While the full scope of the interactions between the Trump campaign and the Russian Federation during the 2016 election has yet to be revealed, it seems increasingly likely that all the major pieces of the puzzle are already on the table. If the underlying picture is indeed one of collusion, Special Counsel Robert Mueller will have it fully assembled before long.
It’s a matter of public record and history now that the President’s son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner, and campaign manager Paul Manafort met with Russian surrogates inside Trump Tower in June 2016 for the express purpose of obtaining dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s people would go on to tangle themselves in a web of lies, trying and failing to obscure and downplay the significance of the meeting, which they tried to argue was about the US-Russia adoption program but was exposed as a political fishing expedition by Don Jr.’s own emails. The more dishonest they were about the meet, the more suspicious it became.
Now, Buzzfeed News has uncovered a series of shady financial transactions centered around the infamous Trump Tower meeting. Buzzfeed obtained documents revealing transactions flowing from Russia to Switzerland to the British Virgin Isles, Bangkok, and on to New Jersey. Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold of Buzzfeed report:
“The documents show Aras Agalarov, a billionaire real estate developer close to both Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, at the center of this vast network and how he used accounts overseas to filter money to himself, his son, and at least two people who attended the Trump Tower meeting. The records also offer new insight into the murky financial world inhabited by many of Trump’s associates, who use shell companies and secret bank accounts to quickly and quietly move money across the globe.”
Buzzfeed has also learned that, in particular, federal law enforcement officials are zeroing in on a series of transactions that occurred several days after the Trump Tower meeting and then right after the presidential election. The former show Agalarov moving $19.5 million to New York.
The latter show Agalarov’s family transferring $1.2 million from Russia to a New Jersey account in the names of Aras Agalrov’s son Emin and his friends. Buzzfeed adds that the account had been dormant since 2015, and bankers who witnessed the sudden activity considered it “strange.”
The account then sent money to Irakly Kaveladze, the man the Agalrovs sent to represent them at the Trump Tower meeting. Kaveladze has in the past been investigated for money laundering related to Russian real estate brokers but was ultimately not charged.
While the implications of this suspect financial behavior are as yet unclear, it’s worth noting that the Russian mafia, which is inextricably intertwined with the Putin regime, is well-known for its use of extensive, global money laundering network that the world’s richest men use to launder and transfer their ill-gotten fortunes.
How ever this knot unravels, one can be certain the final story will be the harbinger of terrible news for the Trump clan and their criminal cronies.