consultants are sandburs

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Follow the money is a good adage, and a proven strategy, but how can you credibly investigate Trump and Russia deals and ties without a full set of Trump personal and venture tax returns? And loan, financing contracts, and other business papers? Along with Jarad and Kushner family returns, books and records, especially on 666 Fifth Avenue dreams and schemes? They are a nest together, not separate, and Jarad's stuff might prove as or more interesting than anything Trump himself fronted.

Reuters, March 29, 207, "Russia probe should focus on Trump financial ties: senator."

Senator, in this case is Ron Wyden of Oregon. And the big question is whether the Republican Senators on whatever comittee holds investigations/hearings in parallel with the House will prefer keeping Trump, however he may have been compromised, or having the office divest to Mike Pence, who is a troublesome ideologue while Trump, being a selfish narcissist, has no ideology beyond self and family and accretion.

It should prove interesting, however it evolves. The Wyden article in early paragraphs notes:

In a formal written request made to the leaders of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, Wyden said financial relationships between Trump, a real estate developer with properties around the world, and Russia are deserving of scrutiny because of resistance by Trump and some in his orbit have not been forthcoming about their finances.

"Efforts to understand these relationships and to separate fact from speculation have been hampered by the opacity of the finances of President Trump and his associates," Wyden, who also sits on the intelligence panel, wrote to Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Mark Warner.

The letter, though devoid of new details, is the latest piece of evidence suggesting Trump's business dealings are attracting expanded interest from investigators amid a raft of new reports scrutinizing potential financial entanglements between the president and Russia.

Trump has declined to release his tax returns, bucking decades of precedent for presidents and presidential candidates.

The letter followed new disclosures in recent weeks of previously unknown meetings and financial arrangements between Trump's associates and wealthy Russians, and came as Democrats attempt to focus public attention on questions about Trump's connections to Russia.

On Monday, the state development bank Vnesheconombank disclosed that its executives had met Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and a top White House adviser, in December. And last week Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, admitted he had done business work for Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

Trump has repeatedly insisted allegations that he or members of his administration have an untoward relationship with Russia as "fake news." He has also said that he has no business deals in Russia.

A Reuters investigation published earlier this month found that dozens of members of the Russian elite have bought at least $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in southern Florida, according to public documents, interviews and corporate records.

If the Senate Intelligence Committee lacks power to subpoena Trump tax records, who has it? They can and should. And Trump cannot claim executive privilege for personal money dealings; nor for pre-inauguration finances and deals.

They likely have him, if they want him out. Again, Pence is the big impediment. With the Speaker moving to VP.

OUCH! As far away as Russia they may be able to feel our pain on that aspect.

And Putin has an election this year, unless I have misread news [or been "faked"]. Readers should try a

websearch = putin russia next election

As Ron Paul was insistent about auditing the Fed, Wyden should be heard on auditing White House insiders. However, as the Clintons got away with only a few askance questions about paid speeches and their foundation, so too the Trump cabal will likely dodge the train by adroit sidestepping, delay, obfuscation, counterattack, blarney, and inuendo, exactly as only one mentored by Roy Cohn might. The good money bet is only something tepid, perhaps lurid, but then moving on. Trump's party is in the majority, both houses, with Pence next in line as an insurance policy, so expect little to then not be surprised.

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