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Dec 05 2017

The Russian Connection: Shoes are Dropping Fast

The Special Counsel Robert Mueller is moving right along. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Maanfort had come to a bail deal that acceptable to the court and Mueller’s office. Problem is that these guys have such huge egos they think they can flout the rules:

Former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was, as recently as last week, ghostwriting with a colleague, who has ties to Russian intelligence, an editorial about his past political work in Ukraine, federal prosecutors said.

The development sunk a deal Manafort had struck to be released from house arrest, to which he has been confined for five weeks.

In court documents released on Monday, prosecutors argued that Manafort should not be freed from house arrest because he had been working on the English-language editorial with a longtime colleague “who is currently based in Russia and assessed to have ties to a Russian intelligence service”.

If the court sides with the special counsel request, Manafort could be under house arrest until his trial next year. He should be thankful he if he isn’t remanded to a prison cell.

Remember when Donald Trump said that Mueller shouldn’t cross the red line of looking into hi and his family’s finances? Well Mueller crossed that line:

A U.S. federal investigator probing alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election asked Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) for data on accounts held by President Donald Trump and his family, a person close to the matter said on Tuesday.

Germany’s largest bank received a subpoena from Special Counsel Robert Mueller several weeks ago to provide information on certain money and credit transactions, the person said, without giving details, adding that key documents had been handed over in the meantime.

Deutsche Bank has lent the Trump Organization hundreds of millions of dollars for real estate ventures and is one of the few major lenders that has given large amounts of credit to Trump in the past decade. A string of bankruptcies at his hotel and casino businesses during the 1990s made most of Wall Street wary of extending him credit. [..]

A U.S. official with knowledge of Mueller’s probe said one reason for the subpoenas was to find out whether Deutsche Bank may have sold some of Trump’s mortgage or other loans to Russian state development bank VEB or other Russian banks that now are under U.S. and European Union sanctions.

Holding such debt, particularly if some of it was or is coming due, could potentially give Russian banks some leverage over Trump, especially if they are state-owned, said a second U.S. official familiar with Russian intelligence methods.

Follow the money.

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