Posts tagged ‘money laundering’

Let’s Not Lose the Thread

The part about President DFF being a con artist, sexual abuser, bully, and general low-life is not news. Well it was back in 2016, but we have so many walking brain dead people that it fell on deaf ears (or missing brains). The FBI search of Michael Cohen’s office and home is to follow crimes, probably authorized by the Con-in-Chief, but they relate to “bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations related to payoffs made to women, including a porn actress, who say they had affairs with the president before he took office and were paid off and intimidated into silence.” The thread we must not lose is the connection to the Russians.

We are starting to see how President DFF works and it may be the same way the Russians work. The real investigation is did the Russians snare President DFF with loans from oligarchs (really a money laundering operation) and then use that leverage to gain his support. Let’s face it, by all evidence, he is their boy, attacks on Syria aside. On the Syria thing, where are the attacks, and like the last time, does Russia get a pass and everyone knows what is going to be hit before he puts on his show?

No, while Manafort and others wait prosecution on sleazy money laundering and illegal lobbying, and a little bit of the swamp gets exposed, the real investigation is where Manafort played in President DFF’s election and what collusion went on with the Russians. Manafort has not flipped, so behind the scenes Mueller is following the money trail. And that, I think is where the real story is. President DFF has always been a con artist, capitalizing on bravado, threats, litigation, and bankruptcy to further his “empire”. Now none of that is supposition, but based on following his “glorious” real estate business and how he stiffed his contractors and workers.

And in the end it was never about making money off properties by their income, but borrowing for the next venture, in a way a giant Ponzi scheme (Not proven, but will be if we ever see his tax returns). And in that giant Ponzi scheme was the crack the Russians could exploit. Again not proven yet, but coming. We do know that starting back in the late 90s, banks cut off President DFF and his family’s supply of loans and they turned to the Russians for fresh cash. At that point I think the Russians were looking to launder money and had as the intelligence community calls them, a useful idiot on the hook. From there, I think it just got deeper. Again, not proven yet, but there are certainly bread crumbs.

So the trick here is to find the money trail, connect it to President DFF and then all the rest follows, the rest being collusion with the Russians during the campaign, his failure to take a true hard stand against the Russian aggressions, and then of course, obstruction of justice which at this point is obvious. As an aside, it is interesting to note that the NRA was also played as useful idiots, as they laundered money for the Russians in support of Trump. Greed and lust for power creates multitudes of useful idiots.

So that is the real thread in all this. We already know President DFF is a total sleaze and should be nowhere near the Presidency, but the idiots in Red States, having their brains eaten by Fox News and Right wing radio, put him in power. The real question is whether Republicans, when the real Constitution Crisis comes, will do anything. I don’t believe they will. With Paul Ryan now out of the Congressional race, November could be a land slide for Democrats who will do something about him. What that says my friends, is that we are entering really, really dangerous times when desperate men will do desperate things.

I would like to add one aside here. Some people truly terrified by Trump have suggested violence to solve this problem. It is the lesson of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Trump was elected by our democratic process, albeit swayed by the Russians and a misguided FBI Direction James Comey. That in itself should require us to have a new election, but there is no process for that. To remove him by any other means than those afforded to us by our Constitutional system is to destroy the Constitution itself, or as Mark Antony said in Julius Caesar, “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.”

13 Russians and Where did that American Exceptionalism Go

First, why charge 13 Russians who will probably never get prosecuted? Of course if they want to go to France, Spain, Germany, or any number of countries we have extradition treaties with they will be at risk of arrest. Still why? Well I think two reasons and the first one was self-defense. Clearly, as Muller and his boss Rosenstein get closer, their jobs are at risk. We have President DFF and apparently about 35%-40% of the population who think the Russia investigation is a shame, just a Democratic sower grapes. Well, I misspoke. 35%-40% believe that because President DFF told them that and Fox News echoes it, but President DFF knows full well they did.

So what Mueller and Rosenstein were up to was laying down a marker. Here is detailed proof that the Russians were meddling with false news, something Fox News would be an expert at, and trying to sway the election away from Hillary Clinton. The detail is, well, detailed. There is no doubt. So what was accomplished was if President DFF moves against either Rosenstein of Mueller, there is no question he is hurting the investigation and trying to stop it. It may not tie his hands because he is an ignorant jackass, and I apologize to all jackasses because the comparison is not fair, may now tie his lackeys the Republican Congress.

The second reason, besides educating and informing the American Public on one piece of the investigation, was to let those he seeks information from, what he already knows, and the detail he knows it. The big elephant in the room is collusion and why. I know that answer and so do you if your brain cells still work. President DFF got hooked on their money when no one else would lend to him, and now they own him. He is a giant Ponzi scheme, and the scheme started to collapse, when in rushed the Russians who needed to launder money and real estate was the go to market. Think about it. As we learned from hearings last week, the President has ordered no investigations or active counter measures to deal with the Russians. There can only be one plausible reason.

Oh wait! This was Obama’s fault! Except Obama did take action and the real question is why hasn’t President DFF. Obama sanction Russia which Flynn was trying to lift. Oh how short our memories are. So the DFF is the president now, sadly, so what is he doing? And what we learned last week was nothing. The FBI and the intelligence agencies has no mandate from the President.

So what is next? Manafort is in deep dodo. His partner in crime is flipping. Here is where the money trail is. Remember Manafort came out of nowhere, unknown to Trump, and all of a sudden he is heading up the campaign during the critical conventions. Say what? Who ordered that? The money trail is the why of collusion. Once you get the why, the collusion itself will fall out and Mueller suggested he was on that trail in his indictment. So we are getting closer and closer, but one has to ask, isn’t this obvious? Why and how is this man still President of the U.S.?

That answer has to do with the Republicans and the, oh let’s call it 35%, of the American population that is just mind numbingly stupid and ignorant (note stupid is a brain unable to be smart, ignorant is a brain that refuses to learn and be informed). I am reminded of a scene in the movie, Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks. Mr. Hanks plays a real world person, attorney James Donovan who is defending Russian spy Rudolf Able. Mr. Donovan’s home is attacked by good Americans because he is trying to afford Mr. Rudolf not just the appearance of a good defense, by a good defense. Those “good Americans” are the 35% who have no idea what the Constitution really is or what it means. They are the lock her up bunch*.

Now that 35% has always been around, but they have never been in charge. Now they are and their lap dogs are our Republican Congress who it would seem has no morals other than power. So they have hitched their wagons to the DFF and we should not be surprised. When a shooter mowed down 47 kids at Sandy Hook and all we got was “thoughts and payers” and let’s not move to fast to we know what happened, you knew they had sold their souls to the NRA. When you heard it again after the shooting in Florida (it was like a taped replay), you wanted to say, okay, but now do we know what happened at Sandy Hook or Las Vegas? And again, like the Russian attack, it obvious what the problem is, and in kids getting killed IT’S EASY ACCESS TO GUNS.

The data is irrefutable. It’s guns. Global warming, Russians and collusion, flow down, Dreamers or immigration, you name the issue and the data is screaming and we do nothing and we do nothing because of Republicans and purple state Democrats who cannot stand up for what is right, only what serves their short term interest to be re-elected. In the movie I referenced before, the spy, Rudolf Able referred to Donovan as “Standing Man” after a friend of his father’s who no matter how much he was beat by the government, he stood up again till they finally quit. It refers for standing up for something bigger than yourself. That is what America used to be. A place where no problem was too big to take on, we would apply science, data, and our ingenuity and we would overcome.

But somehow we got taken over by the 35%, the deplorables, and Republicans. That is when American exceptionalism died. Well, it is on life support and it is up to us to bring it back. I think maybe the nation has seen enough, but they never fail to disappoint with calls for a more middle of the road approach when the middle is so far right as to be undrivable. Maybe the shooting in Florida and the 13 Russian indictments will wake us up and give us the single issue that defines who works for us, and who works against us. I can only hope.

*Remember lock her up? Hillary and the emails where it turned out she was careless with some very minor classified information and hurt no one, and she had no intent to reveal secrets. Now we have the White House allowing people with questionable temporary security clearances that the FBI won’t grant security clearances because they are risks seeing the most secret of our secrets. Do you hear chants of lock him up? Yes they are deplorable and most probably unredeemable and we should not care. No they are not worth listening to. They elected a moron.

Today’s Reality

Do you feel like you are getting bombarded? I do. Let’s start with the Russian thing. At the heart of maybe all the scandals, whether we are talking about Facebook, Russian hacking and manipulation of the election, or Russian collusion with the Trump boys, it all has two things in common, technology and greed. First let’s start with Trump, the great business man. There is no evidence of that. My guess is that he is living on a giant credit card funded by the laundering of Russian money. That is what the DFF is really afraid of, that we will find that out. He is a walking Ponzi scheme. So the Russians have leverage and the DFF was trying to build a Trump Tower in Russia so he certainly was willing to deal. The deal the Russians wanted was a repeal of the Magnitsky act which bars certain Russians from this country and our banking system. See my last blog. After that it was sanctions removed to expand their oil business, their only real source of income.

Enter technology. It should have made us smart and more productive. If you can Google a fact and find stuff out you should be more informed, right? It did not work out that way. First, unless you are really a critical thinker, it allowed unfiltered and unchecked information from anyone on equal terms. The stupid could magnify their stupidity by connecting with more stupids, their junk facts reinforced in their incestual thinking. Then there is email and how easy it is to be hacked and you have the perfect storm. Oh wait, along comes Facebook and Twitter and those uncritical thinkers are bombarded with fake news they drink down like drunken sailors, all in the search of profits for stockholders.

Now we are in a period where we have investigations into all of this, but come on people, it is kind of obvious. The DFF’s love of Russia, the announcements about Hillary’s emails during the campaign, the many, many, connections of his campaign to the Russians, you have to be blind. Then we are bombarded with the crass and depraved lying by Republicans afraid their house of cards is finally going to collapse and trying to pretend all this isn’t just too obvious. What happens if the base finds out the DFF is a fraud, will we be next? And what is the underlying connection that ties all this together, money, the greed that comes with it, and the power it confers.

Money confers power and the more they can accumulate and protect, the safer they feel. It is actually for all of us our security blanket. As we lose community, gated communities suffice as their replacement. Except they don’t and things like the floods in Houston, the fires in Sonoma, or the disaster in Puerto Rico wake us up to our fragility. There is another lesson here about corporations and the bullshit of self-regulation. See Facebook and Twitter and their need for profits that allows their product to be used to undermine democracy in the guise of free speech. See how we trick ourselves? Maybe all speech isn’t equal. Maybe all facts are not equal. Maybe all opinions are not equal.  Maybe the corporate model stifles our humanness.

To see our self-delusion in action just pay attention to General Kelly, an “honorable man”. We suffered through his lies and defamation of a Congresswoman, and by default a Gold Star widow .When pointed out with irrefutable video, silence. Then we got his what is sacred speech, followed by the White House telling us we can not question a 4-star general. But now we have the Civil War just should have been settled by negotiations, it was just a difference of opinion, showing a clear failure to understand history and a total lack of morals. The Civil War was the price we paid for our moral failure when we compromised with the South to make Blacks three-fifths a person. Oh, and General Lee was a traitor to the nation and an abominable slave holder. Oh those pesky facts.

Finally the news was hijacked once again, but this time by a nut job in a rented Home Depot truck. Not much to learn here except that radical religion is evil. Might want to make you think about Alabama’s Republican nomination for Senator, Joe Moore. One of his Republican cohorts in the Senate defending a question about how Judge Roy does not believe in religious freedom based upon his statements, said “Religious freedom comes from God”. Yeah that’s the problem. Whose God?

Well that is where we are these days. I think it will be a long cold winter even with global warming.

Follow the Money

From Lawrence O’Donnell last night and Foreign Policy this morning:

Democratic congressmen on the House Judiciary Committee want to know why Attorney General Jeff Sessions abruptly settled a money laundering case in May involving the same Russian attorney who met with Donald Trump Jr. during the presidential election to offer “dirt” on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

The civil forfeiture case was filed in 2013 by Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York — who was fired by Trump in March. The case alleged that 11 companies were involved in a tax fraud in Russia and then laundered a portion of the $230 million they got into Manhattan real estate.The forfeiture case was heralded at the time as “a significant step towards uncovering and unwinding a complex money laundering scheme arising from a notorious foreign fraud,” Bharara said. “As alleged, a Russian criminal enterprise sought to launder some of its billions in ill-gotten rubles through the purchase of pricey Manhattan real estate.”

But Instead of proceeding with the trial as scheduled, the Trump Justice Department settled the case two days before it was due to begin. By then, Bharara had already been axed by the president. Bharara’s assistant did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The Russian attorney who uncovered the tax fraud scheme, Sergei Magnitsky, mysteriously died in prison. As a result, U.S. lawmakers passed the Magnitsky Act, which levied sanctions on Russian officials—sanctions that Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian attorney, worked to reverse.

Also the attorney representing the Russian companies in the DOJ case, Veselnitskaya, is the same one who organized a meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. and top Trump campaign officials in June 2016 to offer material that could “incriminate” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. “Love it,” responded Trump, Jr. to an intermediary.

In May, the Justice Department settled the case for $6 million instead of $230 million and did not demand any admission of wrongdoing. According to the lawmakers’ letter to Sessions, Veslnitskaya was surprised by how generous the settlement was, telling one Russian news outlet the penalty appeared like “an apology from the government.”

While the Congressmen didn’t cite any evidence that the two events are definitely related, they sent Sessions a laundry list of questions. They want to know if there was any contact between members of the Trump administration or campaign and the Department of Justice or the Russian attorney about the case.

Okay let’s connect the dots or the dollar signs if you will.  The Russians were laundering money in real estate deals to avoid taxes in New York.  Who is it again who is deeply into real estate deals that is now the President?  The attorney who was vigorously prosecuting this gets fired (maybe firing the rest of the U.S. Attorneys was cover).  Then instead of the $230 million they were due, Sessions settled for a token amount, $6 million.  We don’t get the details of the investigation or who was involved from the U.S. Side in these deals because it was “settled”.

Can you connect the dots yet?  These are all “business deals”, whether it is colluding with the Russians on dirt, or defrauding the government of taxes.  Aren’t you glad we now have a businessman running our government? Ethics and national security be damned.  Business!

UPDATE:  From the Daily Beast:

Defying a federal court order, the U.S. Department of Justice has thus far failed to release part of a security-clearance form disclosing Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ contacts with Russian government officials. The deadline, which passed Wednesday, was ordered in response to an ethics watchdog organization’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for portions of Sessions’ SF86 form disclosing any contacts with Russian officials. A Justice spokesperson told NPR on Wednesday that the documents would be released by the deadline, but they have not been. Sessions’ contacts with Russia have come under extensive scrutiny after it was revealed he had two conversations during the 2016 campaign with the country’s ambassador to the U.S.—a fact he did not disclose during his own confirmation hearing.

The corruption may run very, very deep.  I wonder who is on that list? Veselnitskaya maybe?