The worst kept secret in the entire Trump-Russia scandal is that Donald Trump has decades of business relationships with organized crime figures, and those deals are likely a big part of how the Russian government took control of Trump financially ahead of his entry into politics. Today’s release of Trump-Russia transcripts reveals that organized crime is indeed at the heart of the Trump-Russia scandal.
Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, the company behind the Trump-Russia dossier, testified privately before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the summer of 2017. Democratic ranking member Dianne Feinstein released the transcripts of that testimony today over the objections of Trump’s Republican apologists on the committee. The transcripts reveal what was behind the effort to assemble the dossier: “It was, broadly speaking, a kind of holistic examination of Donald Trump’s business record and his associations, his bankruptcies, his suppliers, you know, offshore or third-world suppliers of products that he was selling. You know, it evolved somewhat quickly into issues of his relationships to organized crime figures but, you know, really the gamut of Donald Trump.”
In fact the three hundred-plus page transcript references “organized crime” fourteen different times. While the testimony does not give away the specifics of how Trump is tied to organized crime, it’s a given that Fusion GPS has already provided these details to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Some of Trump’s ties to organized crime, and more specifically Russian organized crime, have already been publicly documented.
For instance, the Trump Organization has done several major real estate deals in New York City with a guy named Felix Sater, who has done prison time in relation to laundering money for the Russian mafia. In addition, the U.S. Treasury Department hit the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City with a hefty fine for years of facilitating money launderers, which included the period of time in which Donald Trump still owned a commanding stake in the property.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report