DOCUMENTS SHED LIGHT ON TRUMP TOWER MOSCOW DEAL
By Jake Morphonios
Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump lied to the public when asked if he was involved in business deals with Russia. The reason that Trump lied is not that his business activities would necessarily have been illegal. He lied because to admit to negotiating with Russia on a major business deal that could net him hundreds of millions of dollars, there would be an obvious conflict of interest.
If elected, Donald Trump would be in charge of US policy toward Russia at a time when tensions between the two nations were high. Such conflict of interest would undoubtedly raise concerns among some voters who might worry that his pursuit of money could influence him to use US foreign policy as an unspoken negotiating tool with Russia.
As often happens, the big lie was exposed. Candidate Trump and his team were not only working on a massive Russian deal to build the tallest building in Europe inside Moscow, but part of the negotiation included trying to buy the Kremlin's approval of the project by offering Russian President Vladimir Putin a free $50,000,000 penthouse in the new Trump tower.
This offer had two purposes. First, offering Putin a free luxury penthouse would likely curry favorable treatment by the man who ran the Russian government, but it would also serve to attract billionaire Russian oligarchs to buy condos in Trump Tower Moscow.
A major player in the negotiations was one of Donald Trump's advisers - a man named Felix Sater. Sater is a Jew from Russia who had helped the Jewish Russian mafia to orchestrate a $40,000,000 stock fraud scheme. Sater plead guilty to his role in the operation in 1998. It is widely acknowledged that the Russian mafia is intimately linked to the Russian intelligence services.
Did Donald Trump know that a former (and likely current) member of the Jewish Russian mafia was offering Vladimir Putin a $50,000,000 penthouse on behalf of the Trump Organization to try to attract corrupt Russian oligarchs to buy condos?
According to Trump's fixer and personal attorney, Michael Cohen, the answer is yes. A few months back, Cohen confessed that he had lied under oath to the US Congress to try to defend Donald Trump over the Trump Tower Moscow deal. Cohen lied about what Trump knew, when he knew it and the extent to which the Trump organization was working on the Moscow deal while Trump was actively seeking the presidency.
This was not an isolated event. Trump's inner circle has many such business ties to corrupt figures in Russia. The Mueller investigation revealed that Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who had made millions of dollars working on behalf of Jewish oligarchs and others connected to the Russian Mafia, had overseen an effort at the Republican nominating convention to rewrite foreign policy positions in the party platform in such a way as to favor Russia.
The question that this naturally raises is whether or not Donald Trump, the head of the Republican ticket, instructed or was aware that his campaign chairman was altering the official party platform to favor the Russian government while Trump was secretly trying to gain the approval of the Russian government for his massive business deal.
And further, court documents have revealed that Trump's former National Security Adviser, General Michael Flynn, admitted that prior to Trump being sworn into office, Flynn was tasked with the job of negotiating with the Russian ambassador - essentially offering to reduce US sanctions against Russia in exchange for Russia agreeing to veto a pending United Nations resolution that was to condemn Israel for its illegal Jewish settlements in Palestine.
According to many sources, and even acknowledged by the typically pro-Israel Wikipedia, the Jewish Russian Mafia is joined at the hip with the Israeli Mafia.
"The Israeli mafia is the general term for organized crime groups operating in Israel and also internationally. Allegedly there are 16 crime families operating in Israel, five major groups active on the national level, and 11 smaller organizations.
The Russian mafia in Israel began with the mass immigration of Russian Jews to Israel in 1989. Jewish Russian crime bosses such as Semion Mogilevich acquired Israeli citizenship and laundered money through Israel.
The Russian mafia saw Israel as an ideal place to launder money, as Israel's banking system was designed to encourage aliyah, the immigration of Jews, and the accompanying capital."
Connect the dots and a disturbing picture begins to form. Donald Trump, who had been scrutinized by the Soviet KGB since the 1980s as a potential asset, had a decades long dream to build a Trump tower in Moscow. Starting in the 1980s, Trump engaged in a startling amount of business with members of the Jewish Russian mafia in New York and New Jersey, helping them to launder dirty money through purchases of Trump Tower condos. Then, while campaigning for the US presidency at a time when Russia was suffering from crippling US sanctions, the opportunity to build a Trump building in Moscow opened up.
A key negotiator in that deal was a convicted felon, Felix Sater, who had worked for the Jewish Russian mafia. In fact, it was this man's connections to the Russian mafia and, therefore, to dirty Russian bankers, to the Kremlin and to the president of Russia himself, that put Sater into such an important position for the negotiations. The deal would include huge financial gifts to the Russian president and many of the investors in the condos would be crooked oligarchs and members of the Russian mafia.
Meanwhile, Trump's surrogates were crafting policy positions that would reduce sanctions against the Kremlin and conducting secret negotiations with Russian officials before Trump was even sworn into office. And during all this, the man seeking the White House was openly lying to the American people while at the same time repeatedly lavishing praise on Vladimir Putin in his speeches.
Was doing business with Russia illegal? No. But if Donald Trump was, in any way, using his influence to bring about governmental favoritism toward Russia as a form of quid pro quo, his actions would not only be illegal; they would be treasonous.
We already know that Michael Cohen was instructed by Trump, in the midst of the presidential campaign, to attempt to arrange a personal meeting in Russia with Vladimir Putin over the Tower Deal.
We already know that Michael Cohen did meet with one of Putin's closest aids, Dmitry Peskov, to go over the details of the deal.
And we already know that Trump had instructed Michael Cohen and Felix Sater to work together on the deal.
But today, we know so much more. That is because investigative reporters from BuzzFeed news published a cache of 284 internal Trump Organization emails and documents, mostly between Michael Cohen and Felix Sater, that conclusively prove that Donald Trump was very much aware of the Trump Tower Moscow deal and was actively pushing his surrogates to make it happen.
In my brief perusal of the documents, a few emails stood out to me from November 3, 2015. In the exchange between Sater and Cohen during the presidential campaign, Sater tells Cohen:
"I just watched the Trump press conference. Loved Putin/Russia reference. I need that part of the press conference cut into a short clip to be played for Putin. Please get it done. I would but can't as I'm in the Bahamas... for the next week, but he wants to send it to the Kremlin.
BTW a very close person and partner to Putin's closest friend, [a] partner and adviser who has been with Putin since teenage years... is flying in to the Bahamas next week. Everything will be negotiated and discussed.
Michael I arranged for Ivanka to sit in Putin's private chair at his desk and office in the Kremlin. I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected... Buddy our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putin's team to buy in on this.
Michael, Putin gets on stage with Donald for a ribbon cutting for Trump Moscow and Donald owns the republican nomination... Thanks for getting the Trump LOI [Letter of Intent] signed by Donald."
And in the other email to Cohen, Sater writes:
"Michael we can own this story. Donald doesn't stare down, he negotiates and understands the economic issues and Putin [will] only want to deal with a pragmatic leader, and a successful business man [who] is a good candidate for someone who knows how to negotiate.
'Business, politics, whatever - it all is the same for someone who knows how to deal'. I think I can get Putin to say that at the Trump Moscow press conference. If he says it, we own this election. We can own this election. Michael my next steps are very sensitive with Putin's very, very close people. We can pull this off."
So far, in the Department of Justice investigation of Trump and his team, multiple players have been indicted and convicted. Trump has tried to distance himself from his operatives as much as possible and claim that the entire investigation is a "witch hunt".
But as more and more documents become available to the public, the president's defenses are quickly crumbling.