*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
It would be important to define what a pathological liar is, including detailing their affliction and how it is manifested, but it’s all been done before. But if anyone needs to know what a pathological liar is, they can look at a picture of Donald Trump. Trump has spent the past months claiming he has no ‘business’ in or with Russia, or the Russians, and repeated the claim at his recent press conference-turned-lie-fest. However, in 2008 his son told a different story.
During a real estate conference in 2008 Don Jr. boasted that the “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” As it turns out, Trump the younger likely made the greatest understatement of his rich privileged life and debunked daddy Don’s enormous lies.
According to a fairly detailed and lengthy report, a human rights lawyer, Scott Horton, who has worked in the region for decades defending the likes of Andrei Sakharov and several other Soviet dissidents made some fact-based conclusions about Trump being saved from bankruptcy and total business collapses with funds “from Russian crime lords; the conclusions are stark.”
Mr. Horton studied a series of three comprehensive reports in the Financial Times that reveal not only Trump’s abject failure at business, but that he was lying again on Thursday when he said he has no business connections to Russia.
First it is worth a couple of words explaining the state of the Trump Organization prior to the massive, and conspiratorial, influx of what is thought to be at least in the “hundreds of millions of dollars” to save Trump’s failed business. Even though Trump has always touted his business acumen as worthy of deification, his “organization” was a “hollow shell and Trump was bankrupt” before being saved by Russian criminals.
It was that “successful business genius” farce that served as a “screen behind which criminal activity” between Trump and Russian mobsters could be carried out “on a massive scale.” It is noteworthy that Trump desperately needed the Russians to bail him out because his credit and access to funds was non-existent; it’s the product of six bankruptcies by an alleged brilliant business mind.
Thanks to Scott Horton’s deep research into the Financial Times’ studies, including comparing them with a report by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), there is a very clear picture of Trump’s deep ties, and frightening financial dependence, on Russian oligarchs and crime bosses despite his claims to the contrary.
According to Mr. Horton:
Horton’s evaluation of this material, in coordination with the declassified DNI report, is that despite Trump’s persistent lies that he has no connections, business or otherwise, with the Russians, he did in fact actively work with and more importantly; he worked for the Russian interests in a massive money-laundering scheme.
This may well be part of the dirty secrets the Russians hold over the Trump to blackmail him with when Putin wants America to do his bidding. It is dirty laundry, by the way, that the intelligence community Trump assailed again on Thursday has ready to release now that Trump’s war on the media has officially expanded to include the powerful intelligence community.
It is a war the lying Trump will live to regret ever starting because as this author has been told more than once by family in the intelligence community; it is a seriously stupid individual, president or not, that makes enemies of the IC and goes to war with them; a war he has already lost. It is not a revelation to state categorically that the IC has enough material on Trump to put an abrupt end to his administration and likely his freedom.
The three Financial Times reports are just too involved to copy and paste in an “opinion column,” but there is a pattern that emerges portraying the Trump-Russian mobster connection that is fairly easy to understand; money laundering. Apparently the way the Trump avoided completely being “broke” as an astute business operator is through the use of “anonymous LLCs” on both sides; the Trump side and the Russian crime bosses’ side. It goes something like this. One “anonymous” LLC (Russian mobsters) forks over a monumentally bloated wad of millions for another “anonymous” LLC (Trump’s) property like an apartment worth considerably less than the “selling price.” As the FT notes, Trump’s organization is an ideal means of laundering Russian criminals’ dirty money because:
“Real estate has an arbitrary value. Is that apartment worth $1 million? Two million? Why not $3 million for a buyer who really wants it? When the whole transaction is just one LLC with undisclosed ownership paying another LLC with undisclosed ownership, it’s even neater than hiding the money in an offshore account. And while some businesses require due diligence in looking at the source of funds, real estate is a bit more … flexible.”
As Mark Sumner reported at Daily Kos, American laws regulating real estate deals are nearly non-existent. Although it is true there are provisions within the Patriot Act “obliging mortgage lenders to conduct ‘know your customer’ research,” criminals from Russia, like all money launderers, pay in dirty cash; it is precisely how Trump and the Russian criminals easily avoided prying eyes of regulators.
The idea of converting the Russian mobsters’ stolen cash from overseas into Trump’s properties in the U.S., and Russian cash deposited into an account of a Trump LLC listed as “anonymous,” was a dirty win for both the criminal oligarchs and the criminal Trump. The only thing Trump was required to do was just ignore deal and never pay any attention whatsoever to its particulars; something he has brought to the Oval Office for all to see.
It is not a stretch to believe that Donald Trump would do anything to increase his wealth, but prior to the gross infusion of Russian mobsters’ and oligarchs’ cash, he was on the verge of losing what little wealth he claimed. As Mr. Sumner noted, when Trump started attaching his name to “every phony scheme and con job in existence” it wasn’t a strategy, it was a “fire sale on Trump’s respectability.” It’s why there were Trump steaks, Trump water, Trump vodka, Trump airlines, and even a fake Trump university. The idea was that whomever was willing to “pony up the cash” would earn the right to “slap Trump’s name on it.” Because by the 2000s Donald “Trump wasn’t just broke,” he had absolutely no assets left to pawn. Even though he was no informed individual’s idea of a successful businessman, he got to portray one on a television reality show making “his [contrived] image more valuable than his real estate or business portfolio.”
As calls for a comprehensive investigation into Trump’s conspiring with Putin to award him the White House become deafening and lead to an all-inclusive independent investigation, all of this illegal money laundering for Russian criminals will become common knowledge. It is why Trump is attempting to sully the media as “dishonest” and that any reporting on his deep ties to the Russians is “fake news” in hopes the public will ignore the truth in reporting as it develops going forward; and it is going to develop going forward. The IC will see to that and a fed up at being labeled dishonest media will do its part.
Trump’s terror at being exposed as a Russian collaborator is also why Trump continues to demean the intelligence community. He knows for a fact that the IC has mountains of devastatingly incriminating documentation that he does, in fact, have very deep ties to the Russians and is heavily indebted to them. The good news is that Trump has made very public claims, including on Thursday at his bizarre press conference, that in no possible way does he have now, or has ever had, any business relationships or ties to the Russians.
That latest rash of lies will be a damning piece of evidence that Trump lied on national television about something that is becoming such common knowledge that even congressional Republicans will have difficulty pretending there is no impeachable offense. They can’t cover up Trump’s lies any more without implicating themselves in a conspiracy involving the criminal in the White House and crime bosses and oligarchs in Russia. Those Russian mobsters saved Trump’s businesses with dirty money he gladly aided them in laundering because like every common criminal on the planet, Trump will do anything for money; including jeopardize the security of the United States of America for the nation that “earned” his devotion and allegiance with dirty money, Russia.
**The above article contains links to studies with commentary by R Muse**
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.