Henry Rollins: Has Trump Used "Magnitsky Act" in a Sentence Yet?
Heidi May

Henry Rollins: Has Trump Used "Magnitsky Act" in a Sentence Yet?

I’ve been sacrificing record-listening to stay up on current events. In order to get an understanding, especially as the story keeps changing, due diligence requires a lot of time.

The White House is increasingly less and less forthcoming, busy lawyering up. There’s a lot going on, and while I acknowledge my relative powerlessness in affecting the outcome, I think part of the reason the bad guys operate so brazenly is because they’ve factored in a certain level of apathy from the electorate.

Depending on which side of the great divide you reside on, the meeting Donald “Baby D” Trump Jr. had in Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, which reportedly included Paul Manafort and Jared “J-Kush” Kushner, was a big deal or much ado about nothing. The majority of Americans are in the former camp, comrade Trump’s administration and its myriad sympathizers in the latter.

Baby D said Veselnitskaya promised information that could be helpful to the Trump campaign, but ultimately it turned out that she merely wanted to talk about the adoption of Russian children by Americans and the whole thing was a waste of time. In other words, a bait and switch that went nowhere.

But what if both issues were two halves of a single objective? What if this meeting was an offer of goods, a favor to be paid back after winning the election? The topic of adoption would have been a perfect cover.

At this time, adoption of children from Russia by Americans is banned by Vladimir Putin, in reaction to the Magnitsky Act. By now you’re familiar with the law, which was passed in 2012 and is quite precise in its focus. It was enacted following the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian attorney who, while investigating tax fraud involving men close to Putin, was put in prison, where he died in 2009.

The Magnitsky Act zeros in on the people Magnitsky was investigating, denying them entry into America and use of American banks. The Magnitsky Act multitasks. It’s also an in-your-face accusation and guilty verdict against Putin, and by using Magnitsky’s name — who is said to have died of neglect while incarcerated, seemingly for bringing truth to power — it hangs his death like an albatross around Putin’s neck. No wonder Putin, a tiger-hunting hero for some in the Southern states, said of the Magnitsky Act: “This is very bad. This, of course, poisons our relationship.”

Besides the adoption ban, Putin Parliament barred a few Americans from entering Russia. Notables include Bush II–era slugs David Addington and John Yoo and a recent firee of comrade Trump, Preet Bharara.

In a recent interview at the White House with strangest-man-still-on-television Pat Robertson, comrade Trump, in one of his dependably kooky cranial whitewater raft rides, told Robertson that Putin would have preferred that Hillary Clinton become president.

“So there are many things that I do that are the exact opposite of what he would want. So what I keep hearing about that he would have rather had Trump, I think ‘probably not,’ because when I want a strong military, you know she wouldn’t have spent the money on military. When I want tremendous energy, we’re opening up coal, we’re opening up natural gas, we’re opening up fracking, all the things that he would hate, but nobody ever mentions that.”

You would hope that no one in Trump’s cabinet ever mentions this interview again. Of course Putin prefers Trump over Clinton. Of all the wacky bullshit that has ever come out of Trump’s mouth since he was elected, this is one for the books. Trump doesn’t speak so much as allow the words in his limited vocabulary to join hands and jump off a cliff. They come rocketing out of his mouth like vomit from Mr. Creosote in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. Trump doesn’t evade or distract, acts that require subtlety, so much as flagrantly deny and, by way of diversion, drop an even more preposterous verbal dirty bomb into an increasingly ass-out situation.

Unfortunately for Trump, there are some people who see through these amateurish ejaculations. Investigation results to follow.

Ms. Veselnitskaya has been working tirelessly to weaken the effectiveness of the Magnitsky Act. She’s in someone’s employ, and it would be in America’s best interest to know whose. Makes you wonder what was discussed at Trump Tower in June of last year, as well as in the two-hour-plus meeting between Trump and Putin at the G19.

It was one thing to have the Magnitsky Act in place with President Obama, but in the age of Trump, is it not a major roadblock to progress for America’s seemingly warming relationship with Russia? Wouldn’t that be one of the first things that would have to go?

I think it would be fascinating for someone from the media to ask comrade Trump, if he ever dares to cross swords with fake news outlets again, what he thinks of the act and get him to use the words “Magnitsky Act” in a sentence. There is no way getting rid of it isn’t on Putin’s agenda.

It’s true, the Russian “nothing burger” takes up a lot of the news cycle. The Trump Crime Family and their shady cohorts have brought it upon themselves. Admit it, the characters were brilliantly cast. It’s as if Trump fathered two sons and a daughter in anticipation of what was to be in November 2016. Bannon and Conway make slime from other administrations like Cheney and Rumsfeld seem rank-and-file. They all make bitchin’ villains. Even FLOTUS, when she makes the rare appearance, her face a perma-mask of anger and ever deepening regret, is perfectly placed.

Comrade Trump has not only taken his failure bouquet to the White House but to the world. We’re watching like it’s the first three seasons of The Sopranos.

So, Mr. Presidentski, what’s next?

Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.


More from the mind of Henry Rollins:
White America Couldn't Handle What Black America Deals With Every Day
Bowie's Blackstar Is on the Level of Low and Heroes
No Matter Who Wins, America Is Only Going to Get Angrier

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