On extremely rare occasion (perhaps once a year) I base an entire posting on one article. Today is one of those rare occasions. The article is the work of Adam Davidson in the March 13th edition of The New Yorker magazine entitled: Donald Trump’s Worst Deal. Let’s explore.
Most of the rather lengthy article centers on a development deal in Azerbaijan’s capital city of Baku. Like most latter day Trump deals it involves a lot of money and little or no Trump investment. Trump is very good at selling people his name, making it appear the property is his and collecting a big fee in the process. When it goes south – as many of his deals do – he has already made a mint and walks away free of liability.
Like most Americans, I know precious little about Azerbaijan. In all honesty it is one of the few countries in the world I would be challenged to find on a map. It is widely known that Azerbaijan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world to do business in. Most American companies won’t even touch it for fear of running afoul of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Not only did Trump touch it; he got “in bed” with one of its most corrupt characters complete with their links to international terrorists.
Trump’s Azerbaijan business partner, Ziya Mammadov, has served as Azerbaijan’s Transportation Minister since 2002 at an annual salary of $12,000. During that time he has somehow managed to become a billionaire. I can see why he has a reputation for being particularly corrupt.
It appears much of the money involved in this deal can be traced back to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. They are more than just their country’s elite military unit; they are basically an independent business unit that operates outside the law. The Revolutionary Guard is widely rumored to be one of the world’s largest sponsors of international terrorism or what Trump’s supporters would call radical Islamic terrorism.
Trump will claim that he was just lending his name to the project and had nothing to do with any of the particulars. In October of 2014 Ivanka Trump in her capacity as a senior executive of the Trump business interests traveled to Baku to personally oversee much of the construction. Pretty difficult to square that circle!
Davidson’s article can’t quite prove the charge but it is just a bit short of laying out a prima facia case for Trump being involved in international money laundering. Today’s posting is a bit short but nonetheless disturbing. If you want more details I strongly suggest you read Davidson’s article.
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