It’s Money Laundering or Nothing for Trump

It’s pretty clear that president Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice.  But the problem has always been, well why was he obstructing justice?  The standard story is that Trump was working with the Russians to manipulate election results, and wanted to prevent investigators from discovering the extent of his cooperation with the Russian government to win the 2016 election.  Trump’s response to this has been to deny “collusion.”

Tangentially, his supporters in the media have argued that even if Trump had contacts with Russians before the election, he was entitled to do that because he was working to become the next president.  It’s legitimate for a presidential candidate to begin to develop political relationships with international leaders, the argument goes.

Legal scholars have also thrown up some alarm bells, arguing that the only law that Trump could have violated by working with the Russians is over 200 years old and has never led to a successful criminal prosecution. Thus, if “collusion” or conspiracy with the Russians to win an election is all we have at the end of the day, the case seems thin.

In recent months, however, we’ve been treated to a steady stream of news reports indicating that Trump was laundering money for and taking money from Russian organized crime.  Some even speculate that Trump’s properties have been funded almost entirely with Russian mafia money.  A  witness in one Congressional investigation had this to say:

Witness Glenn Simpson told the House Intelligence Committee the money trail to “golf courses in Scotland and Ireland” was “concerning”.

He claimed financial statements obtained by his firm Fusion GPS for a dossier on Mr Trump, right, showed “enormous amounts of capital flowing into these projects from unknown sources”.

Simpson went on to state that he believed the money came from Russian organized crime and corruption.  The idea that Trump takes money from Russia has even been admitted to by his own son, Eric Trump, who told a reporter years ago:

‘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.’

I’ve argued before on this blog and will continue to argue that the real Trump crimes here have to do with money laundering, fraud, tax evasion, and other various steps Trump has taken to receive illegal money such as criminal proceeds, corrupt government proceeds, organized crime money, and cash from Russian billionaires.  And if he was obstructing the FBI investigation because he did not want his money crimes to be discovered, he will be going to prison for a long time–regardless of what “collusion” happened during the 2016 election.

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Trump’s National Security Advisor Mike Flynn Pleads Guilty to Felony

Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn just agreed to become a felon. You don’t agree to become a felon and plead guilty to a serious crime unless you are getting something out of it. Flynn was facing more serious charges, and instead of rolling the dice, he turned rat on Trump and/or the vice president, Pence.

Per Business Insider reporter Natasha Bertrand:

This is a “clear sign” that Flynn is cooperating against Trump.  We also aren’t dealing with a hypothetical, we know Flynn has definitely pled guilty:

So what did Flynn give up to avoid more serious criminal charges? Per ABC news, Flynn is prepared to testify against Trump, members of his family and Trump’s staff. Flynn will testify that Trump, as a candidate (not as president), ordered him to contact Russians.  The “as a candidate” part is important because it’s illegal for a presidential candidate to be coordinating with a foreign government, especially one that is an enemy to the US, like the Russian government.

https://www.mrctv.org/embed/525596

According to Bloomberg news, Flynn also admitted that he had a call with Trump at Trump’s private resort, Mar-A-Lago, to plan how they would approach the Russian Ambassador. That’s is conspiracy, folks.

Prosecutor Brandon L. Van Grack said in court that “a very senior member of the transition team directed” Flynn to contact the Russian ambassador at one point. At another, Flynn “called a senior official of the Trump team at Mar-a-Lago” to discuss a United Nations resolution that Flynn talked about with Kislyak.

Trump’s inner circle is now shitting bricks, they are absolutely freaking out and going crazy, they are very scared and in very big trouble.  One person “very close” to the president said that the Flynn development is “very very bad” because Flynn knows a lot of Trump’s criminal secrets, and he will tell them all to the Feds to avoid going to jail for a very long time.

We have also have a fact statement filed in federal court about Flynn. You can read it here. It’s very obvious that more people are going to be arrested over this. And since Flynn was so high up in the food chain, there are only a few directions this can go in:

  • Trump
  • Trump’s family (sons, daughter, son in law)
  • Attorney General Sessions
  • Vice President Mike Pence
  • Other high-level Trump campaign officials (Bannon, Conway, etc.)

This is history in the making, folks.

Trump Caught Stealing From Charity For Dying Children . . . Again

It’s almost hard to believe but it is true–Trump and his flunky son Eric scammed people out of money that the people thought was going to charity.  Instead it went into Trump’s pocket.

President Trump’s charity foundation funneled $100,000 in donations meant for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital into revenue for the Trump Organization by using his son’s charity, Forbes reported Tuesday.

And it’s not the first time:

At a nursery school a year earlier, Trump had crashed the ribbon-cutting for the event aimed at helping children with AIDS.

Once he was onstage, Trump played the part of a big donor convincingly. Photos from the event show Trump smiling, right behind Giuliani, as the mayor cut the ribbon. During the “celebratory dance” segment of the program, Trump mugged and did the macarena with Giuliani, Kathie Lee Gifford and a group of children.

Stealing money from kids with AIDS . . . yeah,  you read that right.