Trump’s Business Dealings Are Highly Relevant To The Russia Investigation
July 21, 2017
“The Trump team’s attempts to call his business dealings ‘out of bounds’ for the Special Counsel’s investigation are laughable. Trump’s Russian business dealings are inextricably linked with this investigation. Donald Trump sought and did business with powerful Russians – including many closely associated with the Kremlin – for thirty years. Then, the Russian government interfered in our election to help him win, and some of those same business partners appear to have played a role in the Kremlin’s efforts. The President is clearly just frightened at the prospect of having these deals scrutinized by law enforcement.” – DNC deputy communications director Adrienne Watson
Mueller is reportedly expanding his probe into several of Trump’s major business transactions with Russians. Here’s how each of those transactions are relevant to the Russia probe:
- Trump’s partnership to bring the 2013 Miss Universe pageant to Russia for millions of dollars.
Relevance to Russia Probe: Trump’s business partner in the 2013 Miss Universe deal was Aras Agalarov, who has close ties to Putin, and is at the center of Donald Jr., Manafort and Kushner’s meeting at Trump Tower last summer. According to the email chain released by Donald Jr., Aras Agalarov met with Russia’s chief prosecutor and was offered negative information about Hillary Clinton, and his son arranged the now infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower where that information was passed on.
- Trump’s partnership to develop the Trump SoHo property.
Relevance to Russia Probe: Trump SoHo has been dogged with allegations of fraud and money laundering, including allegations that the property received mysterious cash infusions from Russia and investors favored by Vladimir Putin. Trump’s business partners in that deal included former Soviet officials, convicted felons with Russian mafia ties , and executives with ties to Putin who went on to organize a meeting between Trump and Aras Agalarov.
- Trump’s 2008 sale of his Palm Beach mansion to a Russian oligarch for $54 million in profit.
Relevance to Russia Probe: Trump sold his mansion to a Russian oligarch for $50 million more than it cost when he purchased it, without ever stepping foot inside of it. In 2010, that same Russian oligarch purchased a 10 percent stake in the Bank of Cyprus, which also figures prominently in the Special Counsel’s investigation because of its role in potential money laundering by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Moreover, this is just the largest of numerous real estate transactions that involve wealthy Russians putting money in Trump’s pockets. Donald Trump Jr. himself said that the Trump Organization sees “a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” Whether it is Trump World Tower in New York City, or Trump International Beach Resort in Sunny Isles, Trump relied on funding from the Russian elite for years leading up to the presidential campaign, which he funded with several large infusions of his own cash.