We were presumptuous in believing that Trump needed to distract us from “just” the impeachment proceedings unraveling at a rapid pace. No, Trump has what are perhaps even bigger issues, the indefensible ones, the ones we’ve been discussing for six months, the disclosure of financial documents, to also worry about.
I got the report off Twitter, and was so blown away that I had to both read the entire report myself, and also check with Mark Sumner over at our alma mater mothership, Daily Kos, to confirm that the reporting is reliable, real, and sufficiently wary, because earthshattering claims require earthshattering evidence.
According to the report in Forensic News, a Russian-backed bank called “VTB,” underwrote Trump’s Deutsche Bank loans in a highly complex transactional scheme that likely violates the 2014 sanctions against Russia and Russian-banking. It likely also represents a clear case of money laundering, if real. The FBI knows and is investigating. The report appeared in Forensic News, dated December 30, 2019 – days ago, and today the server crashed. However, the report is documented here:
Or here, if and when the server gets back-up.
Mark’s article on Daily Kos, here, examines both the wag the dog theory, and some of the financial elements.
My trust with my readers is everything, so I will tell you this. I do not have the financial literacy to really grasp or describe the essence of what Trump actually did, or how clear the legal case against him might be, if all the documents prove reliable.
What I can say is this: It is clear, that at a time when the globe was in a recession, and Trump was so toxic that no American bank would touch him, Trump was getting “unheard of” loans from Deutsche Bank. If the documentation is verified, the “unheard of” loans were issued because they were underwritten by VTB, a Russian bank subject to sanctions, and – obviously – under Putin’s control. Such an action only makes sense if the entire point was to launder money out of Russia.
The Russian bank essentially guaranteed Trump’s loans, according to the report, which is heavily documented, it is “forensic.” Forensic News is sure “enough” to go forward.
Of course, the biggest question is the reliability of the evidence. I have little doubt that some kind of economic relationship is real. We have always known that Trump had Russian financial backing, hell they told us that much. The question is the legality, the conflict of interest, and again, the reliability of the documentation. Reliability would have to be of the type that it could withstand the most contested criminal case in history. As Mark describes it:
The documents supposedly originated with the son of a former Deutsche Bank official who committed suicide, which is very much the kind of connection that raises concerns about the authenticity of the information. This only highlights the importance of efforts by Congress to gain access to information on these loans. The last appeals court ruling in the case instructed Deutsche Bank to turn over the information, but the Supreme Court stepped in to block the subpoena and hear the case.
So the concern runs both ways. There is concern about the reliability of the evidence, it may not be reliable, or at least sufficiently reliable, and – of course – if the evidence is reliable, how this country can even go forward with a completely conflicted president, one embroiled in an impeachment controversy, and who might’ve just started a war.
More is coming. Of that, we can be certain.
Oh, and we can also be certain that no major news media will run with this story until it can be confirmed with at least one of the following: the FBI discloses its findings, a major media organization does its own examination of the original documents, or a claim from Deutsche Bank itself. Any mainstream media organization that reports on this could incur near limitless liability were it to be wrong. They could bankrupt themselves.
They cannot do “if.”
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