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Friday, 23 June 2017

The 45th President - Follow The Russian Money

On 15 June 2017, the Guardian reported that special prosecutor Robert Mueller will take a “follow the money” (FTM) approach in the RussiaGate investigation. These words have been reiterated by other media (eg, BI). The FTM approach is also used in forensic auditing, investigative journalism and financial crime thrillers. This approach would usually be revealing unless cryptocurrencies (e.g., Bitcoin, ether) are used to conceal the sender.
 
There have been many news reports about RussiaGate but I have never seen a diagram about the players and their activities. In its continued absence, I have prepared one myself, based on the (very) many news stories and my 2 favourite blogs: Patribotics (Rep) and the Palmer Report (Dem). These two blogs are usually several weeks ahead of mainstream media.

The US (intelligence) agencies have known for many years about the Russian money-laundering activities in Trump's businesses. Most of the activities at the left side of my diagram are thus many years older than the activities at the right side. Trump's narcissistic expansion of his Empire was often at the expense of banks, business partners, customers, employees, subcontractors and suppliers. This resulted in a bad business reputation for Trump.

Casinos, golf courses, hotels and real estate have a high(er) risk profile (eg, credit, reputation) at banks. Trump's business reputation and the risky nature of his businesses must have caused a general unwillingness to lend money to Trump. Deutsche Bank might be Trump's "lender of last resort". Early 2017, Deutsche was fined for a $10 billion Russian money-laundering scheme (eg, BloombergCNN, Guardian, NY). 

The Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election is probably payback for the international sanctions following the 2014 Russian annexation of The Crimea.

The Russian interference is partly due to (i) the Electoral College system and (ii) the lack of proportional representation. It's possible to flip an entire presidential election by having marginal wins in several swing states through geographical and digital gerrymandering (my blog). National proportional representation would make this flip nearly impossible.

I suppose the main plan was to destroy the credibility of (i) the US electoral process and (ii) Hillary Clinton in particular. It seems that nobody expected Trump to win the presidency. Hence, there was no plan and Trump still has no plan. His goal seems limited to disruption, creating chaos, and destroying Obama's legacy. This would benefit Russia.

My diagram of RussiaGate reflects my imagination following news reports and the PB and PR blogs. My diagram does not pretend to be accurate or complete. Nevertheless, it appears to be far worse than any season of HBO's House of Cards. The Russia investigation is not about obstruction of justice. In my view, it's about high treason or "treason against the state". 

Finally, Trump may have been a Russian asset for years but he is a Russian liability now. Several media have recently been highlighting the high number of suspicious deaths relating to Trump's Russia scandal (eg, CNNIndependentPalmer Report, USA Today, WP). Trump should be worried for lots of reasons.