Rep. Rohrabacher’s Statement on Browder OFAC Complaint
WASHINGTON – On Monday it was reported that Bill Browder, a businessman who gave up his U.S. citizenship, filed a complaint with the U.S. Treasury Department alleging that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and his aide Paul Behrends violated provisions of the 2012 Magnitsky Act. The act sanctions Russian officials the U.S. government believes were complicit in the torture and death of Browder’ imprisoned accountant, Sergei Magnitsky.
Rohrabacher chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, and in June 2016 led a congressional delegation to Moscow where he agreed to accept documents presenting the Russian prosecution’s account of the Magnitsky case. That account varies dramatically from Browder’s.
Based on news headlines, Browder also alleged in the complaint filed with Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control that the congressman took direction from the Russian government and that he intended to conduct a hearing designed to tarnish Browder’s reputation.
In response to the complaint, Rep. Rohrabacher issued the following statement:
“As chairman of the subcommittee responsible for overseeing U.S.-Russian relations, it is my responsibility to gather all information surrounding controversies in that country, especially if they might adversely impact those relations. Mr. Browder’s complaint forces us to ask why a billionaire tax exile would want to prevent a U.S. congressman from receiving both sides of an issue currently before Congress. Does he not want all pertinent information surrounding the case to be examined and evaluated? Attempts to intimidate a member of Congress so as not to look at both sides is suspicious in and of itself.
“Anyone who knows me understands that I am the Member of Congress least likely to take directions from government officials, especially foreign government officials. Because of some grotesquely misleading headlines, Mr. Browder flatters himself by claiming that I contemplated conducting a hearing all about him. Perhaps he protests too much.”
Contact: Ken Grubbs, 202-225-2415