The Guardian is now my favorite on-line newspaper. And they just published this explosive exclusive;
Exclusive: US authorities made inquiries even before 2016 election campaign into Trump property dealings in former Soviet Union
Trump has been doing business with the Putin mafia for decades, since back in the 80s.
The Guardian article goes on;
In 2010, a small group of businessmen including a wealthy Russian supporter of Vladimir Putin began working on plans to build a glitzy hotel and entertainment complex with Donald Trump in Riga, the capital of Latvia.
A senior Trump executive visited the city to scout for locations. Trump and his daughter Ivanka spent hours at Trump Tower with the Russian, Igor Krutoy, who also knows compatriots involved in arranging a fateful meeting at the same building during the 2016 US election campaign.
Then the Latvian government’s anti-corruption bureau began asking questions.
The Guardian has learned that talks with Trump’s company were abandoned after Krutoy and another of the businessmen were questioned by Latvian authorities as part of a major criminal inquiry there – and that the FBI later looked into Trump’s interactions with them at Latvia’s request.
Those involved deny that the inquiry was to blame for the deal’s collapse.
Latvia asked the US for assistance in 2014 and received a response from the FBI the following year, according to a source familiar with the process. Latvian investigators also examined secret recordings in which Trump was mentioned by a suspect.
This means the FBI looked into Trump’s efforts to do business deals in the former Soviet Union earlier than was widely known. Robert Mueller, the special counsel, is now investigating other Trump dealings with Russians as part of his wide-ranging criminal inquiry into alleged collusion between Moscow and members of Trump’s 2016 campaign team.
In June 2011, Krutoy and two associates met Trump’s elder daughter, Ivanka, at Trump Tower in Manhattan to discuss the possible development, according to Krutoy and Viesturs Koziols, a well-connected Latvian businessman who was one of the other attendees.
Krutoy flew to Riga and in July gave a press conference about the Trump talks alongside Ainārs Šlesers, a flamboyant Latvian businessman and former deputy prime minister, who was assisting the efforts to secure Trump’s involvement.
“By attracting the attention of such a serious investor like Trump, we can think about directing New Wave towards a western European audience,” Krutoy said at the time.
Discussions with the Trumps about developing the complex in Riga ground to a halt. People who were involved deny that the KNAB investigation was to blame. Koziols said he and his associates simply could not secure enough external financing.
But Trump got lucky;
Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Ivanka Trump’s attorney, said: “Work and meetings Ms Trump had five years before the election, which had nothing to do with the election, are not relevant topics to which we will respond.”
The blunted conclusion to the Oligarchs Case remains a source of intense frustration to anti-corruption campaigners in Latvia. Judins, the MP, examined the case on a special commission and said it exposed “state capture” in his country.
“I think there was enough evidence for the prosecutor to continue this case,” said Judins. “But he said no.”
Russia has been trying to re-take the Baltics since the Soviet Union split. This Latvian Las Vegas scheme was part of Putin’s strategy. Muller is sitting on a huge pile of evidence that points towards collusion.