Who is Charles Bausman? Focus on pro-Putin blogger who moved to Lancaster | PA power and politics


Charles Bausman, whose family traces his presence in Lancaster County to the 1700s, made the town of Lancaster permanent home for the first time in 2018.

Bausman, 57, grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, and spent part of his childhood abroad, including years his father was a journalist working in Moscow.

“My father was born here. He grew up here. My grandparents lived here, “Bausman said of Lancaster in an interview in October 2020.” It’s a wonderful part of the country, and I was so happy when, a few years ago, things worked that I could actually move here. “

Last year, Bausman’s estate hosted a group of white nationalists who were forming a new political party. Although he initially denied it, Bausman admitted earlier this month that his barn on Millersville Pike in Lancaster Township was the site of a rally in August 2020 where a group called the National Justice Party announced its formation. , claiming he would defend this, such as fighting the “international Jewish oligarchy” and ensuring America retains a “white majority forever.”

[A group of notorious white nationalists met secretly in historic Lancaster County barn last year. Why here?]

Bausman spent much of his adult life living and working in Europe, primarily Russia, initially working as a businessman in the Russian agricultural sector. In 2014, he founded an online publication called Russia Insider, launching a second career as a media entrepreneur.

Russia Insider, from the outset, aimed to provide pro-Russian coverage to the Western public, starting with its defense of Russia’s 2014 seizure of Crimea from Ukraine. Articles on the site attempted to demonstrate that American leaders were blinded by hatred of the Russian government to the point of misleading Americans about the commonalities of nations. A 2018 US State Department report on the rise of anti-Semitism in Russia described Bausman’s Russia Insider as “linked to pro-government oligarchs.”

Interpreter’s report, an online publication covering Russian government and foreign policy, showed that he was seeking funding for Russian Insider from Russian oligarch Konstanin Malofeev, who has ties to the European far right.

In January 2018, Bausman published an essay titled “It’s time to abandon the Jewish taboo” on Russia Insider which sparked an international reaction. The essay argued that Israel and the Jewish people were leading efforts to undermine Russia’s place on the world stage. To deflect all criticism, Bausman said, Jews use the memory of the Holocaust to present all criticism as anti-Semitic.

The Jewish elites, writes Bausman, are responsible for much of the evils of society: “Evidence suggests that much of the Jewish-dominated and shaped human enterprise is a bottomless pit with a particular penchant for lies and cynicism, hostility to Christianity and Christian values, and in geopolitics, a clear thirst for blood.

The essay drew such a reprimand that Russia Today – the Russian public television channel on which Bausman had appeared as a guest – disowned it.

In his October 2020 conversation with LNP | LancasterOnline, Bausman said his willingness to criticize Jews was reinforced by his own belief that the Holocaust never happened, which he attributed to reading documents Holocaust denial published online by alternative media and researchers.

According to the National Holocaust Memorial Museum, “Holocaust denial and distortion are forms of anti-Semitism, prejudice or hatred towards Jews. … These views perpetuate long-held anti-Semitic stereotypes… (and) I undermine the truth and our understanding of history.

Charles Bausman, who runs a pro-Russian blog, speaks to LNP at his home in Lancaster on Thursday, October 8, 2020.

Moving to Lancaster

Ten months after the publication of his anti-Semitic essay, Bausman bought a house on West Chestnut Street in the city for $ 440,000. In early 2020, he purchased a nearly 5 acre property at 1630 Millersville Pike in Lancaster Township for $ 450,000. This plot, which includes a historic barn and a house, sits on a property that once belonged to one of Bausman’s ancestors and adjoins a subdivision that bears the surname.

This barn was the site of the National Justice Party meeting on August 15, 2020. It has also been, on several occasions, the address of William Von Deiz, a former leader of the white supremacist group Identity Evropa; Norman “Trey” Garrison, the former editor of The Lancaster Patriot that LNP | LancasterOnline reported last year was hosting a white nationalist podcast; and is currently the home of Greg Conte, a founding member of the National Justice Party, according to Bausman.

[How we confirmed a barn in Lancaster County was used for a 2020 white nationalist rally]

Bausman, who told LNP | LancasterOnline that he was fundamentally motivated by his Christianity, also spoke about attending the 2019 Future of Christendom conference held at the Lancaster County Convention Center, and he said he and his family attended two Orthodox churches – Annunciation Greek Orthodoxe in Lancaster and St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Reading.

In October 2020, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a report outlining Bausman’s ties to white nationalists, his history of writing and promoting pro-Putin propaganda, and his association with Russian oligarchs to fund his media properties. The report also explicitly linked Bausman’s websites to those of Garrison, whose blog, according to the SPLC, shared computer code with Bausman’s sites and a server operated by a Russian-based web development contractor.

Bausman was interviewed by two Pennsylvania newspapers following the SPLC report and spoke to a reporter from LNP | LancasterOnline around the same time. In these conversations, he called the SPLC an unsavory organization and denied any connection with the Russian government.

In the October 2020 interview with LNP | LancasterOnline, Bausman said: “I care about this place (Lancaster) a lot and I want it to be a better city. And I don’t think it’s handled very well.

In the days following January 6, Bausman collaborated with a Russian news program to report on U.S. politics and the attack on the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters.

He also left the country. Bausman and his family have been living in Moscow since mid-January.

UPCOMING MONDAY: A look at the pro-Russian blogger’s activities, online and in person, between the 2020 election and the Capitol Riot.

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