by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
Originally posted on August 27, 2012 at Reader Supported News
ngst, fear, and loathing are the overwhelming emotions six months into the disastrous Trump presidency. Just exactly who or what do we have at the helm of the United States Ship of State, and the little red button that could end life as we know it?
The planet and its leaders are watching in horror as the ship appears to be capsizing. Trump and his fools enrich themselves, all the while gleefully decimating domestic social programs, dooming the environment, and destroying our nation’s relationships around the world.
Simply put, what we have is an international criminal hell-bent on continuing his crime spree within and without his corrupt administration. Making the world safe for oligarchy.
Casinos, luxury hotels: Money laundering
Let’s see, casinos, pricey real estate, the Russian mob, the U.S. mafia … hmmm. One plus one plus one equals money laundering.
The notorious meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and assorted Russian operatives spawned new allegations and suspicions that the Trump family colluded with Russian intelligence to try to gain electoral victory over Hillary Clinton. The details remain murky but the truth is likely more diabolical.
Not that Clinton wasn’t busy demonizing the Russians and using the Clinton Foundation for political payoffs.
The meetings with Putin’s comrades and Trump’s entourage may indicate the president may merely be a bagman and money washer for the Russian mafia.
This perception is magnified by Trump’s unprecedented refusal to release his tax forms, which may indicate his net worth to be largely in rubles.
Trump has a long history of involvement with the Russian government. Trump’s first visit to Russia was in 1987 at Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubin’s invitation.
Craig Unger’s New Republic article, “Trump’s Russian Laundromat,” essentially argues that Trump’s money laundering for Russian mobsters is what propelled his worldwide real estate empire.
Trump’s closely-held private real estate holdings, according to Unger, provide the perfect resources for illegal money laundering. Unger cites “a flow of highly suspicious money from Russia.” He points out, “Over the past three decades at least 13 people with known or alleged links to Russian mobsters or oligarchs have owned, lived in, and even run criminal activities out of the Trump Tower and other Trump properties. Many used his apartments and casinos to launder untold millions in dirty money.”
Business Insider noted that U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice recently settled a major money-laundering case involving a real estate company owned by the son of powerful Russian government official Pyotr Katsyz, former vice governor of the Moscow region. Katsyz’s son Dennis owns the real estate company Prebezon, which was accused of laundering millions of dollars through New York City real estate when the case was “unexpectedly settled two days before going to trial in May,” according to Business Insider.
The attorney representing the Katsyz family was none other than Natalia Beselnitskaya, who met with Donald Trump Jr. on June 9, 2016, to allegedly disclose damaging information concerning Hillary Clinton. She was described as a “Russian government attorney” in Trump Junior’s emails. Democratic House Judiciary Committee members sent a letter to Sessions inquiring about Beselnitskaya’s involvement in the settlement.
Also in attendance on June 9 was Renat Akhmetshin, described by CNN as “a U.S. citizen lobbyist promoting Russian interests and a former Soviet military officer,” and Aras Agalarov, owner of the Crocus Group, a Moscow-based property company.
The mystery man, or the 8th person who emerged at Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russians, turned out to be Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, a Crocus Group vice president accused of laundering more than $1.4 billion into the U.S. from Eastern Europe. Kaveladze allegedly used 2,000 shell companies to launder money into the U.S.
Essentially, Trump Jr.’s meeting was a perfect Russian triumvirate representing an alleged money launderer, the Russian military, and a pro-Putin oligarch.
If Trump is to be impeached and his clumsy cover-up of Russian ties revealed, it will be because the laundered money was easy to follow from the election tampering to Putin meddling.
Forget about the Russians, Trump supports American-made election riggers
While Trump’s apparent law-breaking focuses on the Russians, his primary anti-American assault is his bogus Election Integrity Commission led by Kris Kobach, whose Crosscheck program stripped countless non-millionaire citizens from the voter rolls in at least 30 states, critical to putting Trump in the White House. The man who rigged Ohio’s 2004 election, Ken Blackwell, also serves on the Commission.
As Americans, we cannot allow this high-tech Jim Crow destruction of the electoral process to lead to a permanent, one-party dictatorship.
This official lynch mob must be replaced by a national commission to promote universal hand-counted paper ballots and universal automatic voter registration, with legally protected, transparent voter rolls.
At least now the media and establishment have to admit U.S. election systems can be and have been hacked — a fact the Free Press has investigated and reported for over 15 years.
Resign or be convicted
All of this raises the blackmail issue. Which foreign entities, including crime syndicates, have information to compromise Trump and his close personal entourage?
It’s not just the Russian connections we should be investigating. As The New Yorker pointed out, “Throughout the Presidential campaign, Trump was in business with someone that his company knew was likely a partner with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.”
Trump’s “Trump Tower Baku” was a failed luxury hotel project in Azerbaijan, considered one of the world’s most corrupt nations. His partner was Zaya Mammadov, a billionaire oligarch tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, who worked as the Azerbaijan Transportation Minister for $12,000 a year.
The Guardian reported in mid-June that “Donald Trump – like Richard Nixon” is now “under investigation for obstruction of justice.” There is already speculation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is also investigating Trump’s alleged money laundering.
Trump has questioned Mueller’s impartiality regarding the Russian investigation and has contemplated firing Mueller in perhaps his own version of the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre,” when Nixon fired Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox.
Donald Trump must resign the presidency by August 9, the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki and the resignation of Richard Nixon.
In Trump’s brief tenure, he’s already fired James Comey, the FBI Director, for failing to pledge personal loyalty. Trump went on to try to intimidate Comey by suggesting he might have “tapes” of their conversations. The Washington Post reported that Trump then tried to get CIA director Mike Pompeo and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats to kill the FBI investigation into Trump’s Russian connections.
Trump’s coverups must stop. If by August 9 he hasn’t resigned, he needs to be convicted, perp-walked, and removed.
Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of THE STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS (www.freepress.org) where Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES are also available. Harvey’s SOLARTOPIA! is at www.solartopia.org, along with HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE US.