The Trump-Russia-Mob Connections Details You Won’t Find Elsewhere (Executive summary)

Apart from Flynn, there is so much more people need to know about Trump’s ties to Putin, to Russia, to mobsters, to the plot to destroy Ukraine. With Comey’s firing, the FBI investigation may end but our investigation must continue. I have mercy on those who don’t want to read my super-long exposés, so here is an executive-summary version

Originally published on LinkedIn Pulse May 10, 2017

By Brian E. Frydenborg (LinkedInFacebookTwitter @bfry1981) May 10th, 2017 (Executive summary of previous work from March 28, 2017; War Is Boring versions available here and here)

Danil Shamkin/NurPhoto via ZUMA

Executive Summary of Eurasian Natural Gas Scheme, Manafort Manhattan Scheme, Trump/Sater/Bayrock Schemes, & Other Russian Financing for Trump

AMMAN — In the 2000s, Trump was hurting for outside investment: no major Wall St lender would loan to him, save for Deutsche Bank. Deutsche would later be exposed in massive Russian money laundering schemes totaling billions and there are questions as to whether the money loaned to Trump was involved; it is unclear how strongly Trump’s Department of Justice will move on the ongoing Deutsche investigations.  

Apart from some information on his 2005 taxes, we have no information on Trump’s tax returns from any other years during this period in question. While Trump was hurting for money, he turned to very shady Russian/former Soviet financiers in general. Deals involving the very strange sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch, selling condos to Russians and shell companies (including a Russian mafia boss—Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, linked to the Russian mob “boss of bosses” mentioned below—who was busted in Trump Tower by then-U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, later controversially fired by President Trump), and deals with a company, Bayrock (largely run and financed by Russian-organized-crime-linked crooks/money), a company whose office was located in Trump Tower. The Bayrock/Trump deals will be explained below.

At the same time Trump was getting lots (“a pretty disproportionate” amount, according to Donald Jr. in 2008) of his money from Russians, there were lots of Russian connected to Putin looking to funnel large amounts of money away from prying authorities, a centerpiece of these efforts being part of one of the largest and most convoluted series of crooked business deals in modern history, deal related to Ukraine’s energy sector.

In my earlier version of the piece of which this is a summary, I revealed significantly deeper relationships than previously understood from all other previous public reporting between associates of Donald Trump, his presidential campaign, and entities related to them on one hand and associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin, his Russian government, and entities related to them on the other hand, relationships concerning efforts to advance the Putin’s interests, Russian government interests, and Russian organized crime interests. 

Two figures in particular, former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump Campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Page, were key figures (Page at least claims to be; at least he was involved) behind major geopolitical events and entities that convulsed Ukraine beginning in 2004 with the Orange Revolution and through a massive Eurasian gas and money laundering scheme designed to facilitate Russian dominance of Ukraine whose effects are still being directly felt up today with the war in Ukraine. 

Manafort and Page were linked by lines of power and influence connecting them through a short chain of major players and entities, and their presence and roles in the region overlapped in key areas for several years as they worked for Putin’s key allies to enact a plan designed to corrupt and dominate the Ukrainian state and to serve the purposes of Vladimir Putin’s anti-Western, anti-American agenda. 

Page operated on one end as an advisor not only to the Russian energy giant Gazprom, whose pipes much of the gas involved in the scheme passed through on its way to Ukraine (a fact well-reported), but also to another major Russian company, a large domestic power company called RAO UES (which I was the first to report in the context of Putin’s gas scheme) that ended up using some of the Gazprom gas—after passing through Putin-allied middlemen—to power its Russian power plants in a circular scheme returning the fruits of the gas to their country of origin.

Manafort’s part—far more pivotal, central, and direct than Page’s—was working with pro-Russian, pro-Putin Ukrainian political elites (especially Ukrainian on-and-off-again President Viktor Yanukovych, which the Orange Revolution had exposed and deposed,and his Party of Regions, for whom Manafort was the top political advisor) and business elites (especially oligarch Dmitry Firtash) and with Russian political and business elites (especially oligarch Oleg Deripaska); Firtash was linked to Putin friend and Russian mafia “boss of bosses” godfather Semion Mogilevich, who worked together to launder billions to profit themselves, Yanukovych, and Yanukovych’s political allies so they, flush with cash, could be bribed to do Putin’s bidding, bribe others to do the same, outspend rivals, and thus, overall, dominate Ukraine’s political system.

Manafort himself worked with Firtash and Mogilevich to set up a massive money laundering scheme in 2008 involving a Manhattan development project that defrauded its partners of millions and for which all of them were later sued by the former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, whose loss in Ukraine’s 2010 presidential race to Viktor Yanukovych and subsequent politically motivated imprisonment at the hands of his government were facilitated in part by the Manafort-led Manhattan scheme. Manafort also worked with Deripaska to help launder millions in order to hide/protect the personal fortunes of Yanukovych and his allies. For these efforts, Manafort was paid many millions. A partner of Manafort’s—Richard “Rick” Gates—was also involved with burnishing his efforts there and in efforts to lobby U.S. official to help Yanukovych’s comeback government and hurt the imprisoned Tymoshenko’s reputation. Deripaska also brokered a deal in which Manafort worked to help further the general interests of Putin and the Russian government, apart from these other deals.

Manafort, Gates, and Page ended up on Trump’s campaign, from which they are easily among the primes suspects responsible for Donald Trump’s and his campaign’s unprecedented pro-Putin, pro-Russian positions that have made them the most pro-Russian (and pro-Putin) candidate and campaign in American history.

Additionally, but hardly of least concern, Mogilevich is the link from the realm of the first scandal set to another roughly concurrent scandal set that ties directly to Trump at the time it unfolded (a fact not reported elsewhere before my previous piece): a series of at least three real estate deals—one in Manhattan, one in Fort Lauderdale, and one in Phoenix—all spearheaded by a company called Bayrock and that all ended in scandal and disaster. One of the point-men for Trump on all of these deals was the son of Mikhael Sheferovsky—AKA Michael Sater—an alleged Mogilevich capo (an allegation not reported by any major news outlet before my previous piece); this son, one Felix Sater, has a mysterious but clearly Russian mafia-linked violent criminal past of his own that may have even (and likely) involved working for Mogilevich as my exclusive analysis shows. Sater and his Bayrock business partner Tevfik Arif helped bring in significant financing and financiers who were either Russians/former Soviets with Putin and/or Russian/Soviet ties and/or people with shady and/or criminals pasts, often tied to money laundering, especially Tamir SapirAlexander Mashkevich and the notorious and heavily Russian-financed FL Group of Iceland.

Bayrock, with Sater as a point-man, financed three deals with Trump that ended in disaster, failure, lawsuits, criminal wrongdoing, and/or scandal: the Trump SoHo in NYC, the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and a Camelback property deal in Phoenix, AZ; a fourth FL/Bayrock project that has not been connected to Trump was in Queens, NY, involving a Waterpointe property and that also ended in scandal and failure. Another Bayrock/Trump deal—Trump International Beach Club/Trump Las Olas Beach Resort—went into litigation and scandal.

The only logical explanation for all these grossly incompetent business dealings with entities losing so much money involving Bayrock, Trump, and/or FL Group is that the forces Driving the deals (mainly Bayrock and FL Group) were not looking for success, but an excuse to be able to launder Russian money and skim off the top for themselves in the process.

Through Mogilevich and cores of illicit Russian funding and financiers, then, three international illegal money laundering schemes—the Ukrainian Eurasian laundering plot, its related Manhattan money laundering deal, and the series of Bayrock deals with Trump that all either involved, likely involved, or were likely set up for money laundering—are all linked together at roughly the same time (facts reported before in my pre-election piece, and to this degree here, in this context for the first time).

These laundering schemes bear a striking resemblance to the scheme for which Manafort, Firtash, Mogilevich, and Yanukovych were sued by Tymoshenko. Certainly the possibility that money from the Ukraine scheme was laundered not just in that scheme, but also the Bayrock/Trump schemes, must be explored given these similarities and the timing. 

Sater even has three apparently fake shell companies, one of which has worked closely with a company co-founded and financed by Donald Trump Jr. and now owned by the Trump organization, and Sater has already conducted unofficial back-channel diplomacy on behalf of the Trump Administration regarding none other than Ukraine.

The best case scenario that is he was too stupid to see that his people were playing him for a fool or were abusing their power in a way that could destroy his businesses and potential presidency and do the nation irreparable harm. But if Trump himself in any way knew about any possible (criminal) collusion with Russia(ns), that takes us from disqualifying incompetence into the realm of criminality and/or treason 

But in this case the devil—and the Trumps—are in the details…

Full details/research here in my full article; every fact is backed by a hyperlinked publicly available source that is reputable and/or credible and stands up to scrutiny.

Correction appended: changes made to reflect the alleged nature of Sater’s father’s ties to Mogilevich 

© 2017 Brian E. Frydenborg all rights reserved, no republication without permission, attributed quotations welcome

See related article: The (First) Russo-American Cyberwar: How Obama Lost & Putin Won, Ensuring a Trump Victory

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