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October 27, 2017


Trump has a problem and one which I have thought for months might well be his undoing. It is not a problem like obstruction of justice, conflict of interests or abuse of power, each and all of which I think Mueller will be able to find evidence adequate to call for his impeachment and/or indictment. It is something I hear little about but which I think, along with other grounds for his removal, might determine his fate. It involves the Bank of Cyprus, Trump and his Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross.

I am currently involved in putting the dots together on what I am about to claim, and though as a lawyer I know that suspicion is not evidence, my suspicions cry out for Mueller’s investigation of the Bank of Cyprus and its connections with Putin, the Russian oligarchs, Trump and Ross, Trump’s Commerce Secretary in charge of sanctions against Russia for its involvement in our elections and attempts to destroy our democracy, or what’s left of it, sanctions that have not been levied even though beyond the date set by the Congress in a law passed not long ago. Why not?

I have reached some conclusions from my suspicions even though I do not have the subpoena power and budget of the Mueller investigation and no admissible evidence to offer if this matter were in court. I can only hope Mueller’s prosecutors are working on the Bank of Cyprus angle in their investigation of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, and perhaps Trump and Ross themselves. I was motivated to write this essay as a result of Trump’s refusal to lay more sanctions on Russia as required by a veto-proof law passed setting a date by when he through his Commerce Secretary, Ross, was to formalize such sanctions. That date has passed and he hasn’t done what the law requires, and I have to wonder why. After all, our Constitution orders that the Congress makes the laws, the judiciary interprets them, and the executive (Trump) enforces them. He is not enforcing them. Why? Does Putin have him blackmailed? Is Trump himself a money launderer? A recipient of a Russian bribe via a real estate deal in Florida?

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was designed to expand jurisdiction from the United States to any place where there was a corrupt act committed by an American person or corporation (which are apparently now the same under the holding in Citizens United). JP Morgan Chase, a huge Wall Street bank chaired by Jamie Dimon, was caught up in bribing Chinese officials by way of giving good paying jobs to the children of such officials in their Chinese branches in return for lucrative banking contracts.

As usual, the bank paid a fine and no executives went to jail. Jamie even got a raise from his board for his adroit handling of the problem! I think there is a good chance that Trump and Ross are guilty of felonies under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and subject to imprisonment, though I can’t prove it – but Mueller with his resources can and should if he can muster the evidence. If my guess is wrong, fine; if not, follow the law. Perhaps Trump and his secretary could pay a chump change fine and walk as did Dimon.

Here are my suspicions of the facts as I understand them > The Bank of Cyprus is a well-known money laundering operation for Putin and his oligarchs to launder rubles into Western currency and other assets. Wilbur Ross, Trump’s current Commerce Secretary in charge of enforcement of sanctions (which he isn’t enforcing against Russia) was a co-manager of the Bank of Cyprus with a Putin-connected Russian prior to his appointment as Trump’s Commerce Secretary. I suspect but cannot prove (yet) that Ross was chosen as Secretary of Commerce to cover Trump’s involvement in money laundering along with his friend Putin and other oligarchs in order to cover Trump’s posterior in the event some nosey prosecutor ever looked into the bank’s money laundering operations.

Giving overpaid jobs to Chinese children of officials who are thereby induced to agree to banking contracts is only one way to bribe; there are others. We are told that Trump sold a piece of property in Florida to a Russian for over 80 million dollars, a property for which Trump had paid some 40 million dollars not long before. Bribe? Aider and abettor of a kleptocrat’s laundering plan? Part of a deal with Putin’s approval? Promise not to apply sanctions or even if applied to do so without teeth?

I am sounding like a right wing conspiracy theorist, and concede that I have no concrete proof other than  only some of the foregoing, but based on what we do know or have been told I have my strong suspicions that something is rotten in the State of Denmark and the island of Cyprus as well, and think that Mueller and his staff of prosecutors should take a hard look at this known money laundering operation and the people who have availed themselves of such services. I smell a rat. How about you?       GERALD      E


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