Wednesday, 12 July 2017
don & co?
That Trump/Russia/Election story is one where I'm thinking some of Trump's old faux-buddiness may have backfired. Like when he was pretending to know Putin before they's actually met.
It's Don Trump Jr that has let the Outlook out of the laptop, with his 4 page email release. To be honest, I found its contents mainly a disappointment, filled with dreary meeting time rescheduling. No wonder Don Jr has the nickname Fredo, like the problematic Corleone son in the Godfather.
I can understand the main point that there was ostensibly an offer from Russia to dish some dirt on Hilary Clinton to the Trumps, and that Donny Junior, Jared Kuschner and Paul Manafort were only too pleased to hear all about it in a meeting. Naughty naughty, getting a foreign power involved in the American election. Naughty, naughty, naughty, not ever mentioning it to (for example) the FBI.
It begs the question about how many other inconvenient facts are lightly buried in the current US president's dynasty,
Unpick more of the story and it becomes a desperate scrabble for pre-election information. Firstly, when Trump was bragging about his link to Putin during the election campaign, it was clearly made-up. A false fact; what's that usually called? oh yes, a lie.
Trump did have a link to Russia through his sleazy Miss Universe contest, which was staged in Moscow. His link included Aras Algarov, the property billionaire with whom Trump was discussing a Moscow Trump Tower. The link also featured Algarov's son, a wannabe pop star called Emin. Oh yes, Trump is in one of the pop videos.
All of this leads around to the hustler promoter working for Emin Algarov, a vodka-powered Fred Flintstone looking Brit named Robert Goldstone. He suggested that Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya could help the Trumps, but was probably operating at both ends of the fixer meeting.
Goldstone implied that Veselnitskaya had damaging information. He also implied that she was linked to the Russian attorney general (not true). TIt all looks like meeting bait and certainly worked when Veselnitskaya turned up at Trump Tower.
Now there's some other murkiness here, because of a related case involving Veselnitskya and a real estate tax fraud uncovered by accountant Sergei Magnitsky. He was locked up by the powerful people he accused of the fraud and then mysteriously died in prison.
It triggered a bunch of US sanctions against Russia because of the way Russian corruption appeared to be swept under the carpet. That's when Putin got involved, responding with a cessation of US adoption of Russian children.
What I get from just this part of the story (yep, there's more) is that Trump and family are not particularly choosy about the folk they consort with in Russia. They're also not that bothered about disclosure when they sail close to the wind.
Let's wait for the next piece when Washington based Rinat Akhmetshin pops up. Supposedly a former member of the Russian military intelligence services (GRU) and seemingly operating a business lobbying on behalf of Russian oligarchs in Washington.
The ironic part is that so far it really doesn't show any direct Trump link to Putin, nor real inroads to direct Russian power, but yet a kind of reflexive desperation by trumpites in their actions.
Maybe that will change when the towering stories of David Bogatin and Semion Mogilevich resurface?
And just peeking at one of the money laundering cases such as Case 1:13-cv-06326-TPG Document 381 Filed 10/23/15 (there's several) is like a glimpse into a first draft script for a Hollywood movie.