeff Giesea may be complicated but what he was up to behind the scenes didn’t “work” for either President Trump or his supporters.

Geisea is currently listed (without a biography) as being on the Advisory Council of the influential pro-Trump 501c(3) group Turning Point USA,who are engaged in campus activism through media personalities like Charlie Kirk and Candance Owens. Giesea was previously on the board of the libertarian campus outreach group Students for Liberty. Giesea was also on the board of the libertarian Foundation for Economic Freedom until 2016.

There are few articles about Giesea online, but his coverage in places like Buzzfeed and Wiredfocused on his work with Posobiec and Cernovich on the inaugural DeploraBall party and his work on memes.

Giesea was one of the key organizers of DeploraBall, a series of pro-Trump parties after his election victory. The main DeploraBalll event, that took place in Washington, DC just prior to President Trump inauguration. Cernovich, Posobiec and Jeff Giesea were all in attendance.

Geisea gave a short speech at this event, praising economic nationalism and putting America first, but he also gave a little bit of his personal biography and one detail is worth noting here; a generations old connection to the elite secret society group The Bohemian Club and Bohemian Grove.

I think of my grandmother, who came the United States from Mexico as a small child in the 1920s. Her family wanted the opportunity for a better life. They wanted to be Americans.

While my grandmother was crossing the border, my great-grandfather on the other side of my family was presiding over the Bohemian Club in San Francisco. He was president of the Bohemian Grove, a place of privilege and power. He was a fierce advocate of Western Civilization and ideals.

I point out this link because later in this series, I’ll remind that one of the people hurt most by an association with Cernovich and Posobiec is Infowar’s Alex Jones, who was one of the first outsiders to actually get inside the elite retreat and expose what was going on there.

Giesea’s claim in a Buzzfeed article covering the Deploraball that was was “reforming” the #MAGA movement seems ironic given that he personally supported white power advocated, a topic we well get into in depth in Part Two.

It’s worth noting that Giesea doesn’t appear to view the memes the same way that the average Trump supporter likely does; as a strange offshoot of internet culture, likely pushed mostly by young people who a lot of free time in their hands.

The real story of what is behind these “memes” can be found in Heff Giesea’s own writings. Giesea has published articles and memes and “memetic warfare” on at places like NATO Strategic Communication’s website.

In his article / sales pitch It’s Time To Embrace Memetic Warfare , Giesea lays out this view that NATO should embrace new forma of propagnada:

Memetic warfare, as I define it, is competition over narrative, ideas, and social control in a social-media battlefield. One might think of it as a subset of ‘information operations’ tailored to social media. Information operations involve the collection and dissemination of information to establish a competitive advantage over an opponent. Memetic warfare could also be viewed as a ‘digital native’ version of psychological warfare, more commonly known as propaganda. If propaganda and public diplomacy are conventional forms of memetic warfare, then trolling and PSYOPs are guerrilla versions.

Remember; Giesea is not againstpropaganda. It’s making an argument that NATO—one of Trump’s biggest institutional opponents, it should be noted—should use propaganda. And as you’ll, the target of Giese’s guerilla version of propaganda was Trump supporters themselves.

In order to sell his notion of “mimetic warfare” and social media propaganda, Giesea had a video produced that he posted on his personal YouTube page.

 

Also mentioned in Giesea’s NATO article is another important behind the scenes figure named Charles Johnson.

Charles Johnson

Giesea has referred to Charles Johnson as friend and inspiration. In his NATO white paper, Giesea mentions discussing memes over beers with Johnson in 2015 and in the Giesea has referred to Charles Johnson as friend and inspiration. In a paper that Giesea published that the NATO Stratcom website, Giesea mentions discussing memes over beers with Johnson in 2015. As BuzzFeed reported in 2016:

When I met Chuck I wondered why we weren’t weaponizing people like him,” Giesea said. “He led me on this intellectual journey.”

We’ll be discussing the role of Charles Johnson in this hoax against #MAGA later in this series, but it’s worth noting that Johnson is also close to other Republicans who are riding Trump’s coattails, like Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz.

In fact, Gaetz brought Johnson as his guest to the State of the Union address, and when he he was criticized for bringing Johnson—who is close with several white power advocates—Gaetz used one of Johnson’s longtime friends as a reference; convicted pedophile Jeff Epstein’s friend and lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

Once again, these are toxic connections that seem also designed to make President Trump and his family look bad.

Rep. Gaetz is scheduled to be a featured speaker at October’s American Priority conference, along with Donald Trump Jr, former Turning Point’s Charlie Kirk and Giesea operative Jack Posobiec.

What does Jeff Giesea Want?

In the Wired article about the DelploraBall, Giesea makes his own goal clear: he wants his own version of #MAGA to take over.

“We’re trying to assert our presence as the new type of Republican,” Jeff Giesea, who organized the event with Cernovich, told me before the ball. “This is not your dad’s or mom’s Republican party anymore.”

While the idea of a “new type of Republican” may sound appealing to many Trump supporters, it‘s important to be very careful about listening to someone like Giesea who brags about being adept in propaganda.

As we’ll see in Part Two, the real Jeff Giesea’s vision for a “new type of Republican party.

Video That Proves Mike Cernovich is Lying About Jeffrey Epstein Goes Viral

Video That Proves Mike Cernovich is Lying About Jeffrey Epstein Goes Viral

A segment from the Radio Sputnik show Fault Lines with Nixon and Stranahanwent viral after co-host Lee Stranahan accused social media personality MikeCernovich of misleading his audience about this role in the Jeffery Epstein case.

Cernovich claims credit for being “the first person to file” to unseal records regarding the billionaire’s alleged sexual abuse of dozens of underage young women — a complete lie, Stranahan states in the explosive video.

Stranahan made his case on Fault Lines on Wednesday morning and by midnight the video of the segment had gotten over 10,000 views on Persiscope.

Watch the viral video here.

Stranahan said he was stunned to see that Cernovich was deceiving his own social media audience, who “believe that Mike Cernovich caused the Jeffrey Esptein arrest.”

Stranahan said. “Why do they believe that? Because Mike’s saying it.” In posts on his own website, Cernovich claims that the mainstream media is unwilling to give him credit as a “citizen journalist.”

Cernovich is “a liar,” Stranahan said. “Did he file against Jeffrey Epstein and the state to get records unsealed in the Jeffrey Epstein case? No, he did not. Not at all. He filed against Jeffrey Epstein’s victim.”

The recent court ruling that Cernovich himself links to shows that Stranahan’s claim is accurate; Cernovich did not file to unseal Epstein’s secret plea in the criminal case against Epstein but instead Cernovich filed a motion in the civil suit between one of Epstein’s alleged victims and Epstein’s ex-girlfriend.

That victim, Virginia Giuffre, sued Epstein’s ex-girlfriend Ghislane Maxwell for defamation for calling Giuffre a liar when Giuffre said that Maxwell had helped procure young girls for prostitution and that Maxwell joined

That suit was settled in 2017, with the alleged procurer Ghislane Maxwell paying Epstein’s alleged victim Giuffre a settlement. Giuffre has also accused famed lawyer and Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz of molesting her as well. Dershowitz has adamantly denied her allegations. Other victims and associates of Jeffrey Epstein’s have also accused Dershowitz of similar crimes.

Just a few weeks after Cernovich’s attempt to intervene in Jeffrey Epstein’s victim Virgina Giuffre civil case, lawyers for Ms. Giuffre filed a court motion taking a very dim view of Cernovich’s attempts to unseal records in her civil suit, saying in a 2017 filing:

Proposed Intervenor and purported “journalist” Michael Cernovich requests that this Court grant him intervenor status for the purpose of unsealing and publishing a single filing from the above-captioned case: Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment,along with its nearly 700 pages of exhibits.

The victim’s legal filing against Cernovich continues:

Curiously, Mr. Cernovich does not request to see any other sealed portion of the extensive record in this case (now spanning 586 docket entries). Nor does he seek access to Ms. Giuffre’s Response in Opposition to Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment. Indeed, his cherry-picking of just one filing by Defendant to publicize belies his stated position that “all Parties to this litigation have committed a transgression” by filing documents under seal pursuant to this Court’s Orders.

Stranahan has also pointed out that Cernovich is misdirecting his audience on these facts about former Epstein lawyer and friend Alan Dershowitz’s attempts to gain access to material in the same civil case, citing as evidence things like a posting on Cernovich’s website summarizing what he says is his role in the Epstein, Cernovich makes scant mention of Dershowitz and no mention at at all about Dershowitz filing to unseal evidence in the civil case months before Cernovich.

As the victim’s legal filing points out, Dershowitz filed to unseal the same records as Cernovich — presumably to see the details of the allegations leveled against him in the lawsuit against Maxwell. His case was denied in 2016.

In 2017, Cernovich also filed to access these records against Giuffre — again, the victim of Epstein’s predations, not Epstein himself. Giuffre’s attorney, Stranahan explained, attempted to unseal the same information as Dershowitz.

In his viral video, Stranahan explains the timeline that Cernovich is obscuring. “After Dershowitz files (in November, 2016) to get the records unsealed, and he gets rejected, then Mike files. Then Dershowitz joins(…)Mike’s case. Then the Miami Herald gets involved. And none of that has to do with Jeff Epstein’s arrest.”

Cernovich stated in a Periscope broadcast in New York this week that his lawyer suggested he file to unseal records in the Epstein case. Cernovich’s lawyer thought it might cost ten thousand dollars, which Cernovich curiously treated as a throwaway amount for a “small, abstract win.”

Who is Cernovich’s lawyer? The person who argued the case in court wasn’t Cernovich himself. Instead the arguments were made by First Amendment attorney Marc Randazza.

Stranahan points out that Randazza also represents publisher, researcher and political operative Chuck C. Johnson, who worked closely with Dershowitz as a research assistant and who has worked with Cernovich.

Stranahan, the former lead investigative reporter at Breitbart News, also said that prominent Breitbart editors are close with Dershowitz and Chuck Johnson. Senior editor-at-large Joel Pollak also worked as a research associate for Dershowitz and the two lawyers remain close friends.

Breitbart News ran a jubilant July 6 story: “Cernovich: Epstein Arrest Shows ‘Andrew Breitbart’s Spirit is Alive And Well,’” essentially running a press release for Cernovich, who has admitted that he had never heard of Andrew Breitbart until 2015, three years after Breitbart’s death.

The Breitbart article does not question at all Cernovich’s false claims that he initiated a successful lawsuit that led to Epstein’s arrest and repeats Cernovich’s claim that “Anyone claiming I wasn’t first to file, at considerable personal and financial risk to myself, is simply lying.”

Stranahan, a close friend of Andrew Breitbart, was appalled by the Breitbart puff piece, saying “If you’re reading Breitbart, they’re not telling about the multiple accusers against Dershowitz,” Stranahan said. “They’re letting Mike Cernovich gets away with saying he’s the one who caused this case and now the media’s ignoring it and it’s not true. It’s just not true.”

Stranahan doubled down in a follow-up video, detailing Cernovich’s obfuscations and false statements.

Press Release: Alexandra Chalupa Attempts to Shut Down Public Meeting at Cleveland Park Library

Press Release: Alexandra Chalupa Attempts to Shut Down Public Meeting at Cleveland Park Library

This afternoon Alexandra Chalupa, a former DNC operative at the center of the Paul Manafort component of the anti-Trump ‘Russian collusion’ narrative, attempted to shut down a public meeting on Bill Browder solely because I was attending it. I have previously discussed her collusion with the Ukrainian government on behalf of the DNC and collaboration with a convicted bomber to do opposition research against the Trump campaign.

I co-host Fault Lines with Nixon & Stranahan, a radio show on Radio Sputnik. The meeting at the Cleveland Park Library was put together by a listener of that show. Although I work for a Russian-owned media company in the United States, this meeting was not hosted by the Russian government. I did not attend on behalf of the Russian government.

This attempted attack on free speech by a prominent political player should concern journalists, politicians, and American citizens.

I’m grateful to the Cleveland Park Library for standing with free speech in consideration of the constitutional implications of their decisions.

Media outlets can reach me at stranahan@gmail.com.

Serhiy Leshchenko Interview and Transcript

Serhiy Leshchenko Interview and Transcript

This week on Fault Lines with Nixon & Stranahan we interviewed Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist and member of parliament in Ukraine. Leshchenko has recently been given more widespread coverage as a figure apparently near the center of conflicts between Donald Trump, the FBI, and the Ukrainian government. More on that in the video interview and transcript below.

Serhiy Leshchenko Interview — taken from Fault Lines with Nixon & Stranhaan by Lee Stranahan on Scribd

DHS Investigator Todd Hyman Deposition

DHS Investigator Todd Hyman Deposition




DHS Investigator Todd Hyman… by on Scribd

U.S. v. Prevezon Et Al. Exh… by on Scribd

Timestamp: 29:17, Pt. 1
Q: Did you get in touch with the banks, did the United States get in touch with the banks and verify the bank records that you had received?
A. No, we did not. Again, we expect copies of these, some of the accounts, foreign accounts, such as the transfers that went into Prevezon to come through the discovery process.
Q. In other words, the transactions from Moldova?
A. That’s correct.
Q. What about the transfers from Russia, has a request been made by the United States for those records?
A. There is pending a Mutual Legal Assistant Treaty request to Russia.
Q. You say pending.
A. It’s in works.
Q. Meaning the United States is now seeking to prepare a document that it will
send to Russia?
A. That’s correct.
Q. And without that, does the United States have any way of authenticating the transactions involving Intercommerz Bank, Sberbank, Alfa Bank and the other Russian banks listed on Exhibit B?
MR. ADAMS: Objection.
A. I don’t know. We would have to — I believe not.

Timestamp: 39:50, Pt. 1
Q. So you say that the client, in this case, did request the transfer? Yes or no.
A. I don’t know. I couldn’t say definitively.
Q. Again, you’re speaking for the United States. Did the client request the transfer from Bank Krainiy Sever to Elenast?
A. Which client are you talking about now?
Q. It was your word. Let’s step back. Did you examine documents which disclosed who directed that there be a transfer from Krainiy Sever to Banca De Economii for the benefit of Elenast?
A. No.
Q. So you don’t know who gave the instructions?
A. No, I do not.
Q. The complaint refers to an organization; does it not?
A. Yes, it does.
Q. Was the person who gave the instructions part of the organization?
A. I don’t know.
Q. Who gave the instructions to transfer funds from Krainiy Sever to Bunicon?
A. I don’t know.
Q. Here you’re speaking for the United States. You understand that?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. Was the person who gave the instructions to transfer money from Krainiy Sever to Bunicon acting on the instructions of a member of the organization?
A. I do not know.
Q. Was it in fact a member of the organization?
A. I do not know.
Q. So money went from Krainiy Sever, you said, to Elenast. Is that correct?
A. That’s correct.
Q. Did you see that there were such transfers?
A. Can you clarify the question?
Q. Did you see — on the records that you were told might be bank records, did you see that those reflected transfers?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. But you did not verify that?
A. No.
Q. You have not checked that with the bank in Moldova as we sit here now; have you?
A. No, I have not.
Q. And again, you’re speaking for the United States.

Timestamp: 46:32, Pt. 1
Q. You said that you got this information from William Browder and from Hermitage generally.
A. Correct.
Q. What investigative steps did you take to verify the accuracy of what you were told?
A. We found William Browder to be credible and we examined the documents and the documents purport to be official documents. And they bear marks, insignia, templates of something that would appear to be an official documentation. And just upon examining the documents and his testimony, or his statement.
Q. Let’s step back. From your first investigative step was you found Mr. Browder to be credible?
A. Yes.
Q. What steps did you take in finding Mr. Browder to be credible?
A. Well, we reviewed his documentation, we reviewed some of his statements and verified some of his statements via the internet. Because some of the things he had mentioned were public source documents.
Q. Such as what? What — in the process of evaluating and determining that Browder was credible, what steps did you take? You said you found him to be
credible, that was your first investigative step. So let’s go into the steps that lead to that.
A. Okay. We initially interviewed Mr. Browder, and he provided us the documentation and the allegation. And in providing that, he provided — made certain statements that were then verified.
Q. What did he tell you?
A. Well, he told us the story of Sergei Magnitsky, which is public record.
Q. When you say “public record.”
A. Meaning —
Q. Okay. He told you a story about Sergei Magnitsky.
A. Right.
Q. Is it contained in the complaint?
A. Yes, it is.
Q. Okay. Did he tell you — withdrawn. What public source documents did he refer you to?
A. Well, he referred me to website. He referred me to just making a general internet search via various search engines. He referred me — on his website, he referred me to a Russian language newspaper, that copies of these articles appear on the website. And he referred me to the passage of our own Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Accountability Law.
Q. What else?
A. And the documents that he provided.
Q. What documents did he provide?
A. Copies of the bank records, copies —
Q. Copies of portions of records of certain accounts at certain banks?
A. Yes.
Q. Did you get in touch with the banks to see if they were accurate?
A. No, I did not. They were foreign banks.
Q. Yeah? Does your phone go long distance?
MR. ADAMS: I think he answered the question no.
A. No, it does not.
Q. Can you get authority to call or write abroad?
A. Yes.
Q. Did you seek such authority?
A. No.
Q. Is that true for the entire investigation, that no one sought authority to verify with the Russian banks the accuracy of the portion of the records they had?
A. Prior to filing the complaint, no.

Timestamp: 52:17, Pt. 1
Q. If we could, you said that — we were talking about the investigation, and you said the first thing you did was to?
A. To interview — to receive the allegation, interview Mr. William Browder.
Q. And you determined that he was credible?
A. Yes.
Q. And thereafter you obtained documents which purport to be bank records; is that correct?
A. We obtained documents that included what purported to be bank records from Hermitage, yes.
Q. And you obtained flow charts; is that correct?
A. That’s correct.
Q. And those were also from Hermitage that you obtained them?
A. Correct.
Q. Did you obtain other documents than bank records and flow charts, and data written for newspapers or the internet?
A. Well, we obtained some documents that were derived from the previously mentioned documents, such as spread — Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, that contained information that was derived from the source documents, copies of the source documents.
Q. And the source documents are flow charts, what purport to be bank records, spreadsheets derived from those, and what documents did you obtain from the internet?
A. Copies and references to the events surrounding the death of Sergei Magnitsky. Copies and articles related to the passage of pertinent U.S. law. Copies of property reports related to the purchases of Prevezon properties in the United States.
Q. What else?
A. Just — copies of websites, articles on the web.
Q. What else?
A. That’s pretty much it.
Q. Is that it?
A. That I’m aware of, yes.
Q. Did you seek or obtain official records from Russia?
A. Prior to filing the complaint, no.
Q. Since the complaint was filed, have you — has the United States approached the Russians to ask for assistance in the case?
A. It’s my understanding that approach has not yet been done, but it is in progress.
Q. When you say “in progress,” you’re speaking for the United States. You mean people working for the United States are working to put together a document that would constitute a request?
A. Yes, that would be correct.
Q. But no request has been made?
A. Not that I’m aware of at this time.
Q. Did you interview any witnesses other than those from Hermitage?
A. No, I did not.

Timestamp: 1:33:30, Pt. 1
Q. So what is the mathematical necessity, if any, for the money from Krainiy Sever being from the Treasury that went into Prevezon?
A. The equivalent ruble amount that goes into the Prevezon account would have to be at least the equivalent ruble amount that exited the Krainiy Sever account.
Q. That’s an assumption. Correct?
A. That’s an accounting assumption, yes.
Q. But it’s not that you have someone saying I directed the transfer to go here, and someone else saying I directed it to go there because that was part of the agreement?
A. That’s correct.
Q. You have none of that?
A. No, we don’t have that.
Q. So every transfer here is based on copies that are not authenticated, of records that are incomplete, based on an accounting assumption. Is that right?
A. That would be correct.

Timestamp: 2:15, Pt. 2
Q. Okay. Before we broke, the question was, who directed the transfer. And your answer is that it was — that you do not know, but that if in fact a statement you attribute to Katsyv about what Petrov said that Kim did is correct, then it would have been Kim?
A. That would be correct.
Q. It’s a lot of hypotheticals; isn’t it?
MR. ADAMS: Objection.
A. I — based on the statements that we have —
Q. Did you check — the statement from Katsyv, who interviewed him?
A. The statements actually came from his representative.
Q. Who in the United States interviewed his representative?
A. No one that I’m aware of.
Q. So the statements actually came from someone else; is that correct? Not from his representative. The statement —
A. Right.
Q. — attributed to his representative came from someone other than his representative. Is that correct?
A. That would be correct. They were also posted on the web.
Q. Does posting something on the web make it true?
A. No.
Q. Did you verify if it was true?
A. No.
Q. Did you call the representative?
A. No, I did not.
Q. Did anyone from the United States call the representative?
A. Not that I’m aware of.
Q. Who provided you with the statement that purports to be from the representative reflecting what Katsyv said that Petrov said that Kim might have done?
A. This would come from the Hermitage agents, as well as the websites maintained by Hermitage.
Q. So that all reduce down to people taking direction from Browder?
A. Presumably.
Q. And you found him credible?
A. Yes.
Q. Is there any other basis for that case than your finding of him to be credible?
A. Well, I mean, some of the statements he gave us are corroborated by
other documents that he provided. Particularly, for example, the initial Russian wire Treasury — the transfers, the fact that not only is he alleging that they were inappropriate, but there is actually a copy of a Russian conviction regarding this scheme that shows that these were illegitimate transfers. And other —
Q. No, let’s step back.
A. Okay.
Q. From whom did you obtain the Russian conviction?
A. Hermitage agents.
Q. How many convictions did they give you?
A. There were three people convicted. So I have a copy of at least one court document, or what purports to be a court document.
Q. Okay. Who were convicted?
A. There were three defendants. And if I can refresh from Exhibit 1, I believe we mention their names. We have a one Mr. Markelov, a Mr., I’m probably going to mispronounce this, Khlebnikov, and — and there is also another individual who is also named but not yet convicted. But there is at least two people given those names.
Q. Do you have records of the convictions of Markelov and Khlebnikov?
A. I have copies of the convictions that were provided by Hermitage agents.
Q. Do you know if they’re genuine?
A. They appear to be, but I do not know for certain.
Q. Do you have a copy of the conviction of Browder?
A. I do not.
Q. Was he convicted of fraud?
A. I’m aware that Browder, along with Sergei Magnitsky, was convicted of some offense in Russia. I don’t know specifically what the offense was.
Q. Did you read the document — did you obtain the document, let’s start off with that, did you obtain the document?
A. No, I did not. His conviction, no, I did not.
Q. Would a fraud conviction affect your opinion of someone’s credibility, yes or no?
A. Potentially.
Q. Did you read the conviction?
A. No, I did not.
Q. Did you ever attempt to get in touch with Katsyv?
A. No, I did not.
Q. Did you ever attempt to get in touch with his lawyer in New York before your serving legal process?
A. No, I did not.

Timestamp: https://youtu.be/uwJbMRqiWKY?t=601>10:01, Pt. 2
…that would be, as far as you knew, Kim’s money on that hypothetical; correct?
A. I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you where the money came — it may have been money that he directed to be sent to Mr. Kim for all I know.
Q. Okay. You have no evidence on this point?
A. Correct.
Q. And you haven’t sought to interview the witnesses?
A. Correct.
Q. But you have sought to seize the property?
A. Correct.

Timestamp: 35:32, Pt. 2
Q. What witnesses have you identified who are competent to testify that Prevezon Holdings knew about the $230 million tax refund fraud?
A. None at this point.

Timestamp: 1:26:51, Pt. 2
A. You would have to ask Hermitage. Bill Browder never told me where he was getting some of the information.
Q. Did anyone from Hermitage tell the United States where they were getting the bank records?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. By this you mean not to the knowledge — you mean yes or no, it’s not the question — it can’t be not to my knowledge because you’re speaking for the government. Did anyone, did he tell anyone in the United States how he was obtaining the bank records that he says he had?
A. He didn’t tell us where he was getting his records. The records, other than what was on the website that he would post, that’s how we would get them. He didn’t say to us. To the best of my knowledge.
Q. In the course of your investigation before you froze the property, did you ask about the source and authenticity of the bank records?
A. Yes, we did. And Mr. Browder — to the best of my knowledge, Mr. Browder wouldn’t reveal the sources of some of his records.
Q. So you know them to be unsourced, having asked where you got them from. Correct?
A. Correct.