Maybe Trump Won’t Release His Tax Returns Because They Implicate Him on Russia
There has been so much speculation about it, but when you think about it, maybe it’s been hding in plain sight in front of our noses all along.
This didn’t really become clear to me till I watched this short Dutch film on Trump’s ties to Russian mobsters.
Trump’s tax returns may well drive home just how deep his Russian connections really are. As this film points out, being a successful Russian oligarch means coming up you have to be friendly with the Russian mafia. And Putin, of course.
So Trump’s tax returns you suspect will show some pretty unsavory connections-like his buddy and former business partner, Felix Sater.
“Hopefully, you’ve already seen the New York Times piece from this weekend detailing how Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen took a dossier to Michael Flynn that had been provided to him by a pro-Russian Ukrainian politician named Andrii V. Artemenko and a Russian mob-connected former employee of the Trump Organization named Felix Sater.”
Sater is just one of many problematical friends of Trump. He stormed out of a 2013 interview with a British journalist after being pressed on Sater.
I don’t know Felix Sater. I couldn’t pick him out of a lineup.
You could probably write a decent size book just on the Trump-Sater relationship. Sater is a Russian mafia figure-who turned FBI informant.
Oregon Senator Wyden has emphasized repeatedly the importance of following the money-and the trail of dead Russians, per Clint Watts. Thankfully, the Treasury is now releasing information to the Senate from its financial crimes unit.
We’ll see where that leads them. An important focus is: Russian money laundered to Trump and debts Trump owes Russian banks.
Even this week as Trump fired Comey he sent out his tax lawyers to ‘prove’ he has no ties to Russia except for over $100 million dollars, except for some other stuff ‘too unimportant to mention.’
To be sure, Trump’s tax lawyers sent something that told us little as most Russian money Trump would have received would be laundered-through Cyprus, etc.
So two things that are now occurring to me.
1. The real reason Trump has refused to release his tax returns is that they will show a lot of embarrassing ties to the Russians-the Russian government, Russian oligarchs, Russian mobsters.
2. A big reason he fired Comey was the investigation was-still is-getting too close to Trump’s financial ties to Russia.
Indeed, it was Lindsay Graham’s question about Russian financial ties that led Trump to have his tax lawyers put out that PR statement-‘Mr. Trump has no Russian ties, except for over $100 million dollars and some other stuff besides.’
That law firm by the way won law firm of the year-in Russia.
You can’t make this stuff up.
“As the details around all these developments swirl—including claims by Republicans there is nothing to all of this—a tantalizing observation is emerging from investigative reporters who have been following Trump’s organized crime ties for months. What if the FBI investigation was heading into Trump’s mobster-connected business empire, including his partnerships with Russian oligarchs, where the president has broken racketeering, money-laundering and organized crime laws? This is the FBI’s expertise, not the murkier and harder-to-prove charge of Russian campaign collusion.”
“There’s one camp that says there’s nothing to this. Which I think is garbage. There’s another camp that Trump was a mole, is a puppet, it’s all about collusion with respect to last year’s election. And I say the jury is out on that,” said James Henry, a corporate lawyer-turned-financial investigative reporter for DCReport.org, where his investigations have linked Trump and his team to Russian mobsters. “Let’s see the FBI investigation. Until we know what it is, the inside details on the FISA warrants or whatever they have, we won’t know.”
I think the Alternet writer is too skeptical about Russia collusion. But there is no doubt that that Trump has committed crimes unrelated to collusion-certainly his dealings with Sater among others.
There are three different pieces to Russia Trump:
1. Collusion with Russian interference. The cyber side-hacked emails, etc. Roger Stone at a minimum can be clearly shown to have colluded with Assange and Guccifer 2.0.
2. There is the question of what Russia stood to gain. There you have the change in the GOP platform last Summer as well as the hand delivered peace plan that Sater was in on early this year.
There are all kinds of things that Russia is getting. Like Spicer just said ‘Russia is not happy with the North Korea test’, and last week none other than Russian envoy Sergey Kisylak did a victory dance in the Oval Office the morning after Comey was fired.
3. Then there are financial ties to the Russian government, oligarchs, and the Russian mob.
4. 1,2, and 3 run together, they aren’t mutually exclusive.
Remember what Ron Wyden always says-follow the trail of Russian money and the trail of dead Russians.
But it is clear that Trump has been anything but candid about his Russian financial ties and that it’s a very sensitive issue for him and a big reason why he won’t release his tax returns.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.