“We put out a line―and pulled in Moby Dick.” Testimony of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson before the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee.
Donald Trump’s preferred business associates have always been mobsters. The research conducted by Glenn Simpson’s firm into Trump’s business empire yielded the startling fact of Trump’s early connections to Italian mafia, and later dealings with Russian mob figures. Under federal law, this is what is known as an “association in fact.” It was also revealed that much of Trump’s wealth comes from trusts set up by his late father, and from Russian money funneled into properties located in Toronto, Panama and elsewhere. Now, according to Simpson’s sworn testimony, it appears that even the National Rifle Association (NRA) was willing to sell its soul by acting as a conduit for Russian funds that found their way into the Trump presidential election campaign. The narrative that follows deals with Russian money invested into Trump properties so Donald Trump could con American tax payers out of nearly one billion dollars. However, Donald Trump is not the only person or entity in America participating in this conspiracy.
It should be noted that furious attempts by Fox News and certain congressional representatives to destroy the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its leaders began in earnest shortly after Simpson testified before House and Senate committees. Republicans tried to keep Simpson’s testimony under wraps while the likes of Devin Nunes (R-Ca) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) launched an all-out attack on the FBI. This leaves us to wonder whether these two congressmen are simply garden variety criminals, or treason-peddling fascists who are using their positions in the House Freedom Caucus in a larger attempt by that group to overthrow the government of the United States. Either way, they are on the wrong side of facts and law, not to mention the better interests of the American people.
A clandestinely exposed tax return for the year 1995 reveals that Donald Trump mismanaged three Atlantic City casinos, lost money on an airline venture, and lost even more through the ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. The sum of his misadventures totaled 916 million dollars; Trump was insolvent because his liabilities far exceeded his assets.
Any certified public accountant (CPA) would urge an executive in Trump’s position to make use of an Internal Revenue Service provision known as the “business carryover loss and credit against subsequent taxes owed.” The regulation allows any business that has suffered a loss to recover the full amount lost over a period of twenty years. The obvious rub is that a business must “stay in business” to receive the benefit. But Trump had a history of bankruptcy, and of stiffing vendors and financers alike for amounts due, and for that reason, could not find a lender anywhere in the United States that would loan him a nickel. Nevertheless, he could get money with strings attached from Russian oligarchs, and Simpson testified that Trump could also get funds if he could prove a certain occupancy level in condominium properties. Simpson further testified that Russians began populating Trump condominiums in Panama and Toronto at a level that allowed Trump to borrow more money. Both of Trump’s older sons have confirmed at various times that most of the money for the family business comes from Russians. Consequently, Trump illicitly turned his insolvency into a continuing business and began charging his 1995 losses to the United States Treasury.
It is a felony when two or more persons conspire to commit a crime against, or to defraud the United States. The attempt does not even have to be successful (Title 18, United States Code, Section 371). The reason that Donald Trump has refused to release his tax returns becomes obvious through Simpson’s congressional testimony. One can look at Trump’s inclusion of the “business carryover loss” on each of his information returns and use Simpson’s testimony to backtrack to the financial transactions that made them possible. Given the reality of Trump’s billion-dollar predicament, no honest person could have survived. The fact of criminality and number of perpetrators would at very least be a jury issue, and at most mean prison terms and divestment of criminal proceeds for many individuals. Nevertheless, in this manner, Trump pilfered large amounts from the public treasury; much more than a billion dollars when interest is compounded on the daily basis used by the IRS. This money can be recovered―and should be―using the same statute (18 USC §1961-68) that United States attorneys within the Justice Department used to largely put the American Mafia out of business.
Even the most ardent Trump supporters will be shocked into breathlessness when Special Counsel Robert Mueller III issues his final report. Mueller is an unbiased and straightforward investigator, and his finished product will expose Donald Trump, some of his associates, and much of his family to prison terms. Anticipating the possibility of a presidential pardon for the participants in Trump’s pattern of racketeering activity, Mueller collaborated with, and shared facts with New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who in the past has been forced to prosecute Donald Trump for fraud (Trump University). This outcome explains why Devin Nunes, Jim Howard and their minions at Fox News launched vicious and unwarranted attacks against Mueller, the FBI and its leaders.
It is public knowledge that Trump has been laundering dirty Russian money since the day he met David Bogatin in 1984. Investigative reporter Craig Unger, in a revealing and explosive September 2017 article for New Republic entitled “Trump’s Russian Laundromat” exposed Donald Trump’s longstanding connection to Russian mob leaders, and among other things stated:
“How to use Trump Tower and other luxury high-rises to clean dirty money, run an international crime syndicate, and propel a failed real estate developer into the White House. Also, it was stated that some 1.3 trillion dollars, presumably marked for laundering activities, had been exported from Russia since Vladimir Putin took control of the Russian Federation.”
Simply stated, using illegal means (money laundering) to accomplish something legal (a tax refund) is a federal violation of both conspiracy and racketeering statutes. Consequently, United States taxpayers are entitled to treble damages pursuant to 18 USC §1964(c), of the amounts, plus interest, that Trump received via tax refunds. Actuarial services would be required for a true and accurate accounting, but the final amount due, even without penalties, would have to fall somewhere between 10 and 20 billion dollars. This seems like an altogether fitting and proper end for the Trump Empire.
After a full year of never ending chaos, we can adopt a word recently made famous by our “exquisite” leader. At the present, there is only one “shithole” of any relevance in the world. It is a national park that may be viewed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Truman Goodspeed, January 2018