Trump’s Money Laundering
The media is busy with Trump obstructing justice, but the real story is WHY? Donald Trump appears more and more worried about the Russia connections as time goes on. He behaves as if he has something really bad to hide. The key to the Russia thing is to follow the money. The money trail behind Donald Trump leads in a crooked path to Russian mafia ties. Trump has laundered Russian money and probably thought becoming President would give him the power to stop any investigation into this activity.
Donald Trump is behaving as if he is guilty and trying to cover up a crime. His behavior and tweets are not those of an innocent person. He behaves like a mafia bully. If he was innocent, would he have tweeted that “Comey Tapes” tweet that started Robert Mueller’s investigation?
The Trump-Russia investigation is an FBI counter-intelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections and possible collusion in this effort by the Trump campaign. The special counsel’s investigation is not only about the people on the Trump campaign, but is focused on Donald Trump as well.
Donald Trump was a successful businessman in the beginning. He has made billions of dollars from Manhattan real estate deals. But in the 1990s he, for some reason, decided to go for the casino trade. That is when things turned sour for Trump. He has had six failed business attempts that ended in bankruptcy. Trump came out of these with a bruised ego, but still with his billions. Behind him in the dust of his bankruptcies were many shattered people with broken dreams.
As a result of his serial bankruptcies Donald trump was unable to borrow money from United States banks. But, since it was the 1990s, after the fall of communism in Russia, there were plenty of Rubles sloshing around in Russia and the former communist states of the USSR, like Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. This money came from the breakup and sales of former state owned enterprises through shady transactions. This was the rise of the oligarchs out of the ashes of communism. Trump could get dirty money from the Russian oligarchs and mafia connections, paying them back in “clean” U.S. Dollars.
What the Russia probe will look into is if Trump did launder Russian, Kazakh or Azerbaijani money.
Donald Trump is a schoolyard bully. He has pushed and threatened many people over the years. He had the money on his side, but this time he has met his match. Robert Mueller’s all star team vs. Donald Trump’s flunkies.
Special Counsel Legal Team
Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating the Trump campaign-Russia connections, has put together a team that indicates the direction his investigation will take.
Robert Mueller has recruited probably the most high-powered and experienced team of investigators ever assembled by the Justice Department. This is an eclectic mix of:
- A Watergate prosecutor.
- The most brilliant criminal lawyer in America.
- An expert in mafia fraud crimes.
- An expert in money laundering especially with eastern European mafia.
- An accomplished and well regarded lawyer who is fluent in Russian.
The team includes:
James Quarles. He was an assistant special prosecutor in the Watergate investigation. Quarles specialized in campaign finance research for the Watergate task force.
Andrew Weissmann. He has run the fraud section of the criminal division in the Department of Justice. He has 20 years experience in mafia prosecutions. He was also involved in the prosecution of Trump’s one time business partner, Felix Sater. That was for a mob connected fraud scheme. Weissmann also oversaw the Enron Task Force, the famous Justice Department unit that investigated the complex machinations of Enron.
Michael Dreeben. Dreeben has been described as the most brilliant and most knowledgeable federal criminal lawyer in America – period. Preet Bharara, the former top Manhattan federal prosecutor tweeted,
“Dreeben is 1 of the top legal & appellate minds at DOJ in modern times.”
Lisa Page. She is an experienced Justice Department trial lawyer. She has deep experience with money laundering and organized crime cases. Page worked with an FBI task force in eastern Europe focusing on eastern European organized crime.
Elizabeth Preloger. Preloger was a Fulbright scholar in Russia. She also won a scholarship to study Russian media and censorship. She is fluent in Russian.
Aaron Zebley. A former FBI agent trusted and relied on by Bob Mueller in his days as FBI Director.
Trump’s Legal Difficulty
Donald Trump has difficulties finding top lawyers to represent him in the Russia investigation. There are a few reasons:
- Top legal firms say he will not listen to advice.
- Trump is unpredictably impulsive.
- They don’t want to ruin their reputations by being connected to Trump.
- They don’t trust Trump will pay them for their services.
Donald Trump’s Team
In his first appearance representing Trump he made erroneous statements regarding James Comey..
Marc Kasowitz, is a member of the New York bar and has represented Trump in his business dealings for 15 years. He specializes in real estate law and divorce law. He is more than Trump’s personal lawyer, he acts alike Trump’s litigation pit-bull.
Marc Kasowitz was brought on board by the president to provide personal legal advice relating to the Russian investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russia’s interference, and potential collusion between Russia and elements of Trump’s presidential campaign in the 2016 election.
Marc Kasowitz through his law firm, Kasowitz Benson Torres, has a conflict of interest as it was involved in the sale of the former New York Times building in Times Square, Manhattan, in 2015, to Jared Kushner Trump’s son-in-law. A loan relating to this purchase could fall under Bob Mueller’s Russia inquiry. So there is already a conflict of interest for Kasowitz.
The Washington Post has reported that a subsequent loan of $285m from Deutsche Bank to Kushner Companies, relating to the purchase of the building, could fall under the remit of the Mueller investigation given Deutsche Bank’s scandal-riven reputation. The involvement of Kasowitz’s firm as a key legal player in the initial sale adds a further possible twist as the special counsel’s inquiry gathers momentum.
Questions have already been raised about possible conflicts of interest between Kasowitz’s role as Trump’s private attorney in the Russian inquiry and his work for various other clients, among them Russia’s largest bank OJSC Sberbank, which he represents in a corporate dispute lodged in US federal court.
Trump’s connections with Kasowitz’s law firm go much further than just his personal attorney, raising other potential conflict of interest issues. Another of its partners, David Friedman, was appointed by Trump as ambassador to Israel; its senior counsel, Joe Lieberman, was considered by Trump as replacement director of the FBI after the president fired James Comey but pulled out of the running, citing potential conflicts of interest with Kasowitz as the president’s private legal counsel; and yet another partner, Edward McNally, is reportedly in the running to replace Preet Bharara as US attorney for the southern district of New York, following a similar Trump sacking.
Marc Kasowitz boasted that he played a role in having Preet Bharara fired, by telling Trump: “This guy is going to get you.”
One of the major investigations conducted by Bharara was looking into Deutsche Bank’s involvement in alleged Russian money-laundering.
Deutsche Bank was a major lender to Trump, having provided $364m in loans. The German bank has been involved in Russian money laundering, and was ordered earlier this year to pay more than $600m in fines for failing to prevent the secret and improper transfer of more than $10bn out of Russia. has been hit by a series of scandals including and
Deutsche Bank had itself investigated Trump’s personal account to see whether there were any suspicious links to Russia.
On his first appearance on Tv shows representing Trump Sekulow made statements that what Trump obviously tweeted (it’s in the public record) was not what Trump meant. Then agreed that that was what Trump did mean, then went back to the that-was-not-what-trump-meant story.
Sekulow represents televangelists and has a narrow field of experience, none of which are relevant to Trump’s legal problems.
Jay Sekulow approved plans in June 2009, to push poor and jobless people to donate money to his Christian nonprofit, which since 2000 has steered more than $60m to Sekulow, his family and their businesses.
Telemarketers for the nonprofit, Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (Case), were instructed in contracts signed by Sekulow to urge people who pleaded poverty or said they were out of work to dig deep for a “sacrificial gift”.
“I can certainly understand how that would make it difficult for you to share a gift like that right now,” they told retirees who said they were on fixed incomes and had “no extra money” – before asking if they could spare “even $20 within the next three weeks”.
Attorneys and other experts specializing in nonprofit law said the Sekulows risked violating a federal law against nonprofits paying excessive benefits to the people responsible for running them. Sekulow declined to detail how he ensured the payments were reasonable.
John Dowd is the lawyer in this trio that has not made a fool of himself publicly. He hasn’t come out trying to defend the indefensible, and stays below the radar.
Dowd is a prominent high-profile lawyer.