While the yet to be published report on alleged Russian meddling into Brexit is in the center of political drama in the UK, CNN got the scoop from pundits– usual suspects when it comes to Russiagate narrative.
The Russiagate in the US might have fizzled out, but CNN apparently has no intention to give up on the stale narrative – and is now peddling it across the ocean. The Saturday’s scoop delves into the testimonies submitted by “witnesses” during a UK parliamentary investigation into the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 Brexit referendum and 2017 general election. While the report, prepared by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) has not been released yet, and previous reports failed to turn up any damning proof of Russia’s influence, CNN’s bombshell conveniently revolves around the testimony of Bill Browder, financier wanted for tax fraud in Russia and one of the leading champions of anti-Russian sanctions.
CNN says that Browder’s was one of two written testimonies the channel got its hands on, in addition to having been “briefed” on oral testimonies provided by two other witnesses.
While one might argue that Browder, a self-proclaimed “No. 1 foreign enemy” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is a person whose words should hardly be taken at face value, especially, in matters related to Russia, CNN does not offer any critical analysis, but rather serves as a mouthpiece for the disgraced entrepreneur.
In his testimony, Browder paints the Russian government as a nefarious entity whose tentacles are reaching further than one could imagine. “The Russian state effectively uses the Western persons… taking advantage of their identities, skills, expertise and contacts in the West to infiltrate Western societies,” Browder says in his statement, while accusing the Kremlin of organizing a money-laundering scheme by recruiting Dubai-based UK citizens and warning that the network of supposed Russia stooges should be acted upon immediately unless “will have serious detrimental effects on the UK democratic process, rule of law and integrity of the financial systems.”
In addition to Browder, CNN also turns to Edward Lucas with Institute of Statecraft, the NGO behind Integrity Initiative, a state-funded covert project exposed last year as a Europe-wide anti-Russian psy-op.
Perhaps, it’s no surprise that, according to CNN, Lucas cared enough to give a two-hour and 45-minute long oral testimony alongside Chris Donnely, the head of Institute of Statecraft, while calling on the UK authorities to band together with other countries to fight Russian “subversion.”
Among other veterans of the Russiagate who generously shared their expertise with the ISC was Christopher Steele, a former British spy, who compiled a dossier on US President Donald Trump, that was later used by FBI to surveil his camping despite being completely unverified and loaded with salacious gossip.
The 50-page yet unreleased report has become a talk of the town in the UK after opposition accused Downing Street of stalling its publication as rumors swirl that it could reveal Moscow’s sinister role in swaying the Brexit vote.
The report was submitted to the government on October 17, and was due to be published on Monday. However the report likely won’t be made public until after December 12 general election as it was not approved by PM Boris Johnson’s cabinet before the legislature was dissolved on Tuesday.
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