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Bloomberg Follows the Money on Trump…Mob Connections, Money Laundering and Fraud – Russian Mob

Bloomberg Magazine followed the money on the Chumph’s business deals… Lots of Money Laundering and connections to both the Russian Mob and the Russian Spy Agencies.

This article only cover a portion of that. There is evidence of Russian Mob/Government cash infusions into the Chumph’s businesses when he was close to bankruptcy totalling between $50 and $300 million.

They own his ass.

 

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New bombshell report reveals Trump’s lengthy ties to Russian mobsters and money laundering

A bombshell Bloomberg View report dropped Wednesday morning detailing President Donald Trump’s shadowy business partnerships with Russian investors on New York City real estate deals.

Rachel Maddow teased the report, which links the president to possible money laundering operations through his business associate Felix Sater — a mob informant and felon who has boasted of his ties to the Kremlin and Russian intelligence.

While special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether Trump obstructed justice in firing former FBI Director James Comey, the investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia also continues. As The Washington Post reported last week, the investigation into Trump also involves tracking concerning financial activities. The New York Times went even further, saying that Mueller is looking into whether Trump associates laundered payoffs from Russians and funneled them through offshore accounts.

“It’s ridiculous that I wouldn’t be investing in Russia,” Trump said during a 2007 deposition. “Russia is one of the hottest places in the world for investment.”

“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Donald Trump Jr. said a year later.

A troubling history of possibly compromising business relationships has scored cash for Trump for years, according to Bloomberg. The Bayrock Group, a now-dormant development firm that operated in Trump Tower, partnered with Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump on a series of deals between 2002 and 2011. The largest of the deals was part of a project in Manhattan, the Trump Soho Hotel.

During the years that the two worked together, Bayrock was a link between several dark projects in the U.S. and Europe that once named after Trump. Bayrock used Icelandic banks to launder money from government investors, legislators and others, Bloomberg reported.

One principal was a career criminal, according to Bloomberg, named Felix Sater, who worked with organized crime in both the U.S. and Russia. Before he brought the company to Trump he worked as a mob informant for the FBI and ran to Moscow to avoid any criminal charges.

A former Bayrock insider, Jody Kriss, admitted that he left the firm out of fear the company was a front for a money laundering scheme, and filed a lawsuit claiming he’d been swindled out of millions by cash skimming and tax dodging.

A federal judge agreed in December that Kriss’ suit could move forward as a racketeering case.

Trump claims he barely knows Sater, but the two met frequently at Trump Tower and Sater showed Trump’s children around Moscow on a visit, and he also carried Trump Organization business cards.

Sater was also involved with Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen and former national security adviser Michael Flynn on a Ukrainian peace proposal.

He went to prison for 15 months in 1993 for slashing the man’s face open with a margarita glass during a bar fight, and Sater later fled to Moscow after federal prosecutors charged him and his associates with laundering about $40 million from elderly Holocaust survivors for the mob.

Sater “was always hustling and scheming, and his contacts in Russia were the same kind of contacts he had in the United States,” Lauria wrote in his 2003 memoir, “The Scorpion and the Frog.” “The difference was that in Russia his crooked contacts were links between Russian organized crime, the Russian military, the KGB, and operatives who played both ways, or sometimes three ways.”

He eventually came back to the U.S. to face charges but traded on his knowledge of Stinger missiles for sale on the black market in Afghanistan to strike a plea deal in the money laundering case, which was then sealed.

Sater and Kriss joined Bayrock, headquartered at Trump Tower, in 2002 with a $10 million investment from former Soviet official Tevfik Arif, who reportedly made his fortune running upscale hotels in Turkey that catered to wealthy Russians.

Marketing documents for Bayrock pitched prospective investors claiming a former Soviet oligarch, Alexander Mashkevich, was one of Bayrock’s primary sources of capital.

According to Bloomberg, Bayrock was never out of money, despite running a small development firm. Kriss’ lawsuit alleges they could operate “month after month, for two years, in fact more frequently, whenever Bayrock ran out of cash.” If times got tight, Bayrock’s owners would “magically show up with a wire from ‘somewhere’ just large enough to keep the company going.”

Both Sater and Arif wooed Kriss to Bayrock by promising him 10 percent of the firm’s profits, according to the lawsuit. Being located in Trump Tower gave “an air of success” to the company, according to Kriss — as well as an opportunity to work with Trump.

Sater was the one who built the relationship with the future president, according to court records. He used three Trump Organization executives to eventually lead him to Trump in 2002, when the celebrity real estate developer wasn’t in a good place financially and had barely escaped personal bankruptcy in the 1990s. His reputation was sunk and no bank wanted anything to do with him, so Trump turned to developing golf courses. Arif and Sater pitched him the idea of doing international hotel chains with Trump’s name, according to Kriss — which they claimed would help pump up his “brand.”

The relationship proved mutually beneficial, and both Bayrock and Trump saw their fortunes rise after the debut of his reality show, “The Apprentice,” in 2004.

“That put Bayrock in a great position once the show debuted,” Kriss said. “The show did it for Trump, man. Nobody was interested in licensing his name before that.”

Bayrock promised Trump an 18 percent equity stake in the Trump Soho hotel, which would provide a steady stream of cash from fees and his name on a Manhattan building. No one knows whether Trump did any research into the Bayrock partners backgrounds, but Bloomberg alleges that Trump was known for lacking concern for such matters.

Sater claims he revealed his convictions to Trump Organization members and assumed they relayed it to Trump, but he can’t say for sure.

“It’s not very hard to get connected to Donald if you make it known that you have a lot of money and you want to do deals and you want to put his name on it,” said Abe Wallach, who served as Trump’s right-hand man from 1990 to 2002. “Donald doesn’t do due diligence. He relies on his gut and whether he thinks you have good genes.”

Due to a language barrier, Arif had little to do with Trump, so it was left to Sater and Kriss — who had most of their interactions with Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, but the future president always had final say.

According to a deposition, Sater met with Trump multiple times a week to talk about business, including a plan to use Sater’s Russian connections to build a “high-rise” in Moscow.

Sater claimed he wouldn’t call Trump “my friend” in a 2008 deposition, but the two traveled together to look at deals. “Anybody can come in and build a tower,” he said. “I can build a Trump Tower because of my relationship with Trump.”

They began the international hotel-condo projects by exploring deals in Turkey, Poland and Ukraine. Sater took Ivanka and Don Jr. to Moscow looking for land for a Trump-branded hotel, but none got past the planning stages. In the U.S., however, Bayrock and Trump projects moved forward….More…

 

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Yet Another Black Conservative Scumbag – Henry Alford

Alford is a Republican front – and a shill to the highest bidder.

How The National Black Chamber Of Commerce’s Leader Is Harming African Americans

 

Smog is getting its moment in the Congressional spotlight, and the politics are dirty.

In a House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology hearing on Tuesday morning, Republicans called upon longtime utility and fossil fuel advocates — including Harry C. Alford, President and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) — to push back on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed tightening of ground-level ozone levels from to between 65 and 70 parts per billion, from the current 75 parts per billion.

Alford is no stranger to Congress. In the past, he has testified that the EPA’s efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions for power plants would cause electricity prices to skyrocket. As far back as 1998 he testified that the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol would be detrimental to minority-owned small businesses. Since 1998, the NBCC has received $800,000 from ExxonMobil. It has also been funded by the tobacco industry.

But Alford’s record of actively opposing environmental policies has struck a nerve with other black leaders in America, who are condemning his relationship with polluting industries.

Dr. Michael Dorsey, the Interim Director for the Energy and Environment Program at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, sees Alford’s tactics as being far more than simply misleading — he sees them as actually being very dangerous to African American communities.

“This testimony harms African Americans,” Dorsey, who has a PhD in environmental policy from the University of Michigan, told ThinkProgress. “Alfred’s false claims about energy are a triple threat — they harm African Americans in their wallets, they harm them in their lungs, and they threaten the environments they live in. He doesn’t even represent black business, it’s criminal.”

Automobiles, power plants, factories, and refineries all produce ozone-forming pollutants, which make up smog. Elevated ozone levels put people are at risk for premature death, aggravated asthma, and difficulty breathing, according to the American Lung Association.

Alford’s remarks Tuesday parroted his past statements. He said that the proposed strengthening of ozone regulations would “shut off huge parts of country to job growth” and would lead to “loss of good health.”

In February, Alford penned an op-ed in the Hill arguing that the EPA’s proposal will shut down coal-fired power plants, which will be harmful to African Americans and African American small business owners in need of “dependable energy and predictable utility bills.”

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is directly at odds with Alford’s statements. In 2012, the NAACP released a report called “Coal Blooded” stating that of the six million Americans living near coal plants, 39 percent are people of color. NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said that “coal pollution is literally killing low-income communities and communities of color.”

Dorsey argues that what Alford is doing condemns these minority communities to “remain underneath” dirty energy and prevents them from getting the many benefits of renewable energy. Because of this, the community Alford purports to represent is actually being dramatically misrepresented by arguments “not based on any science and not based on him being a serious advocate.”

“He’s just mouthing off talking points from Edison Electric,” said Dorsey. “It’s disturbing that he would subject himself to being so manipulated.”

Dorsey’s distress extends to Congress as well.

“Not enough Democrats or Republicans want to get together and have serious conversations about serious issues,” he said. “Throwing snowballs and playing games — when we play games with these issues people lose their lives.”

A highly partisan issue, ground-level ozone regulations have done a lot to improve air quality, and lawmakers like Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), ranking Democratic member of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, think they can and should be taken further….Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2015 in Black Conservatives

 

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Scalia and Thomas Dine With Plaintiffs Before Hearing Their Case…

The most reliable in-the-pocket judges took some time out to have dinner with one of the parties appearing before their court later this month…

At the far right wing Federalist Society.

Scalia and Thomas dine with healthcare law challengers as court takes case

The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.

The occasion was last Thursday, when all nine justices met for a conference to pore over the petitions for review. One of the cases at issue was a suit brought by 26 states challenging the sweeping healthcare overhaul passed by Congress last year, a law that has been a rallying cry for conservative activists nationwide.

The justices agreed to hear the suit; indeed, a landmark 5 1/2-hour argument is expected in March, and the outcome is likely to further roil the 2012 presidential race, which will be in full swing by the time the court’s decision is released.

The lawyer who will stand before the court and argue that the law should be thrown out is likely to be Paul Clement, who served as U.S. solicitor general during the George W. Bushadministration.

Clement’s law firm, Bancroft PLLC, was one of almost two dozen firms that helped sponsor the annual dinner of the Federalist Society, a longstanding group dedicated to advocating conservative legal principles. Another firm that sponsored the dinner, Jones Day, represents one of the trade associations that challenged the law, the National Federation of Independent Business.

Another sponsor was pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc, which has an enormous financial stake in the outcome of the litigation. The dinner was held at a Washington hotel hours after the court’s conference over the case. In attendance was, among others, Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s top Republican and an avowed opponent of the healthcare law.

The featured guests at the dinner? Scalia and Thomas.

It’s nothing new: The two justices have been attending Federalist Society events for years. And it’s nothing that runs afoul of ethics rules. In fact, justices are exempt from the Code of Conduct that governs the actions of lower federal judges.

If they were, they arguably fell under code’s Canon 4C, which states, “A judge may attend fund-raising events of law-related and other organizations although the judge may not be a speaker, a guest of honor, or featured on the program of such an event.“

Nevertheless, the sheer proximity of Scalia and Thomas to two of the law firms in the case, as well as to a company with a massive financial interest, was enough to alarm ethics-in-government activists.

“This stunning breach of ethics and indifference to the code belies claims by several justices that the court abides by the same rules that apply to all other federal judges,” said Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause. “The justices were wining and dining at a black-tie fundraiser with attorneys who have pending cases before the court. Their appearance and assistance in fundraising for this event undercuts any claims of impartiality, and is unacceptable.”

Scalia and Thomas have shown little regard for critics who say they too readily mix the business of the court with agenda-driven groups such as the Federalist Society. And Thomas’ wife, Ginni, is a high-profile conservative activist.

 

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More Heat on “Justice” Tommie Clarence

Clarence Thomas and his soul mate Antonin Scalia are a disgrace to the Supreme Court – and the nation. They have turned the Supreme Court into a cash and carry brothel for special interests and conservative money men. It would appear that members of the Supreme Court in the United States, truly sit above the law.

More Ethics Trouble for Clarence Thomas

If Clarence Thomas was hoping that liberals might just forget about his cozy ties to a Dallas real estate developer, or his failure for a decade to disclose the hundreds of thousands of dollars his wife earned from a conservative think tank, well, he would be wrong. As President Obama’s health care reform bill gets closer and closer to a hearing before the high court, liberal groups are continuing to press for some sort of disciplinary action against Thomas, or at least to force him to recuse himself from hearing the health care case.

To that end, on Tuesday, the left-leaning Alliance for Justice and the good-government group Common Cause asked the Judicial Conference of the United States, which oversees the federal courts, to investigate whether Thomas violated the Ethics in Government Act. The groups allege that Thomas may have violated the act when he failed to disclose his wife Ginny Thomas’s compensation—upwards of $700,000—from the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation.

The groups also are asking the Judicial Conference to investigate whether Thomas may have failed to report travel paid for by the Texas real estate developer Harlan Crowe, as reported by the New York Times. The Judicial Conference was holding its semi-annual meeting in DC this week when the advocacy groups sent their letter. If the Conference concludes that the allegations have merit, federal law requires that if it “has reasonable cause to believe has willfully falsified or willfully failed to file information required to be reported” it must refer the case to the attorney general. Common Cause president Bob Edgar said in a statement Tuesday:

In America, no one is above the law, including Supreme Court justices. For more than a decade, Justice Thomas omitted information about his wife’s income, clearly required by the Ethics in Government Act, from his annual financial disclosure report. Surely such a repeated violation, by someone entrusted to apply laws far more complex than the Ethics Act, at least deserves a formal review by the Judicial Conference and the Attorney General.

Odds are slim that even the Judicial Conference is going to ask Eric Holder to investigate Thomas. But you can’t really fault them for trying. Thomas’s lapses seem egregious enough for some higher authority to take a second look.

Unfortunately, thanks the the separation of powers doctrine, there really isn’t a higher authority when it comes to the Supreme Court. Some members of Congress are trying to change that. Also this week, the Alliance for Justice has been trying to rally support for congressional hearings on a bill introduced earlier this year that would force Supreme Court justices to be covered by the code of conduct that applies to other federal judges and create new procedures for when a justice may have to recuse from hearing a case. Given that virtually no Republicans have signed on, this law, too, has no hope of going anywhere, at least not any time soon. But the Democrats behind it get points for trying anyway…

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Domestic terrorism, Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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They Bought 5 Supreme Court Justices… Governor Scott Walker was a Bargain!

Corruption in the United States has reached epidemic proportions. Whether it is Republican Judges in Pennsylvania taking kickbacks to lock up kids in private prisons on minor offenses, or corrupt Supreme Court Judges like Scalia and Thomas taking money, and getting their marching orders from the Koch brothers…

Wisconsin Protesters in State Capital

 

Seems the Koch brothers buying spree didn’t end with judges and the usual Congressman and Senators…

They bought a Governor.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: Funded by the Koch Bros.

Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker, whose bill to kill collective bargaining rightsfor public-sector unions has caused an uproar among state employees, might not be where he is today without the Koch brothers. Charles and David Koch are conservative titans of industry who have infamously used their vast wealth toundermine President Obama and fight legislation they detest, such as the cap-and-trade climate bill, the health care reform act, and the economic stimulus package. For years, the billionaires have made extensive political donations to Republican candidates across the country and have provided millions of dollars to astroturf right-wing organizations. Koch Industries’ political action committee has doled out more than $2.6 million to candidates. And one prominent beneficiary of the Koch brothers’ largess is Scott Walker. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Hush Money…The Selling of Justice in the Supreme Court

A new definition of “Hush Money”. Justice on the take…

The Right To Remain Silent

Justice Clarence Thomas is getting a lot of attention lately for what he isn’t saying and where he isn’t saying it. According to Adam Liptak in the New York Times, the last time Thomas asked a question in court was exactly five years ago next Tuesday. If there were cameras permitted at the Supreme Court, I’d wager, this news would be news to precisely no one. I’d also wager that if there were cameras at the court, Thomas would be inclined to speak more frequently.

Liptak reviews the reasons Thomas has offered for his refusal to say anything as cases are argued before the court. Sometimes Thomas says that because he grew up speaking Geechee—a dialect spoken by former slaves in Georgia—his mastery of English was always a source of anxiety to him. Sometimes Thomas says that with so many justices jabbering at once, oral argument has become a circus, and he refuses to contribute to an atmosphere he has likened to Family Feud. Thomas also says that you can’t be judging if you are also debating and once wondered aloud about what would happen if a bunch of surgeons loudly debated gallbladder surgery while standing around the operating room. “You really didn’t go in there to have a debate about gallbladder surgery,” he said at the time. “We are there to decide cases, not to engage in seminar discussions.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2011 in Black Conservatives, Domestic terrorism

 

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C Street Crew

The “C Street Crew” – a group of Republican legislators who lived in subsidized housing partially paid for by a religious cult is back in the news…

Seems that these same Senators and Congressmen most noted for their dalliances with women other than their wives…

Were doing the freak-nasty on Al Quaeda’s dime.

And who knows what else the money paid for?

Prayer Group Linked to GOP Lawmakers Took Money From Alleged Terrorist Source

A group of activist ministers in Ohio has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the tax status of an outfit that sponsors the National Prayer Breakfast, saying that it took money six years ago from an alleged Islamic terrorist financier.

ClergyVoice said in a letter to the IRS that the Fellowship Foundation violated its standing as a tax-exempt group when it accepted two $25,000 checks in May and June of 2004 from the Islamic American Relief Agency, the Washington Post reported Thursday. The Islamic charity turned up on the Senate Finance Committee list of terrorist financiers in January 2004.

The Fellowship Foundation told the Post it has tightened its vetting of donors and that it neither retained the relief agency money nor used it to pay for trips taken by GOP senators such as Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John Ensign of Nevada. The foundation has been associated with a house on C Street near Capitol Hill where several senators and House members stay while in Washington.

The Missouri-based Islamic American Relief Agency was raided and shut down by federal agents in October 2004, but in the months following it started a quiet lobbying campaign to clear its name. Government wiretaps and material collected in the raid resulted in federal indictments of the agency’s officers and ultimately a guilty plea this year by its chief executive, Mubarak Hamed. He acknowledged sending one of the $25,000 checks to the International Foundation — a name used by the Fellowship group — in 2004.

In his plea, Hamed said the plan was to pay for lobbying by former Rep. Mark D. Siljander (D-Mich.) who, Hamed said, promised to help the relief agency get off of the Senate’s terrorist list. In July, Siljander pleaded guilty to acting as the charity’s unregistered agent in meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. He admitted lying to federal officers about his role, the Post said. In addition, the Justice Department said the money involved was stolen from a grant given to the charity by the U.S. Agency for International Development for relief work in Mali.

Fellowship Foundation President Richard E. Carver said Wednesday that with improved screening of potential donors, “Hopefully, we would not have a repeat of this experience.”

 

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2010 in Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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