More Stealth Prosecutorial Activity Against Trump. Direct Evidence of Foreign Bribes?
Impossible to keep up with all of Trump’s
alleged crimes. It must be a challenge even for the many prosecution teams.
- And now the Washington D.C. U.S. attorney’s office —
Did I miss anything?
I really don’t know enough to gauge which of these entities has the best potential for shutting down the Trump Administration, even less which one could put Donald in prison. But within at least one of these PUBLIC investigations is the prosecution/plea-dealing of a lesser-known player.
One W. Samuel Patten, D.C. lobbyist (alias ugly-Ray Milland)
A mystery filing in the case of W. Sam Patten, the D.C. lobbyist who pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered foreign agent in August, adds a curious wrinkle to what has generally been regarded as a relatively minor case.
On New Year’s Eve, prosecutors moved to keep a routine status update in Patten’s case entirely under wraps.
In pleading guilty, Patten admitted that he helped a Ukrainian oligarch attend the Trump inauguration by illegally using a straw donor to purchase a $50,000 ticket to the event. The plea agreement required Patten to cooperate with the D.C. U.S. attorney’s office, Mueller’s office, and other law enforcement agencies.
Patten’s Ukrainian client — Serhiy Lovochkin — was the same politico who prosecutors said was Paul Manafort’s main paymaster during his time in Ukraine. Patten worked with alleged Russian spy Konstantin Kilimnik as well, who was charged with witness tampering in the separate Manafort case in June.
Prosecutors from the Mueller investigation attended Patten’s August plea hearing, signaling interest in the case.
I asked Talking Points Memo contributor Khyber900 for permission to quote his entire comment on the matter:
Patten’s guilty plea and cooperation agreement highlight a wholly separate track of #trumprussia which I believe will turn out to be bigger than the ‘collusion’ tracks. Patten was involved in a scheme to funnel foreign money into the Trump Inaugural Fund (slush fund).
The Inaugural Committee was run by Tom Barrack and Rick Gates (who was Barrack’s lieutenant for this role). As the collusion track was being executed by Russia in coordination with the Trump campaign (and perhaps a separate track run by Saudi Arabian and Israeli interests) plans were being made to pitch Trump on policy change wish lists in exchange for financial contributions (read: bribes). Patten is tied to Konstantin Kilimnick and the same or similar circle of pro-Russian Ukrainians and Russians with a deep interest in Ukraine and ties to the Kremlin as was Manafort.
In the Patten case, the policy-change-wish-list would’ve included sanctions removal, with possible links to the Flynn promoted nuclear energy plan for the Middle East, an acceptance of the ‘Ukraine Peace Plan’ which would in effect give US recognition or formal acquiescence to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, positioning on NATO, and possibly Syria. All of these moves would change the global balance of power in favor of Russia and diminish the western coalition. All of this was purported to be executed through a simple pay to play scheme. Patten brought the pay and asked, on behalf of clients, to play.
Look at that bolded list:
Excepting Trump’s recent addition of sanctions involving Crimea’s annexation, Donnie has already delivered on each and every one of these promises.
Which means that the heat of the investigation of Trump’s Inauguration Committee may have gotten some fresh gasoline poured on it.
W. Samuel Patten admitted to laundering of Russian Oligarch’s $50,000.
The Trump Inauguration raised $107Mil, and was uniquely terrible in its accounting of it.
Nobody appears to know how upwards of $65mil was actually raised or spent.
Although, it just may have been intentional for Trump to blunder the accounting. Which could amount to more money-laundering charges from Federal Prosecutors.
Here’s my guess:
Money in = Laundered bribes go to Trump’s poorly accounted for Inaugural Committee, from Russians, Israelis et al
Money out = Money from Trump’s inaugural Committee directly to Trump’s pockets and businesses.
Quid pro Quo — see bolded list above
And more than one of the above investigations are coordinating with each other to gather evidence to prove the crime of Trump accepting bribes to affect U.S. foreign policy.
Prosecutors are also reportedly probing whether some of the listed donors to the inaugural fund were actually just fronts, or “straw men,” for money that was really coming from foreign governments. Foreign nationals and governments are prohibited from donating to presidential inaugural funds, the same way they are prohibited from donating to U.S. political campaigns. The news reports did not identify any of the potential straw men by name.
But the first official report that the Trump inaugural committee filed with the Federal Election Commission in April 2017 was riddled with errors. But not just the typical errors one sees in federal campaign filings, such as a few misspelled donor names or incomplete information about donors.
Instead, the Trump inaugural committee’s records contained hundreds of errors and mistakes, ranging from the accidental to the systemic to apparently covered up. Many of these discrepancies were uncovered with the help of volunteer fact-checkers who submitted their findings to a Google spreadsheet that I created in April 2017.
I personally reviewed the submissions, and the database is still live and available here.