The following are two great articles from the February 1, 2017 issue of The Progressive Populist on page 5 titled “Dispatches: Trump Companies Owe More Than $1.8 B.” and “Report: Russian Mobster Bailed Out Bankrupt Trump” and I quote:
“TRUMP COMPANIES OWE MORE THAN $1.8B”
Donald Trump filed documents with the Federal Ethics Commission last summer that revealed he owed at least $315 mln to 10 entities. This debt, some of which is personally guaranteed by him, was a clear conflict, Judd Legum noted at ThinkProgress.org (1/5). “As president, Trump will be responsible for regulating entities that he also owes money to. Worse, these debts are frequently renegotiated, giving these companies leverage over Trump in the regulatory process.”
The Wall Street Journal, however, revealed (1/5) that Trump’s FEC disclosure was the tip of the iceberg. The FEC required Trump only to report debt from entities he fully controls. The disclosure left out “more than $1.5 bln lent to partnerships that are 30%-owned by him.” That debt has been securitized and is owed to at least 150 financial entities.
These financial institutions include many firms that are under the scrutiny of the federal agencies that Trump will soon control. Wells Fargo, for example, which services over $900 mln in loans connected to Trump, “is currently facing scrutiny from federal regulators surrounding its fraudulent sales practices and other issues.”
Trump is appointing regulators who will be responsible for scrutinizing the bank’s conduct. He chose Jay Clayton, a Wall Street lawyer specializing in mergers, as SEC chair (1/4) with a charge “to undo many regulations which have stifled investment in American businesses,” Trump said.
A press conference that was scheduled to address Trump’s numerous conflict of interest was scheduled for December and then canceled. Another press conference was scheduled for 1/11, although it appears not to be exclusively focused on his business activities.
Thus far, Trump has pledged to retain full ownership over his business empire. His plan to simply hand control over to his sons has been derided as glaringly insufficient. The Office of Government Ethics and other ethics experts have said that the only way for Trump to avoid conflicts is to sell his businesses and place the proceeds in a blind trust.
Instead, Trump is actively soliciting foreign governments to patronize his new Washington, D.C., hotel on property he leases from the federal government. Receiving payments from foreign governments is unconstitutional, and Trump currently receives such payments from many sources. Legal experts from both sides of the aisle believe that, absent full divestment, Trump will violate the Constitution on his first day in office.
REPORT: RUSSIAN MOBSTERS BAILED OUT BANKRUPT TRUMP. Donald Trump has said he has no ties with Russia. “I have nothing to do with Russia,” he said (7/27) indicating he has never met Russian President Vladimir Putin. A day earlier, he tweeted “For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia.”
Trump has not released financial documents, such as tax returns, that would verify those claims. But the Washington Post noted there is strong evidence that Trump’s businesses have received significant funding from Russian investors. Most notably, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., made that very claim at a real estate conference in New York in 2008, saying “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.” Donald Trump Jr. added, “we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
The Financial Times, in a series of articles in October, examined the structure and history of several major Trump real estate projects from the last decade — the period after his corporate bankruptcies and cancellation of his bank lines of credit, and found the money to build these projects flowed almost entirely from Russian sources. In other words, human rights lawyer Scott Horton, whose work in the region goes back to defending Soviet dissidents, after his business crashed, Trump was floated and made to appear to operate a successful business enterprise through the infusion of hundreds in millions of cash from dark Russian sources. “He was their man,” Horton wrote.
Mark Sumner wrote at DailyKos.com (1/9) that the story seems fantastic, and the details include business groups acting as a front for Russian intelligence agencies, billionaire mobsters, a vast network of propaganda sources and an American candidate completely under the thumb of the Kremlin.
The FT’s “deep reports” include a focus on Sergei Millian, the head of the Russian American Chamber of Commerce in the US at the time of Trump Jr.’s “money pouring in from Russia” claim. Millian insisted that his RACC had nothing to do with the Russian government, and was funded by payments from its commercial members. But most of the board members are obscure entities and nearly half of their phone numbers went unanswered when called by FT, which also found no trace of the RACC at the Wall Street address listed on its website.
FT quotes former Russian MP Konstantin Borovoi in tagging the chamber as the type operation that harks back to cold war practices when they were fronts for Soviet agencies.
“The chamber of commerce institutions are the visible part of the agent network … Russia has spent huge amounts of money on this,” Borovoi said.
Millian helped arrange for Trump to visit Moscow in 2007, and had other outings with Trump in the states, including a visit to horse races in Miami. Millian claims that he had the right to market Trump properties in Russia. He told ABC News that the Trump Organization had received “hundreds of millions of dollars” through deals with Russian businessmen.
Despite documents and photos showing Trump with Millian, Trump denied their association during the campaign.
FT also put Trump at the middle of a money laundering scheme, in which his real estate deals reportedly were used to hide not just an infusion of capital from Russia and former Soviet states, but to launder hundreds of millions looted by oligarchs. All Trump had to do was close his eyes to the source of the money, and suddenly empty apartments were going for top dollar, Sumner noted.
The third article digs more deeply into the origins of Bayrock, an LLC in which Trump was a partner and which cut the checks Trump received when apartments were sold. In a 2011 deposition, given in a dispute over a Fort Lauderdale project, Trump said he had “never really understood who owned Bayrock.” Jody Kriss, a former Bayrock finance director, claimed in racketeering lawsuits against his former employer that Bayrock’s backers included “hidden interests in Russia and Kazakhstan.” Bayrock has denied Kriss’s allegations but declined to answer FT’s questions about the source of its funds and its relationship with Victor Khrapunov, a former Kazakh energy minister.”
(WITH THE PROBLEMS WE’RE HAVING IN OUR BIG, UNREGULATED BANKING SYSTEM, THE ONES THAT SEN BERNIE SANDERS MADE SUCH AN ISSUE OUT OF IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY. AFTER READING THIS ARTICLE, DO YOU THINK PRES TRUMP WILL BE WORKING FOR OUR GOVERNMENT OR WILL HE BE WORKING TO KEEP DONALD TRUMP FROM BEING IMPEACHED? SINCE THE BANKING SYSTEM WASN’T TOTALLY CORRECTED UNDER THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, OTHER THAN PUTTING IN THE CFPB (CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU) WHICH WAS PART OF THE DODD-FRANK BILL, WE HAD VERY FEW GOOD REGULATIONS UNDER PRES OBAMA BUT WHAT WE DID HAVE, PRES TRUMP WANTS TO ELIMINATE REGULATIONS. IT LOOKS TO ME LIKE PRES TRUMP IS GOING TO BE FAVORING RUSSIA RATHER THAN THE U.S. TO MAKE HIS OWN FINANCIAL SHEET LOOK GOOD, WHICH WOULD BE NOT WORKING FOR THE 99 PERCENT OF THE TAXPAYERS BUT FOR HIMSELF AND GROUNDS FOR HIS IMPEACHMENT.
LaVern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen Member and USAF Veteran