Wednesday, January 11, 2017

This Won't Help - Trump - But It May End His Presidency

This won't help Donald Trump's sagging poll numbers. The PervertGate scandal that broke out yesterday contains unsubstantiated allegations of Trump being financially groomed by the Kremlin for years. The dossier claims he's been compromised - morally and financially. The FBI, it seems, is now investigating.

Others, it seems, haven't been as idle as the FBI. The Financial Times dug deep and produced an expose of Trump's links to shady Russian financiers, something that seems to have gone unnoticed prior to the election.

In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. attended a real estate conference, where he stated that , "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."

As it turns out, that may have been an understatement. Human rights lawyer Scott Horton, whose work in the region goes back to defending Andrei Sakharov and other Soviet dissidents, has gone through a series of studies by the Financial Times to show how funds from Russian crime lords bailed Trump out after yet anther bankruptcy. The conclusions are stark.

"Among the powerful facts that DNI [Director of National Intelligence] missed were a series of very deep studies published in the [Financial Times] that examined the structure and history of several major Trump real estate projects from the last decade—the period after his seventh bankruptcy and the cancellation of all his bank lines of credit. ...

"The money to build these projects flowed almost entirely from Russian sources. In other words, after his business crashed, Trump was floated and made to appear to operate a successful business enterprise through the infusion of hundreds in millions of cash from dark Russian sources.

"He was their man."


Horton’s analysis comes from piecing together information in three Financial Times “deep reports.” One of these focused on Sergei Millian, the head of the Russian American Chamber of Commerce in the US at the time of Trump Jr.’s “money pouring in from Russia” claim.

Mr Millian insists his Russian American Chamber of Commerce (RACC) has nothing to do with the Russian government. He says it is funded by payments from its commercial members alone.

Most of the board members are obscure entities and nearly half of their telephone numbers went unanswered when called by the Financial Times. An FT reporter found no trace of the Chamber of Commerce at the Wall Street address listed on its website.

Why was RACC’s background filled with so many holes? The Financial Times quotes former Russian MP Konstantin Borovoi in tagging the chamber as a front for intelligence operations that dates back to Soviet times.

“The chamber of commerce institutions are the visible part of the agent network . . . Russia has spent huge amounts of money on this.”

Millian helped arrange for Trump to visit Moscow in 2007, and had other outings with Trump in the states, including a visit to horse races in Miami. Millian claims that he had the right to market Trump properties in Russia.

Despite documents and photos showing Trump with Millian, Trump denied their association during the campaign.
Hope Hicks, Mr Trump’s campaign spokeswoman, said Mr Trump had “met and spoke” with Mr Millian only “on one occasion almost a decade ago at a hotel opening”.

The second Financial Times article puts Trump at the middle of a money laundering scheme, in which his real estate deals were used to hide not just an infusion of capital from Russia and former Soviet states, but to launder hundreds of millions looted by oligarchs. All Trump had to do was close his eyes to the source of the money, and suddenly empty apartments were going for top dollar.

Among the dozens of companies the Almaty lawyers say the Khrapunov laundering network used were three called Soho 3310, Soho 3311 and Soho 3203. Each was a limited liability company, meaning their ownership could easily be concealed.

The companies were created in April 2013 in New York. A week later, property records show, they paid a total of $3.1m to buy the apartments that corresponded with their names in the Trump Soho, a 46-storey luxury hotel-condominium completed in 2010 in a chic corner of Manhattan.

Why would Trump’s organization make such a good means of laundering funds? Because real estate has an arbitrary value. Is that apartment worth $1 million? Two million? Why not $3 million for a buyer who really wants it? When the whole transaction is just one LLC with undisclosed ownership paying another LLC with undisclosed ownership, it’s even neater than hiding the money in an offshore account. And while some businesses require due diligence in looking at the source of funds, real estate is a bit more … flexible.

It gets worse, much worse. Read the entire article here. 


Ben Burd said...

Mud on the wall Mound, this one has the ring of authenticity to it even if it isn't. I wouldn't want to be an evangelical trying to slag this one off.

But the big question is who has the deep pockets and the juice to impeach him. How many votes to bring impeachment for example. Just hope that the chinese water treatment kicks in on this on and Jared is in the nepotism charge. But that brings us back to the fundamental question who is going to spearhead these efforts and will the Dems pick the right fights?

rumleyfips said...

Impeachment may not be what causes problems for Agent Orange. Think of the unbridled ambition of people like Ted Cruz. Marco Rubio has already gone rogue at the confirmation hearings. If Trump appears wounded, he will be torn to pieces by his Republican friends.