In the first serious power move by a Senate Democrat during the course of the Trump-Russia controversy, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking Judiciary Committee member, just went rogue, releasing the Fusion GPS testimony on the Christopher Steele Russia dossier that her Republican colleagues have been trying to conceal.
Her brave act has caused an instant stir in Washington, as some of the details Senate judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley and fellow Republican member Lindsey Graham have tried to keep from the public eye have come to light.
One such revelation is that the intelligence dossier the Fusion GPS research firm commissioned from former British spy Christopher Steele (whom the Republican judiciary members have tried to silence with a preposterous criminal referral) alleges that President Trump’s businesses are part of an international money laundering racket.
Felix Sater, a Russia-born former senior advisor to Trump and a convicted felon, who offered Trump a meeting with Putin that was supposed to help him win the 2016 presidential election, turns up again as the hub of the money laundering ring.
According to GPS founder Glenn Simpson’s heretofore concealed Senate judiciary testimony:
So there was a civil case, at least one civil case in New York involving — filed by the city of Almaty… against some alleged Kazakh money launderers . . . I don’t remember exactly how, but we learned that — it wasn’t from Chris. We learned that Felix Sater had some connections with these people, and it’s been more recently in the media that he’s helping the government of Kazakhstan to recover this money. There’s been media reports that the money went into the Trump Soho or it went into the company that built the Trump Soho.
Sater and Trump also worked for a time on the Trump Soho deal with Arif Tevfik, a Soviet-Turkish mafia-connected real estate agent who had been arrested on charges related to a prostitution ring.
Money laundering is just one of the many charges Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller could level at President Trump. It is one of 12 charges on which Mueller has indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
The Russian mob-linked Sater is now cooperating with an international money laundering investigation that could corroborate such allegations in the dossier.
As details of the Russia dossier testimony spill forth, we are likely to learn a great deal more about the unsavory characters with whom our current president associates himself.
Trump, of course, is the most unsavory character of all.