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Finally! Media Asking About Trump Laundering Russian Money and Possible Blackmail: The Walls Close In

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Finally! Media Asking About Trump Laundering Russian Money and Possible Blackmail: The Walls Close In

 

The Young Turks / YouTube White House Golfing Makes Trump More...
The Young Turks / YouTube

“He always got somebody to put up funds for him. To put up the money. And he’d put up the brilliance.”

Donald Trump used to brag that he was the “King of Debt,” that he “loved debt,” and on those particular claims, boy could he ever back it up. Back in the 80a through the early 2000s, he would take out massive loans, not worrying too much about the terms. He had an unshakeable faith in his ability to create “winners” even back then. All too often, he would find himself back at the bank, begging to renegotiate the terms. He would threaten to walk out of the bank and straight to bankruptcy court unless the banks played ball with him. He was always “restructuring” debt, consolidating debt, wiping off debt.That was the “art of the deal,” Trump’s M.O., how he appeared to be so rich and yet always seemed to need more money.

Then, about ten years ago, it all stopped. Trump started to pay cash – lots of it, for properties. Stranger still, Trump made the change in strategy at a point in time when no other investor was paying cash for property. Interest rates were so low that money was cheap and the economy risky. It made far more sense from a financial perspective to use the bank’s money to buy the property and pay the note’s terms, while your money stayed invested in higher yielding investments, like what would become a hard-charging market through the last decade.

Something changed, something caused Trump to change his views on using “debt” as the principle means of building a business. It might be tempting to point to his four bankruptcies in and around the time that his Atlantic City ventures went bottom-up, as the possible reason for the shift. However, IF Trump learned any lesson during his bankruptalooza tour, it would be “never use your own money when others’ will do just fine.” It was not the bankruptcies that changed Trump’s basic approach. After all, when confronted with his failures in Atlantic City, he is quick to note how much money he personally made on the deals.

Something else changed.

The Washington Post has a fantastic piece of reporting about a question that has bothered me since I first read of the pattern two years ago.

In the nine years before he ran for president, Donald Trump’s company spent more than $400 million in cash on new properties — including 14 transactions paid for in full, without borrowing from banks — during a buying binge that defied real estate industry practices and Trump’s own history as the self-described “King of Debt.”

Trump’s vast outlay of cash, tracked through public records and totaled publicly here for the first time, provides a new window into the president’s private company, which discloses few details about its finances.

It shows that Trump had access to far more cash than previously known, despite his string of commercial bankruptcies and the Great Recession’s hammering of the real estate industry.

In the article, Eric Trump explains to us dolts that the decision was made because “they wanted to invest in themselves,” an answer that may as well have been, “because we felt like it.” He brags that they had such “incredible cash flow” coming out of their traditional properties (i.e. Trump Tower, and his “branding” business) that they could afford to do it, adding like only a Trump could: “It’s a nice problem to have.” He is talking about a period a few short years after many people lost everything in the Atlantic City fiasco – which the city itself still hasn’t recovered from – perhaps if Trump had such large cash flow coming into the organization, he could have used some of it to prop-up the Atlantic City deals, saved others from financial ruin, and keep a few of those bankruptcies off the books. But, now I’m getting off track.

Back to Eric, and back to the money.

The Post was not the first to ask about this peculiar new business plan. In fact, Eric got a near identical question several years ago. But, the last time he was asked, his father was not running for president, and thus his answer contained far more truth. From a Vanity Fair article that came out last year:

“So when I got in the cart with Eric,” Dodson says, “as we were setting off, I said, ‘Eric, who’s funding? I know no banks—because of the recession, the Great Recession—have touched a golf course. You know, no one’s funding any kind of golf construction. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years.’ And this is what he said. He said, ‘Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.’ I said, ‘Really?’ And he said, ‘Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.’ Now that was three years ago, so it was pretty interesting.

So, Eric, which is it? Because it cannot be both. The articles reference the same period.  You either made a decision to “invest in yourself” because you had such incredible cash flow coming out of the recession, or you went to Russia and got it. One or the other. We’re waiting …

No, we’re not. Because we know the answer, because it is the only answer that makes sense. When money is cheap, as it was during the ultra-low interest rate period following the recession, people do not spend their own cash, unless the cash itself is a “problem” that needs “cleansing.” (Oh, and do not let that part about banks not touching golf bother you. Banks were more than happy to finance large golf resorts so long as some of that loan was secured by tying it to all that cash flow that Eric noted as being a good problem to have.) No, they got all the “financing” they needed out of Russia because the Trumps are one of the few wealthy American families willing to deal with some of the world’s most ruthless criminals, killers, literally. These Russian billionaires are bursting with cash and need it spent on “things” that are “worth a lot” but hard to determine a precise value, in other words, not stocks, not currency, but high end real estate.

The media is already taking note of the Post’s important and timely piece. Everyone knows the context, even if it cannot be said aloud; Russia. Sam Stein commented on MSNBC via Rawstory:

“This is super weird,” he said. “$400 million in cash just laying around to play with and buy golf courses is basically unheard of—especially when you can borrow money really cheap right now,” he said. “I looked it up because money-laundering is a very specific legal definition and what we do not know is the origins of the money they had on.. you have to have criminally generated money put into something that looks legally appropriate. Who knows where this money came from?”

The people who gave Trump the cash know where the money came from.

And THAT, is the problem that has haunted Trump throughout his presidency, and explains how it is that we have a Russian oligarch sycophant as president. See, Trump likes to run around and say “there’s no collusion, everyone agrees on that,” because in Trump’s mind, the only way one could “collude” with Russia is to sit around a big table and say “yes” when Russia offers to help you win the election, and promise to do whatever they ask in exchange for that help. (Which, ironically, might have happened in Trump Tower). But, that is not the only way to collude.

Trump knows he can “conspire” with Russia without a word needing be said, no meetings, no agreement. Trump knows that he has laundered hundreds of millions of dollars for Putin and the Russian mob. Trump also knows that he damn sure has not reported those “loans” to the American people. He would be removed from office on the spot. But, Trump knows that Russia could leak evidence of his money-laundering crimes, should it ever come into Russia’s interest to do so.Thus, from the very beginning, Trump has been vulnerable to Russia, vulnerable enough to perhaps have even followed an order to run for president.

Collusion is just another word for “conspiracy,” in this matter. A “conspiracy” can occur if Trump knows Russia is working to get him elected president, and knows why – because they have him over a barrel, Russia literally owns him. By saying nothing about such obvious conflicts, Trump creates a conspiracy, and each act to hide the conflict, to hide the “Russian thing” becomes another act in furtherance of the conspiracy.

The Washington Post story is a critical step in proving this conspiracy, even though the story itself, having been written by sober, responsible, journalists, cannot mention “money laundering” and the Russian collusion” issue expressly. The reader understands the pretext throughout, again, some “understandings” are so obvious that nothing need be said.

Watch the discussion for yourself. Let the importance sink-in. This is the type of evidence that Mueller focuses upon, why he hired prosecutors whose specialty is high-end illegal money transfers. Mark this date on your calendar, the date the Washington Post puts its finger on the collusion-conspiracy problem with an in-depth report, one day after Rudy Giuliani proved to the world that Trump has lied his ass off throughout the entire Stormy matter.

The walls are closing in, fast.



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Everyone Can’t Stop Laughing After George Zimmerman Reveals He’s Millions In Debt With No Income

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Everyone Can’t Stop Laughing After George Zimmerman Reveals He’s Millions In Debt With No Income

 

George Zimmerman, the ‘man’ who fatally shot unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012, is $2.5 million in debt and has no income, according to paperwork in his misdemeanor stalking case. That was revealed after Zimmerman filed in Seminole County court to be represented by the Public Defender’s Office, which has since been granted. The conservative hero is in trouble for stalking and harassing a private investigator. Public Defender Blaise Trettis filed a not-guilty plea for Zimmerman and a request for a jury trial on his behalf. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the killing of Trayvon Martin that brought Zimmerman down, but this might do it.

Social media users looked for fucks to give, but apparently, everyone has run out.

I don’t know who would lend that human train wreck $2.5 million but it doesn’t look like they’ll ever get it back.


Image via screen capture.

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Impeachment is NOT the best punishment for Trump. This is.

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Impeachment is NOT the best punishment for Trump. This is.

 

revision3 / Flickr Donald Trump for 2012 President...
revision3 / Flickr

Jeez, quit boiling up the tar, and stop plucking the damn chickens will ya?!? It all comes out right in the end, just hear me out. Wadda you have to lose, you’re already reading, aren’t you?

Let’s be honest, shall we? In the current circumstances, impeachment is a pipe dream. Even if we retake the House in November, by the time that the newly minted Democratic led committees could finish doing fair, responsible investigations and generate articles of impeachment to vote on, we will already be in the run up to the 2020 elections, and nobody will have the stomach for that kind of political upheaval. Besides, Democratic oversight would effectively rein in the madness, and the passage of progressive House bills for the Senate to shoot down would basically emasculate the rest of Trump’s term. Also, when you come right down to it, impeachment is not an effective punishment for The Tiny Thumbs Diktator.

When one is convicted of a crime, one is sent to prison and loses his or her freedom. What is the ultimate punishment that comes with impeachment? Removal from office. Short and sweet, the ultimate deterrent of impeachment is personal and professional shame. Quick show of hands! Who thinks that Der Gropinfuror has one modicum of shame in his entire, portly carcass? Trump has spent his entire life forgiving himself for and justifying his excesses. And he has already laid the groundwork to fleece his undying supporters that he is actually a martyr, politically crucified for the purity of his cause. As long as 41% of the country believes him, the rest of us can kiss his ass. Trump will never feel shame for being impeached, because he will refuse to acknowledge his crimes that led to his impeachment in the first place.

But be of good cheer, there really is a much more suitable punishment, and it’s one that he can’t avoid, or wriggle his way out of. The most common axiom applied to the execution of the Mueller investigation is three simple words, “Follow. The. Money.” In terms of the Trump-Russia investigation, it is meant to follow Trump’s byzantine finances to look for illicit connections to Russian or other foreign sources that could be used as a point of leverage over him as President. But confirmation of those crimes would logically lead only to impeachment, and that event is unlikely.

BUT! Investigating possible illicit ties to Russia that could affect Trump’s Presidency are not the only times you can follow the money. Mueller’s probe into Trump’s Russia connections has given him almost unprecedented access to Trump’s financial records. Good Lord, a bank in Cyprus even turned records over to the FBI in it’s investigation into Paul Manafort. Just because a financial crime may not directly involve the Russia investigation doesn’t mean that a crime wasn’t committed. And as we have already seen with Michael Cohen, Mueller is not shy about taking incriminating evidence he finds that he can’t use, and turning it over to prosecutorial agencies that can use it.

Rumors and speculation have swirled around the Trump organization for years. Possible bank fraud. Possible money laundering of Russian rubles through his overpriced schlock condos in New York, and his luxury golf properties. Suspicious circumstances around a property he bought in Florida, and sold soon afterwards for double what he paid for it, to a Russian oligarch no less. Allegations of Russian money laundering through an exclusive Trump branded property in Panama City, to the point that the actual owner of the property used armed security guards to try to keep Trump employees from accessing the property. And don’t forget his aborted Trump Tower in Baku, Azerbaijan, where you can’t even plow a driveway without the proper payoff to the ruling oligarch family. If ever there was a mechanism in place to uncover and connect the dots on this kind of complicated financial tomfoolery, it’s the Mueller investigation. And all of it can be routed to the proper jurisdictions for criminal prosecution.

But. But. But. If Trump even gets a whiff of an upcoming prosecution for unrelated financial crimes, he’ll just preemptively pardon himself, and his family. OK, fine. Simple solution? Don’t prosecute Trump, prosecute his COMPANY! The constitution permits a President to pardon an individual for his crimes, nothing authorizes him to pardon a company or corporation. If any of these crimes were committed, they weren’t committed via Trump’s personal bank and checking accounts, they were funneled through his company books. Follow. The. Money. And then take it, all of it. The Enron trial alone proved how effectively the government can dismantle a criminally liable company when they choose to.

For Hair Furor, this would literally be a fate worse than death. Trump can, at least in his own mind, con his way out of the shame and humiliation of an impeachment as a political “witch hunt.” But to be exposed to the world as nothing more than a common criminal, and not a very good one, since he got caught? His ego couldn’t survive that. Criminal fines and restitution would cripple the company, and if the feds played their hand right, it is possible that the prosecution could fall under the RICO statutes, allowing them to confiscate even more. And what survives? Investors and builders would come out of the woodwork to file civil suits against the Trump organization for lost contracts and properties, picking the carcass clean. Best of all, whether Trump survives the stress or not, a successful prosecution would strip his Satan’s spawn of any hope of an inheritance.

Can this actually happen? Who knows. It all depends on the depth of Trump’s greed, and his willingness to break the rules to get the money. Personally, I think that Trump has been erasing lines since day one, and if his current situation is anything to go by, he isn’t very good at covering his tracks. If he’s dirty, the FBI should have no problem connecting the dots. But you must admit, the thought of His Lowness spending the rest of his miserable existence shacked up in one of Jared’s rent controlled slums, and binge watching The Apprentice reruns, beats having to listen to him blather about his “witch hunt” impeachment hands down.


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NRA Demands ‘Common Sense Limitations’ On Media’s Ability To Report On School Shootings

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NRA Demands ‘Common Sense Limitations’ On Media’s Ability To Report On School Shootings

The NRA has decided to match calls for common sense limitations on who can purchase a firearm by demanding that the First Amendment be completely ripped up.

On Thursday, the NRA’s propaganda network (yes, they have one if you were not previously aware) tweeted a clip calling for limitations on the media’s ability to report on school shootings.

“It’s time to put an end to this glorification of carnage in pursuit of ratings because it’s killing our kids,” NRATV’s Colion Noir actually said. “It’s time for Congress to step up and pass legislation putting common sense limitations on #MSM‘s ability to report on these school shootings.”

While the Second Amendment is immensely important to the National Rifle Association, it’s clear that the First Amendment isn’t since they are calling for laws restricting what the media can and can’t report.

In February, Bloomberg reported that gun stocks have been suffering volatility recently, with sales falling off in recent years and some court decisions that are unfriendly to the gun lobby:

Tuesday’s headlines underscored that the trade in gun stocks is becoming more nuanced with more moving parts and greater uncertainty. On one hand, the Trump administration advanced a ban on “bump stocks” (but not guns) and Florida legislators voiced opposition to reviving any attempt to ban assault rifles. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court handed down a pair of adverse decisions for the gun lobby and a Quinnipiac poll showed support for gun control at the highest ever in the poll’s history.

It remains to be seen how the lack of a major legislative threat could affect gun sales. Sturm Ruger on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter revenue and earnings this missed the sole analyst estimates. 2017 sales fell 21 percent from the prior year, to $522.3 million.

The NRA is worried, and when the NRA is worried, it’s cause for celebration.

Watch this dumbass propaganda piece below:

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