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President Trump has officially spent one hundred days since taking office at a golf club that he owns. Nearly 25% of his days as president has been spent on the green at a trump owned property. This directly contradicts statements as a private citizen and on the campaign trail, “I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf.”
For this contribution to the WTFHOTW thread, I’m channeling Rachel Maddow; specifically the first segment of her Friday show (major kudos to Rachel and her amazing staff for digging into these astounding stories). The person of interest here is Elliott Broidy. A few days ago he was living in blissful obscurity, wielding considerable power, but virtually unknown to the general public. He’s a major donor to the Republican Party, in fact, he has contributed so much that the party made him “Deputy National Finance Chairman.” Next week he’s co-hosting a $250,000 a plate Republican fund raiser in Beverly Hills that Trump will attend (link below). In brief, here’s what he’s been up to (the articles below do a good job of laying out the details):
In 2009, Broidy pled guilty to distributing $1 million in bribes to New York state officials, reaping $250 million in investments from the state. He avoided jail time by flipping on the officials he bribed. It appears that the GOP didn’t Google his name before giving him a job handling their money. (OK, they probably did Google his name, but, as per usual, they just don’t care or actually consider his criminal experience to be a valuable asset.)
According to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Broidy began lobbying for the sanctioned Russian bank, VTB, in 2014. Broidy may thus have breached the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (the same act that Manafort is charged with violating).
A leaked email that Broidy sent to George Nader (who is now co-operating with Mueller regarding the secret Seychelles/UAE/Russia meeting) has revealed that last year Broidy pitched a plan to Trump that would allow his security firm, Circinus, to assemble a private army in the Middle East. This army, which would number about 5,000 soldiers, would be funded by the UAE. To work out the details of the plan, Broidy met with the Crown Prince of UAE, Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (MZB) in the UAE around October of 2017 (MZB was also allegedly at the January, 2017, Seychelles meeting – what a coinkydink!).
Another leaked email contains details of a deal Broidy was negotiating to receive a $75 million fee if he and his wife succeeded in persuading the DOJ to drop their investigation of a Malaysian bank. The DOJ has been investigating the misappropriation of $4.5 billion from the bank of which $681 million mysteriously found its way into the account of Malaysia’s prime minister (who visited Trump in the White House during the investigation – another coinkydink!).
Broidy’s 2009 criminal activities can be taken as wholly factual since he himself pleaded guilty to the charges. The more recent allegations outlined above should be taken with a grain of salt since they are part of ongoing investigations. For example, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine may have an ulterior motive for pursuing Broidy, and news of the other incidents has grown out of a cache of hacked emails that has not been fully vetted. Broidy admits his email account was hacked, but he claims some of the released emails are forgeries – so far, he hasn’t said which ones.
Onto the links…
This is the fund raiser Broidy is organizing. What are the odds Trump will go for a “photo op” shaking Broidy’s hand?
And here’s the news about Broidy’s other dubious achievements:
(Earlier I posted the above link in the “Day 414” thread, but it also fits this post – I hope the duplicate is OK.)
This is WSJ’s take on the Malaysian affair, but you may hit a paywall here:
Post Script: Here’s a fun game you can play while reading the Huffington Post article about the Malaysian investigation – see if you can spot this name: Rick Gates (Manafort’s partner in crime). Also, look for Rachel Brand’s name (she’s the number 3 person in the DOJ who recently departed to take a job in Walmart’s legal department). Brand may well have been entirely oblivious of Broidy’s schemes, but nonetheless I have a feeling Mueller may be knocking on her door to find out if she does have any knowledge.
Thank you for sharing. Can I just say that I’m exhausted, reading about the corruption associated with our POTUS and the lack of interest/urgency it by the judicial system and the congress and the people in demanding accountability and imposing punishment? I know Mueller is working on this and eventually there should be some resolution but it’s taking so long and in the meanwhile, we have to put up with his rants and inappropriate behavior.
I don’t know if anybody saw SNL last night, but the cold opening spoofed The Bachelor finale where the Bachelor withdrew his offer to marry Becca , informing her that he couldn’t commit to her because he was thinking more about the runner-up. In the spoof, the Bachelor was replaced by Mueller. He was saying he couldn’t admit to Collusion right now; the more time that goes by, the more he thinks about Obstruction. Becca is obviously disappointed and says “Do you mean that I’ll have to wait two more years for him to be out of office?” and Mueller responds, “It’s probably more like six.” I’m not a fan of The Bachelor and only know about the finale based on what I’ve read, but the sketch was very funny…except for that line. All I could think is that we are going to be stuck with this ongoing investigation for years more because as soon as Mueller seems to pursue one issue/person, another pops up. It’s never ending and it just seems as if it’s time to take action. Shouldn’t Mueller have something by now? Does he have to have the entire scope of Trump’s activities investigated before the Grand Jury has enough to drag Trump in for questioning? And the mere thought that his attorneys are trying to negotiate just turns my stomach. The man needs to sit down and explain his actions and where the hell are his tax returns? How long have we waited for those? I’m just betting that there would be an awful lot revealed if somebody could take a look at them. How can this be acceptable? Has our society become so corrupt and/or placid? If 2/3 of the country is displeased by Trump’s performance, why isn’t somebody paying attention and doing something? Why aren’t people storming the WH?
I was already having a bad day but these latest stories just put the icing on the cake. The saddest thing is that in talking with my adult son last night, we realized that if we did want to flee the U.S., there’s no other country we’d really feel good about moving to. Anyhow, here’s the link to the SNL skit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=311&v=2CKGA9w-B6A. Thank you for allowing me my Sunday vent.
Trump and Kushner companies are in talks to partner in a Long Branch, N.J., development project. The city government plans to support the project with $20 million in financing from tax-payer backed bonds, plus tax breaks lasting 30 years. The conflict of interest is obvious: The President may be reluctant to do the responsible thing and ask Kushner to depart the White House because that might interfere with this lucrative deal.
These articles both relate to Long Branch development projects involving Kushner and/or Trump, but each covers different aspects of the related transactions. It’s all a bit murky, but that’s probably the intention of the corporations involved. Perhaps someone here with an MBA or real estate background can illuminate!
BTW, if you hit a pay wall on the WaPo article, here’s a version published in a local N.J. paper:
Update March 25, 2018: I fixed the link to the article titled “Jersey Shore town seeks ferry to dock next to Kushner resort” since it was broken. It should be working now.
Early Saturday morning, Trump’s personal attorney, John Dowd asked Assistant Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein to shut down the special counsel probe looking into Russian interference of the 2016 election. John Dowd confused reporters when he told The Daily Beast that he was speaking on behalf of the president. Later, via email, he walked back his remarks and told reporters that he had been speaking as himself.
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!
Followed later by:
As the House Intelligence Committee has concluded, there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump Campaign. As many are now finding out, however, there was tremendous leaking, lying and corruption at the highest levels of the FBI, Justice & State. #DrainTheSwamp
Putting this in the Weekend section cause I ran into today. These tactics will continue as we get closer to the November election I believe, the NRA’s strategy will harden as public pressure grows, IMO.
It’s interesting to look at two contrasting views on the Republican reaction to McCabe’s firing, plus Trump and his lawyer’s subsequent statements about Mueller:
I tend to agree with HuffPo on this one. We’re hearing a little more noise from Republicans, but to me, it still sound likes lip service. I get the impression that the vast majority of Republicans remain solidly with Trump in wanting the investigation shut down. They would like to see Trump stay in office and have all his scandals dismissed so they can ride the Trump Train to re-election. I really don’t think they’ve absorbed the anti-Trump message voters have been delivering in recent special elections. And due to their persistent wishful thinking, I believe they do not understand the depth and intractable nature of Trump’s scandals.
However, this is just a hunch – not based on any statistics or an actual breakdown of House and Senate seats. Does anyone else have a take on this? Are the Republicans showing any inclination to actually stand up to the President or not?