It’s not every day that you get to coin a word and recognize a young journalist who looks like they will become a superstar but today is that day for me. Let’s explore.
Today’s article combines my theory that the Trump administration is basically an organized criminal enterprise and the work of Natasha Bertrand. Natasha is under 30 and a rising star in the world of journalism. On August 30th she posted a fairly short but explosive article to The Atlantic’s website entitled “Trump’s Top Targets In The Russia Probe Are Experts in Organized Crime.” The first four sentences are: “Bruce Ohr. Lisa Page. Andrew Weissmann. Andrew McCabe.” She goes on to outline the expertise and experience all of them have in fighting organized crime, international money laundering and the Russian mob. Of course the other thing they have in common is that they are frequent targets of President Trump.
The Russian attack on our democracy is well documented to all but those willfully ignorant of reality. The involvement of Russian money in the Trump’s business operations, campaign, inauguration and administration are becoming clearer with almost each passing day. Allegations are starting to be proven to be true.
This appears to be an extension of a practice as opposed to something new. Trump is what we referred to as a stiff back in the days I was in commercial banking. The term was applied to people who had a history of stiffing banks rather than paying their loans as agreed. American banks refused to lend to him yet he kept his business (which is largely dependent on borrowed money) going even after the real estate collapse during the Great Recession.
In 2008 Donald Trump, Jr. was quoted as saying, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.” It has been widely reported that in 2014 Eric Trump said, “We don’t rely on American banks, we have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
In Bertrand’s reporting and along with that of other journalists, it has been revealed that sizeable portion of Trump properties have been sold to Russians, often via shell corporations. Several floors of Trump Tower in New York City are entirely occupied by Russian nationals.
Trump is and has been operating an organized criminal enterprise. In America we have what are commonly known as RICO laws. Under them (and I have some problems with their premise) law enforcement can seize and freeze all financial assets of a suspect in an organized criminal venture thereby preventing them from using them to fight the criminal charges. The theory being that the assets were the fruits of the criminal activities.
There is some question as to whether a sitting President may be indicted for a crime. I’ll leave that discussion to another day. However there is no question as to charging others involved in an organized criminal enterprise. Evidence is increasingly pointing to some of those people having the surname Trump. Trump will throw business associates and wives he tires of (Melania beware) under the bus without any hesitation. I am willing to bet sons-in-law are also part of that club, (Jared beware –although I think Kushner will turn on Trump first). While it’s a bit more difficult to imagine, Trump “sacrificing” his sons to save himself is at least somewhat believable. His relationship with daughter Ivanka is something different. If she is implicated I think Trump would draw the line there, cut a deal saving her and himself and fade off into the sunset with a bundle of money that would take him the grave and still have some left over.
A RICO case is difficult to prove, especially if it spans continents. I contend that is part of why Robert Mueller assembled such a team of experts and superstars. While Mueller may (or may not) be hesitant to charge a sitting President, he and his team could really turn up the heat when they froze the assets of everybody else involved. One key thing to keep in mind, Robert Mueller is an old man who is most likely set for the remainder of his life with nothing to lose. In a worst case scenario Mueller is not facing jail, he is facing a retirement in obscurity – something he might welcome and may be his goal regardless of outcome. Mueller is not afraid of a RICO case, Trump is. Mueller isn’t acting like a scared man, Trump is.
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