New York Mayor Ed Koch stands between Donald Trump, left, and Roy Cohn at the Trump Tower opening in October 1983. (Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)
It actually appears so. As a New York builder and contractor, you can’t help but see the many connections. So many that it is undeniable. Let’s start with an article by the Washington Post that explains many of the ties. (Article can be seen here)
Obviously, this doesn’t make Trump guilty of anything but when it comes to the mafia, things often that look fishy are. There’s more. Trump’s wiseguy persona comes from Queens where the mafia is notorious. Much of his language is adapted from there. From a Newsweek article seen here:
Let’s face it, folks. Trump runs his presidency much like a mafia don. In fact, many jokingly call him “The Don.” His constant use of mafia-style language grouped with his connections truly make even the most dedicated supporter scratch their heads. So whether he was ever part of the “families” or just an innocent man in the wrong circles, the connections cannot be denied.
Then we must talk about Russian Money Laundering. In another article by the Washington Post seen here, it states:
Let’s go back to 1984, when David Bogatin, an alleged Russian gangster who arrived in the United States a few years earlier with $3 in his pocket, sat down with Trump and bought not one but five condos, for a total of $6 million — about $15 million in today’s dollars. What was most striking about the transaction was that at the time, according to David Cay Johnston’s “The Making of Donald Trump,” Trump Tower was one of only two major buildings in New York City that sold condos to buyers who used shell companies that allowed them to purchase real estate while concealing their identities. Thus, according to the New York state attorney general’s office, when Trump closed the deal with Bogatin, whether he knew it or not, he had just helped launder money for the Russian Mafia.
And so began a 35-year relationship between Trump and Russian organized crime. Mind you, this was a period during which the disintegration of the Soviet Union had opened a fire-hose-like torrent of hundreds of billions of dollars in flight capital from oligarchs, wealthy apparatchiks and mobsters in Russia and its satellites. And who better to launder so much money for the Russians than Trump — selling them multimillion-dollar condos at top dollar, with little or no apparent scrutiny of who was buying them.
Over the next three decades, dozens of lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, mortgage brokers and other white-collar professionals came together to facilitate such transactions on a massive scale. According to a BuzzFeed investigation, more than 1,300 condos, one-fifth of all Trump-branded condos sold in the United States since the 1980s, were shifted “in secretive, all-cash transactions that enable buyers to avoid legal scrutiny by shielding their finances and identities.”
The Trump Organization has dismissed money laundering charges as unsubstantiated, and because it is so difficult to penetrate the shell companies that purchased these condos, it is almost impossible for reporters — or, for that matter, anyone without subpoena power — to determine how much money laundering by Russians went through Trump-branded properties. But Anders Aslund, a Swedish economist, put it this way to me: “Early on, Trump came to the conclusion that it is better to do business with crooks than with honest people. Crooks have two big advantages. First, they’re prepared to pay more money than honest people. And second, they will always lose if you sue them because they are known to be crooks.”
After Trump World Tower opened in 2001, Trump began looking for buyers in Russia through Sotheby’s International Realty, which teamed up with a Russian real estate outfit. “I had contacts in Moscow looking to invest in the United States,” real estate broker Dolly Lenz told USA Today. “They all wanted to meet Donald.” In the end, she said, she sold 65 units to Russians in Trump World Tower alone.
Maybe there was no Russiagate and no collusion on the part of the President but he was definitely involved in money laundering with Russia for 35 years.
In an article by Esquire, the following is revealed from a Deutsche bank (article can be read here):
Anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving legal entities controlled by Donald J. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog. The transactions, some of which involved Mr. Trump’s now-defunct foundation, set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity, according to five current and former bank employees. Compliance staff members who then reviewed the transactions prepared so-called suspicious activity reports that they believed should be sent to a unit of the Treasury Department that polices financial crimes.
In the summer of 2016, Deutsche Bank’s software flagged a series of transactions involving the real estate company of Mr. Kushner, now a senior White House adviser. Ms. McFadden, a longtime anti-money laundering specialist in Deutsche Bank’s Jacksonville office, said she had reviewed the transactions and found that money had moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals. She concluded that the transactions should be reported to the government — in part because federal regulators had ordered Deutsche Bank, which had been caught laundering billions of dollars for Russians, to toughen its scrutiny of potentially illegal transactions.
After Mr. Trump became president, transactions involving him and his companies were reviewed by an anti-financial crime team at the bank called the Special Investigations Unit. That team, based in Jacksonville, produced multiple suspicious activity reports involving different entities that Mr. Trump owned or controlled, according to three former Deutsche Bank employees who saw the reports in an internal computer system…Senior executives worried that if they took a tough stance with Mr. Trump’s accounts — for example, by demanding payment of a delinquent loan — they could provoke the president’s wrath. On the other hand, if they didn’t do anything, the bank could be perceived as cutting a lucrative break for Mr. Trump, whose administration wields regulatory and law enforcement power over the bank.
Regardless, all the suspicious activity adds up to a lot of questions people should be asking in regards to Russia using Trump’s organizations to launder money.
There is no Russian collusion but there are some serious questions in regards to Trump’s business connections and transactions that should be asked.