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Trump’s Organized Crime Ties Bring Blackmail To The White House

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Trump’s Organized Crime Ties Bring Blackmail To The White House

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Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

The words were positively polite, at least for a man convicted of assault and racketeering. It was the implied target of his blackmail threat that was unusual: the president of the United States.

The threat came from Felix Sater, a Russian-American businessman who partnered with Donald Trump in launching the Trump Soho, a hotel-condominium project in New York City. The building was funded by Sater’s boss, Tevfik Arif, a mogul from Kazakhstan. In 2007, Trump’s children, Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka attended the unveiling ceremony for the 46-story luxury tower in Manhattan.

Trump, Arif and Sater were photographed standing next to one another at that event. Since then, the three men have parted ways in a haze of recriminations, lawsuits and amnesia.

 

Sater’s attorney came right to the point in a February 2 letter to Arif’s attorney about $3.5 million in disputed legal fees, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

“Clearly, if this matter between Mr. Sater and Mr. Arif escalates to public litigation, the media spotlight will be negatively cast on Mr. Arif and his past relationship with President Trump and the Republic of Kazakhstan,” the attorney wrote.

In the correspondence reviewed by the Journal, Sater warned he might file another lawsuit in which he would allege wrongdoing in Arif’s dealings in the post-Soviet metals business in Kazakhstan. “The headline will be, ‘The Kazakh Gangster and President Trump,’” Sater warned.

 

Both Arif and Sater know something about the media spotlight.

In October 2010, Turkish news outlets headlined the arrest of Arif and five other men for alleged involvement in a prostitution ring following a raid on a yacht once used by the country’s founder. Police stormed the 136-meter luxury yacht Savarona after a seven-month investigation. They also detained 10 Ukrainian and Russian women.

Arif had rented the yacht at a daily rate of $50,000, according to Turkish news reports. Arif denied all charges, saying he had only been entertaining friends aboard the Savarona. Nine of the women were deported, and Arif was later acquitted.

Also questioned, but not arrested in the raid, according to Israel’s YNet News was Alexander Mashkevich, an Israeli-Kazakh billionaire who, along with two partners, dominates Kazakhstan’s lucrative mineral sector, according to Wikipedia.

Sater’s recent threat implicitly links Arif’s relationship with Mashkevich to his dealings with Trump.

Tevfik and his brother Refik Arif, former Soviet government officials, achieved success after Kazakh independence in 1991 by gaining ownership of a chromium plant. The Arifs became close with Mashkevich and his partners, who operated large-scale mining projects in Kazakhstan, according to the Diplomat news site. The details of Arif’s business empire emerged when he tried to buy a share of Milan AC, the storied football franchise.

Felix Sater too has some notoriety. In 1993, Sater was convicted and sent to prison for stabbing a commodities broker in the face with a broken margarita glass. He then became involved in a $40 million stock manipulation scheme run by members of the Gambino and Bonanno organized crime families. In return for his “cooperation” as a government informant, he was allowed to plead guilty and get on with his life. He partnered with Arif, who had developed luxury properties in Turkey, and they joined forces with Trump.

 

By 2007, Sater had an office on the 24th floor of Trump Tower, according to the Washington PostIn sworn testimony reviewed by the Post, Sater said he popped into Trump’s office frequently over a six-year period to talk business. He recalled flying to Colorado with Trump and said Trump once asked him to escort Donald Jr. and Ivanka around Moscow.

At the time, Arif also extolled Trump.

“He’s been very helpful to us from the beginning and he’s been very helpful in opening some doors,” he told Real Estate Weekly.

Donald Trump would prefer to forget such matters. In a 2013 deposition for a court case related to Trump Soho, Trump claimed he only met Sater a couple of times and would not recognize him.

Sater seems to feel the relationship is closer. In February, he and Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen prepared a Ukraine peace proposal for the president, although it’s not clear it ever reached the Oval Office.

The Washington vocabulary of scandal, corruption and sleaze does not quite do justice to the state of affairs that exists when the White House receives a foreign policy proposal from a felon who threatens to blackmail a former business partner (once detained in a prostitution investigation) of the president.

Some might see a moral swamp in need of drainage. In the Trump White House, it’s called business as usual.

This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.

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33 Comments

  1. Jinmichigan April 23, 2017

    Not even 100 days in and it’s clear, the trump* cabal is the most corrupt presidency in history.

    Reply
    1. Eleanore Whitaker April 23, 2017

      Why wouldn’t anyone think someone would blackmail Trump? The real problem for Trump is to “whom” he owes all that money he has borrowed.

      The reason he has to continue to sell and lease real estate as president is not because of greed. When you have 2 former wives getting $2 million a month in alimony, you do have to make sure you can ante up.

      Reply
      1. Dorothyacarroll April 24, 2017

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        Reply
        1. dbtheonly April 24, 2017

          Flagged the spam for you.

          Those are really Trump’s alimony figures? Explains a lot.

          Reply
    2. kep April 23, 2017

      America already had the most corrupt regime in her history under Emperor Obama. PRESIDENT TRUMP will help return America back into the hands of the American people, and take power back from the commie liberals.

      Reply
      1. Jinmichigan April 23, 2017

        When it comes to being stupid you must have stood in line for seconds and thirds. Gotta love those FBI investigations, House investigations and Senate investigations. You know trump* does love the poorly educated.

        Reply
        1. kep April 23, 2017

          President Trump must really love you stupid, low info liberals.

          Reply
          1. Jinmichigan April 23, 2017

            No, he loves you.

            Reply
      2. dbtheonly April 23, 2017

        Snort of derision.

        Reply
    3. Dapper Dan April 23, 2017

      And this is why the FBI is thoroughly investigating his ties to Russia. Eventually when they have enough evidence to convict he will be shall we say reacommodated from office

      Reply
      1. idamag April 23, 2017

        Pretty optimistic person, aren’t you? How do we know the FBI isn’t owned?

        Reply
        1. Dapper Dan April 23, 2017

          Kiss our democracy goodbye if they are

          Reply
          1. Alain Vercammen-Grandjean April 27, 2017

            KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid.
            Your democracy has been shot by 48 years of Edgar rule and 16 years of the Bushes! RIP your constitution too…

            Reply
    4. dbtheonly April 23, 2017

      Not sure Trump outranks Grant or Harding. On the other hand we’re not yet in 100 days. Trump still has time to catch up.

      On yet another hand. Trump, personally, would rank as the most corrupt President. Grant & Harding were not personally involved in the corruption,

      Reply
  2. Eleanore Whitaker April 23, 2017

    Why in anyone’s wildest dreams would they believe that as a real estate mogul who handily paid a lot of people under the table for real estate deals, would you think Trump has never been involved with organized crime?

    Really folks? You think that his deals with the mob in NY City were not ever known? The thing about Trump is that he is slicker, more of a wheeler dealer than even John Gotti. He far outpaces Madoff when it comes to longevity of getting away with it all.

    How? Very very very simple…MONEY. With Trump, the belief is you can buy your way out of anything, legal or illegal.

    Spend the right kind of money and Trump gets away with murder too.

    Reply
    1. idamag April 23, 2017

      I believe it. Organized crime has taken over with the help of the unlearned.

      Reply
    2. Alain Vercammen-Grandjean April 25, 2017

      Nothing new under the Constitution.

      This is Edgar’s legacy.

      Your SS (Secret Services) are special operators too destabilizing the world democracies and blaming it on the Russkoffs!

      Nice going folks!

      Reply
      1. Eleanore Whitaker April 25, 2017

        Men don’t take blame. Admit it. How do you dare try to make Putin, a known KGB assassin look innocent of killing over 34 Russian dissenters and nearly half a dozen tied to the U.S. election Putin rigged so Hillary wouldn’t win?

        Take the damn blame if you are guilty. Women are goddamn fed up with men like you do the crime and then running like hell when it’s time to do the “time.”

        The Russians ARE guilty! It isn’t ONLY the US blaming Russians for election interference. Putin sticks his nose into elections because, like you, he believes no man should EVER be blamed.

        Men with NO sense of conscience are the ones who have down through history ALWAYS been the ones MOST GUILTY of the most heinous crimes against humanity.

        You want to blame Hitler, Stalin and Pol Phot’s legacy on us too moron?

        When YOU MEN make a decision, we WOMEN hold YOU accountable. Sorry, anything less is allowing what we know is wrong to continue unabated. That is NOT going to happen.

        It’s why you have women being whistleblowers to men at Enron who ripped off their own employees. It’s why the Lard Ass in Chief, Trump, will be taken down by American women who refuse to give way to what we know is WRONG.

        Men like you don’t have ANY sense of right or wrong…only ME ME ME ME ME ME ME.

        I don’t romance Satan, don’t dance with the devil and I will never respect an evil SOB like Trump. Get over it.

        Reply
        1. Alain Vercammen-Grandjean April 27, 2017

          Mixing sexual problems with heavy US propaganda and historical incongruity is not exactly the best way to be credible.

          So Poutine killed 34 dissenters!? Never saw any proof of that.
          With a constant 85% support from his population why bother about a few dissenters who are mostly embezzlers when and if they exist.
          You have not any name list you are just tricotting again Elle.

          You blindly support your Military Industrial Complex that desperately needs an enemy to justify the 20% American budget spending of your tax dollars.
          Russian meddling with your silly screwed up elections is total BS and you know it!
          All the Russians want is to develop their enormous untapped country and keeping you bullies at bay.
          How foolish can you get? Find a Man and get laid.
          We’ll give him the “Red Badge of Courage”.
          As for the rest indeed push around those impotent predators in your Congress and Senate.
          And cut down the warmongers budget and use it to invest in social infrastructures and care for the lost American populace. That’s my girl.

          Reply
  3. ivory69690@yahoo.com April 23, 2017

    THE DONNY DUMP’s CLOWN SHOW BOOK OF HIS LIFE AND HE MADE IT IS just that all filled with FRAUD, CONS ,SCAMMING , PAY-OFFS , HUSH MONEY. BLACK MAIL ,DISCLOSER AGREEMENT SIGNING OF ANY AND ALL CASE’S & any other kind of sneaky snaky scum dealings

    Reply
  4. ivory69690@yahoo.com April 23, 2017

    DONNY DUMP IS SO TIED IN TO MODS OF ALL COUNTRYS AROUND THE WORLD . he brain dead DONNY DUMP FOLLOWERS IM SURE ALL YOU DERANGED CLOWNS LOVE IT ALL

    Reply
  5. ivory69690@yahoo.com April 23, 2017

    SO SAD HOW THE DONNY DUMP CLOWN SHOW is making a mockery and a laughing stalk of the whole USA to the rest of the world //

    The Washington vocabulary of scandal, corruption and sleaze does not quite do justice to the state of affairs that exists when the White House receives a foreign policy proposal from a felon who threatens to blackmail a former business partner (once detained in a prostitution investigation) of the president.

    Some might see a moral swamp in need of drainage. In the Trump White House, it’s called business as usual.

    Reply
    1. Dapper Dan April 23, 2017

      Let’s hope voters in France have better judgement today and pray Marine Le Pen doesn’t win today. Both Trump and Le Pen are two fascists peas in a pod

      Reply
      1. dbtheonly April 23, 2017

        Macron & LePen seem to have reached the run-off. At least according to BBC

        Reply
        1. Dapper Dan April 23, 2017

          Yup and of course Macron is favored to win. Naturally Russia is screwing with their election in France so I’m almost afraid to see how this all turns out on May 7th ????

          Reply
          1. dbtheonly April 24, 2017

            Indeed.

            One of these days we ought to sit down and have a long discussion on what can/should be done in the face on Russian attempts to destabilize democracy throughout the West.

            I wonder what ivory’s point was asking if LePen is a woman. I did not vote for Hillary because she is a woman; but rather that she’d make a better President.

            You see the latest that AfD is up to?

            Reply
      2. ivory69690@yahoo.com April 23, 2017

        is Marine Le Pen the women in the race ? ??

        Reply
        1. Dapper Dan April 23, 2017

          Yup and there will now be a runoff on May 7th. Let’s pray France chooses better than we did

          Reply
          1. ivory69690@yahoo.com April 24, 2017

            yes may the world learn from the mess-ups the USA has done with THE DONNY DUMP CLOWN SHOW

            Reply
  6. idamag April 23, 2017

    It wouldn’t matter if trump was caught in actual business with the Gambino Crime family. Even if they had it on tape of him ordering a hit on someone, it would mean nothing. There is a different standard for today’s republican party and if trump does it, it is okay. It would be impossible to use the word republican party and honest in the same sentence.

    Reply
  7. ivory69690@yahoo.com April 24, 2017

    As his campaign floundered last October, Trump went to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to lay out his “100-day action plan to Make America Great Again.” Now he says that expecting him to accomplish anything within his first 100 days is a “ridiculous” standard. He’s welshing again, as he always does // this is to show and tell just how much BULLSHIfTING DONNY DUMP did to get his BRAIN DEAD followers to vote for the DUMPSTER CLOWN SHOW he did what he has done all his BULLSHIfTING life he lied tell his brain dead clown followers what thy want to hear then thy voted for his lies . as DONNY DUMP laughs at all the brain dead and the country and the world . he laughs saying he did his best fraud con & scam of his life time . and now the free DONNY DUMP CLOWN SHOW his brain dead followers though was free really going to cost the country and the world more then any time in history . that’s what the DUMPSTER likes the best costing the most in history

    Reply
  8. ivory69690@yahoo.com April 24, 2017

    any thing the DONNY DUMP CLOWN SHOW try’s to do to get the money to fix the roads bridges and to Fix America’s Infrastructure will come down to him using his brain dead and brain washed kids to try to tie into all the contracting it will take . (some how some con fraud and scamming way ) the DUMPSTER is so easy to read in the greedy clowns mind he thinks for $1 trillion it will cost maybe to do the job (even more he will be happier ) him thinking if he can pull off one of his frauds con’s and scam’s and even have his clown kids work it so thy can even get a small percentage of the total price would be big buck he can scam out say even just 1 percent % of a $ 1 trillion is $$10 billion dollars . thinking if he can only get a 1/2 (half ) of a % percent that’s still $ 5 billion dollars . but knowing the GREEDY DONNY DUMP CLOWN he will be going for a higher percentage . and he has done this kind of con dealings all his life he gets in the middle of big contracting like what ever he hands his hands in with hotels and or any kind on construction building deals . with his hands in the middle not only can the DUMPSTER CLOWN fraud con and scam money (more then likely off the top ) but then he will pull his slimy move and just wont pay contractors that did their jobs he will stiff them . drag the case’s out for years then at the end settle for a much lesser payment . and then at the end the greedy scum bag will make sure with the lower payout he will make sure he only pays if thy sign a discloser agreement . when thy cant say anything about the whole screwing deal thy had to make to get the less payment for the work thy did . one can look and maybe see the scum at the bottom of the barrel bus still wont be able to see THE DONNY DUMP CLOWN SHOW for the DUMPSTER is under that scum at the bottom of the barrel

    Reply
  9. ivory69690@yahoo.com April 24, 2017

    President Trump and White House officials pressed congressional Republicans on Sunday to use the looming threat of a government shutdown to win funding for a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico, a top priority for the administration as it nears the symbolic 100-day mark.this THE DONNY DUMPS CLOWN SHOW PIPE DREAM ONLY all ready to start Mexico isn’t going to never planed on it and never will pay for the DUMPSTER’s pipe dream . its his famous BULLSHIfTING LYING just his free clown show for his brain dead followers that have no clue of how much the whole DUMPSTER full of bull is and will cost the country and the world . its only coming up on a 100 days on failed BULLSHIfTING . AND KNOW THIS IT WILL ONLY GET WORSE . with DONNY DUMP in the house there is no light at the end of the tunnel . its more like a dead end no light just the very dark black inside of the DUMPSTERS . that’s all he has ever had has now and will always in the future will have lack cold death . and it can go some place else for sure and hard to believe it can only get darker blacker and worse . this is all you can get with DONNY DUMP THE DUMPSTER don’t be fooled by the clown one can believe in a you promised you and said he will bring is all lies nothing else just him pulling his biggest fraud con and scam in history and he thanks the most all the DONNY DUMP BRAIN DEAD FOLLOWERS FOR HE COULDNT HAVE DONE IT WITH OUT ALL YOU FOOLS .

    Reply

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