Saturday, May 13, 2017

Dutch Treat - Following The Money

Steven Rosenfeld at AlterNet points to a recently aired Dutch documentary on "The Dubious Friends of Donald Trump," that raises issues of money laundering and racketeering schemes by Trump businesses and Russian mobster partners. One has to hope that the American intelligence community, including the FBI investigators, are well aware of these dealings, as they have been part and parcel of Trump's semi-public shady history:
Donald Trump's business partners have included Russian oligarchs and convicted mobsters, which could make the president guilty of criminal racketeering charges. 
That's one of the eyebrow-raising takeaways from a 45-minute Dutch documentary that aired last week, titled The Dubious Friends of Donald Trump, Part 1: The Russians. The first installment of the investigative reporting series, produced by Zembla, does what no American TV network has yet dared to do—take a deep look at the organized crime links and corrupt international business strategies used by Trump and his partners in his properties. [snip]
The documentary shows how Trump not only helped hide the identity of his mobster business partner, prompting an ongoing lawsuit accusing Trump of criminal racketeering, but also how Trump used that internal company crisis to demand more money. It goes on to show how Russian oligarchs saw Trump's properties as a way to get their money out of Russia, and describes the international financial networks that are akin to a pyramid scheme for money laundering. It also notes how the law firm of Trump's political adviser, former New York City mayor Rudy Guiliani, helped set up a money-laundering account in the Netherlands used by Bayrock.  
The exposed financial trail raises questions about whether Trump fired FBI director James Comey because the FBI investigation of his campaign's collusion with Russia was encroaching into Trump's world of dark money and dubious business partners. (our emphasis)
Part 1 of the documentary concerning his Russian oligarch and mob ties can be seen on You Tube here (45+ minutes); Part 2 can be seen here (36+ min.).

This, we believe, is essentially where the Trump- Russia scandal has its origins. Through these decades- long ties, Russian oligarch and mob figures (tied to Russian kleptocrat Vladimir Putin) have gained leverage over Trump  They own him, or at least large parts of what inflates his ego -- his businesses. (As an aside, note that when Trump's asked about Russian money, he is always careful to say he has no investments/ money in Russia -- but not that they have no money/ investments here or elsewhere where Rump has businesses.) It's fine to look at Russian meddling and Trump collusion in the 2016 election, but what underlays that meddling and collusion is the real bombshell -- and maybe, if America is lucky, that's a bombshell that's going to land right on the shitgibbon.

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