Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Russia Investigation In Simple Terms

I hope I can explain this so that a six year-old can understand it.

Donald J. Trump is a business man who has made and lost a lot of money. He claims his business is primarily real estate, but his real business is promoting the Trump brand.

Although Trump has always been wealthy because of his inheritance, it takes more than personal wealth to reach the heights of Trump's "success". The old saying goes, "It takes money to make money." While true, it works on a grander scale if the money you use to make money comes from somebody else. And THIS is what Trump has been the most successful at.

For purposes of this post, I'm going to start with the casinos. Trump decided that he wanted to make a name for himself by investing in casinos in Atlantic City. He bought and renovated the Taj Mahal and eventually gained ownership of three other casinos. This became problematic almost immediately because:

  1. Trump didn't have the first clue about running casinos and he fired everyone who did
  2. Trump's casinos were essentially in competition among themselves
  3. There was an economic downturn
Trump tried several methods to keep his casino businesses alive. He renegotiated the loans with the banks who finance the casinos. He sold stock in the casino companies to raise more cash. He got his father to buy $3.5 million in casino chips which his father never used or cashed in. In other words it was a gift of $3.5 million. And because he went bankrupt, the stockholders lost all their money.

At some point the banks said "no more". They decided that they were no longer going to loan money to Trump. Since Trump doesn't use his own money, he had to find some place else to raise money to fund his businesses.

Enter the Russians. The Russian Oligarchs are essentially a huge crime syndicate headed up by none other than Vladimir Putin. Putin is said to be the richest man in the world. Almost all of the money made by these mobsters is gained illegally and the rest of the world knows it. So the Russians have all of this cash money that most banks and countries won't touch, and they need to launder it to convert it to money that they can use in the world economy.

So we have cash poor Donald J. Trump and cash rich Vlad Putin, a match made in heaven. Without going into minute detail so as to keep this simple, the oligarchs have laundered their money through complex schemes involving Trump and his children buying and selling real estate for non-market amounts. The result is that Trump has made a lot of money through complex deals involving his partnerships, banks run by the Russian mob, and the Oligarchs themselves. This has resulted in a huge amount of cash belonging to the Russians but held in assets in the US. We would know more about this if we could see Trump's tax returns, and that's why he won't release them.

At some point, a US businessman who was investing in Russia found out through a Russian investigator named Magnitsky the details and depth of much of this illegal money gathering and laundering. The investigator was later killed, but the US businessman was so concerned about the Russian shenanigans that he convinced the US Congress and president to pass the Magnitsky Act which froze all the assets of the Russians in the US. Other countries followed suit.

Now, this is billions of dollars of money that Vlad and his mob can't touch. Putin's reaction? Halt all adoptions of Russian babies by American parents. This is very important because when you hear that Donald Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort met with Russians and ended up only talking about an "adoption program", or when you hear the Donald say that he and Vlad spent nearly an hour at a G-20 dinner talking about "adoptions", what they are really talking about is the Russians allowing adoptions IN EXCHANGE for unfreezing all their billions of dollars. That's what it's about.

As a quick side note, Putin hates Hillary Clinton for what she did against the Oligarchs as Secretary of State. Putin didn't think that Clinton could be defeated in 2016, but he figured that if he interfered in the election it could create chaos and jeopardize the legitimacy of her victory.

In summary:
  1. The US has frozen billions of Russian Oligarch's (Putin's) money through the Magnitshy Act
  2. Putin retaliated by freezing adoption of Russian children to US parents
  3. Trump is heavily involved financially with the Russians through complex partnerships and real estate deals. They have some degree of financial control over him
  4. Putin believes he is more likely to get his money out of the US if Trump is president
  5. Meetings between Trump or Trump family and campaign associates (Manafort, Flynn) regarding adoption are actually about how to help Trump win the election to repeal the Magnitsky Act
There is SO much more, but this is a major arc in the story, and it is why Mueller has hired so many experts in financial forensics and criminal law. 


Blogger Unknown said...

Great article. I wish everyone in America could read this. Well, actually they CAN. So let me rephrase that: I wish everyone in America WOULD read this. All of the Tangerine Tyrant's corruption will be exposed when Mueller is done putting him through the ringer. He must be sweating bullets right now. Maybe THAT'S what caused the flooding in Texas. Because, lord knows, global warming couldn't have possibly had anything to do with it!

10:14 AM, September 01, 2017  
Blogger Jim said...

Thanks. Feel free to post links to this article.

11:31 AM, September 01, 2017  
Blogger Unknown said...

I did even more...I registered, and forwarded it to your blog. That's how I found your blog: I was googling the phrase to see how popular it was, because I was considering registering the domain. And I struck gold! I love your writing style. Just the facts, ma'am!

1:18 PM, September 01, 2017  

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