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Mar 14 2017

It’s Always Been About The Money

When Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions fired 46 US Attorneys, he was exercising a tradition that is the prerogative of an new administration, only it was rarely done like it was last Friday. In the past it was done gradually, so as not to disrupt important cases and wait until their replacement was approved by the Senate. That didn’t happen this time. Donald Trump wanted them removed immediately and has raised some questions. The biggest questions surround Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York, who was asked by Trump and Sessions to remain. Why? Since Bharara’s jurisdiction includes Trump Tower and many banks and other financial operations, could it be Trump and his family were concerned that he was investigating their businesses? Or their friends? Heather “Digby” Parton makes note of the case against Fox News and Roger Ailes for illegal payments used to settle sexual harassment complaints. A grand jusry has been convened on that case. Heather also points out this:

(A) lawyer at the top of the short list to replace Bharara happens to be Marc Mukasey, one of Roger Ailes’ personal attorneys. Mukasey’s firm handles real estate matters for Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, and one of Mukasey’s partners is Rudy Giuliani, who made his name as the U.S. attorney for New York himself. Not only that, Marc Mukasey’s father, Michael Mukasey, is the man who succeeded Alberto Gonzales as attorney general after he resigned in disgrace over the firing of U.S. attorneys for political reasons. What a coincidence!

Which brings up this Kushner real estate deal:

New details are emerging about a controversial business deal between the family company of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and foreign policy adviser, Jared Kushner, and a company with connections to the Chinese government.

Two months after it was reported that Kushner met with Wu Xiaohui, chairman of the Chinese company Anbang Insurance Group, Bloomberg is reporting that Kushner Cos. (which is owned by Jared Kushner’s family, although Kushner himself has divested from it) will receive more than $400 million from Anbang. This will be part of a $4-billion deal that will entail Anbang investing in the Kushners’ Manhattan office tower at 666 Fifth Avenue as well as give Kushner Cos. an equity stake in a partnership to be formed between their company and Anbang Insurance Group.

Conservative pundit David Frum claimed on Twitter that there will be a lot of debt forgiveness as part of the deal. The Kushners’ property is going to be valued at $2.85 billion, a record for a single Manhattan building.

Next month, Trump will be hosting Chinese Prime President Xi Jinping for a summit next month at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

Rachel Maddow took a look at some of shadier deals by Trump and his cronies and notes that Bharara would have been the US Attorney investigating them.

Follow the money.