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Top Putin critic says he's a dead man if US hands him over to Russia

Bill Browder, an American-born financier who's a prominent critic of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, said Thursday tha...

Posted: Jul 20, 2018 9:07 AM
Updated: Jul 20, 2018 9:07 AM

Bill Browder, an American-born financier who's a prominent critic of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, said Thursday that he wants President Donald Trump to know that turning him over to Russia would amount to a death sentence.

"To hand me over to Putin is basically to hand me over to my death," Browder said during an interview when CNN's Kate Bolduan asked him on "At This Hour" what he would say to Trump if he had the opportunity.

Putin mentioned Browder by name on Monday at a news conference with Trump in Helsinki, Finland, where the Russian President suggested that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators come to Russia to question the two dozen Russians who have been charged with interfering in the 2016 presidential election. But in return, Putin said, he would expect the US to allow Russian investigators to question what he called fugitives on American soil.

The White House said later Thursday that Trump now disagrees with the proposal, despite the fact that a day earlier the White House had indicated it was entertaining the idea.

Speaking in an interview later Thursday on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront," Browder said he could "hardly" call the White House statement a victory given the time it was under consideration.

"Having said that, I never actually believed that when push came to shove and when the system got into gear that it would ever happen," Browder said, noting the Senate vote earlier in the day condemning Putin's proposal.

And in the CNN interview ahead of the White House statement, Browder had noted how gravely he viewed a potential handover to Russia.

"What the Russians have said very clearly on a number of occasions is they'd like to get me back to Russia ... and once I'm back in Russia, they would like to kill me. Anything that begins that process is effectively a death sentence for me," Browder said.

Browder, who pushed for the passage of legislation to sanction Russian officials over human rights abuses known as the Magnitsky Act, said Thursday he believes he is "Putin's No. 1 foreign enemy."

Browder grew up in Chicago but gave up his citizenship nearly 20 years ago and is now a British citizen. One of his colleagues uncovered a massive tax fraud scheme in Russia that was prosecuted in US courts. But Putin has accused Browder of perpetrating the fraud, which Browder denies. Browder was tried in absentia and sentenced to prison in Russia, making him a fugitive of Russian law enforcement.

In response to a question in the interview about how concerned he is over the proposal, Browder suggested he does not expect that US law enforcement would turn him over to Russia.

"The United States has very clear laws in relation to mutual legal assistance with Russia, in relation to extradition with Russia and various other things," he said. "You have agencies that operate on those laws, and I don't think that there are going to be people who work in the apparatus of the law enforcement agencies of the United States that are going to be going along with a dirty deal with Putin."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 312969

Reported Deaths: 3637
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin661641115
Ramsey27766505
Anoka22149228
Dakota22015190
Washington13999115
Stearns13733116
St. Louis8747112
Scott846255
Wright775843
Olmsted665634
Sherburne587641
Clay498457
Carver474213
Blue Earth414116
Rice412836
Kandiyohi408122
Crow Wing359634
Otter Tail314322
Chisago311611
Nobles308730
Benton299451
Winona276930
Mower261623
Douglas260337
Polk256324
Morrison231629
Lyon218711
Beltrami217117
McLeod212812
Becker205415
Goodhue203228
Steele19497
Isanti190617
Itasca190423
Carlton185816
Todd181214
Nicollet162525
Mille Lacs153631
Freeborn15336
Le Sueur147011
Cass143710
Brown141315
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Meeker12879
Roseau11964
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Dodge8600
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Rock7779
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Houston6984
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Murray5873
Swift5838
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Stevens5103
Marshall4979
Unassigned49359
Jackson4881
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Koochiching3926
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Lincoln3591
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Grant2796
Kittson2248
Red Lake2133
Traverse1481
Lake of the Woods1001
Cook720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 227398

Reported Deaths: 2368
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33642336
Linn14352165
Scott1124986
Black Hawk10893135
Woodbury10372126
Johnson955336
Dubuque923291
Story678822
Dallas637257
Pottawattamie631970
Sioux370325
Webster358535
Cerro Gordo357144
Marshall348546
Clinton331344
Buena Vista305414
Des Moines291520
Muscatine289268
Warren281914
Plymouth276042
Wapello255772
Jones232313
Jasper217944
Marion205320
Lee203917
Carroll198422
Bremer195212
Henry18307
Crawford174616
Benton170619
Tama154340
Jackson144613
Delaware144221
Washington141314
Dickinson139210
Boone137011
Mahaska126827
Wright12456
Clay11784
Buchanan117010
Hardin115810
Page11374
Hamilton11199
Clayton11175
Cedar108413
Harrison107729
Kossuth10667
Calhoun10617
Floyd105016
Mills10487
Fayette103910
Lyon10338
Butler10216
Poweshiek99313
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Iowa95812
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Grundy86311
Louisa86216
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