I seems that almost every day there are news reports on a member of the Trump team discussing adoptions with people representing Russian state’s interests. The news report on the adoptions meetings without giving any background on what the motivation is for the these discussions. When there is any reference to the Trump team discussing adoptions it is really an oblique reference to the “Sergei Magnietsky Rule of Law Accountability Act” passed on November 16, 2012 by the Republican controlled House of Representatives and Senate on the Thursday, 6 December, 2012. The Act, signed into law by President Obama, is a bill which introduces targeted sanctions on named Russian officials deemed to have violated human rights. The Act simultaneously normalizes trade relations with Russia by repealing the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which is legislation, the Washington Post calls “one of the last vestiges of the Cold War,” and dates back to 1974, when the US put pressure on the Kremlin to grant Jews and other religious minorities emigration rights.
The Magnitsky Act is a new form of pressure. Its language allows the US to impose visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials allegedly involved in the torture and death of whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky, as well as, other gross human rights abusers in Russia. Currently there are about 18 people on the list. It does not include Putin, and his very close advisors and senior government officials.
The person who is the subject of the act was a Russian Lawyer who was arrested, tortured, abused and when he got sick, due to the extremely bad treatment due to the conditions in a Russian gaol, was left to die in 2009 from neglect. Sergei Magnitsky only crime was uncovering a massive corrupt enterprise where he accused Russian officials of tax fraud. He was under the delusion that Russia under Putin was ruled by the law. He paid for this mistake with his life.
The story on NPR as told by William Browder, the businessman who was screwed by the massive fraud is found here. He is the one who hired the lawyer Sergei Magnietsky.