Donald Trump appears to have a new strategy in his Trump-Russia scandal: finding ways to punish those who testify against him. Hermitage CEO Bill Browder – a British citizen – delivered devastating testimony to Congress, explaining that there was no doubt as to the collusive nature of Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with Russian government representatives during the election. Now the Trump administration has revoked Browder’s visa, effectively banning him from the United States, even as Russia has issued a fraudulent warrant for his arrest.
Browder tweeted the following today: “Not only did Putin add me to the Interpol list, but the US simultaneously revoked my visa.” He then added “It happened on the same day as the Russians issued their 5th Interpol arrest warrant for me.” This prompted Michael McFaul, the former U.S. Ambassador to opine that “This is outrageous,” calling on Trump to walk back the decision. Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara added “Seconded.”
This move represents perhaps Donald Trunp’s most blatantly illegal move to date when it comes to his ongoing attempts at obstructing justice. Browder has already testified, and Trump can’t undo that. But he appears to be trying to intimidate future potential witnesses by making an example out of Browder. Considering Vladimir Putin’s penchant for killing political dissidents, Trump may have just put Browder’s life in danger.
Congress is unlikely to allow Donald Trump to get away with this unchallenged, as Bill Browder was their witness to begin with. This also gives Special Counsel Robert Mueller yet another angle from which to tackle Trump for obstruction of justice. It’s also a sign of just how desperate and reckless Trump is becoming, as his Russia scandal continues to close in on him. If the Republican Congress were doing its job, it would impeach, remove, and detain Trump based on this latest criminal move alone.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report