Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Russian To Judgment, Con't

It's very possible that the Trump regime will continue to interfere with the Mueller probe and even bury Mueller's final report, but there is no saving Donald Trump from the state investigation that is zeroing in on his Russian money laundering using his 2016 inaugural committee as a slush fund.

Escalating one of the investigations into President Trump’s inaugural committee, federal prosecutors ordered on Monday that its officials turn over documents about donors, finances and activities, according to two people familiar with the inquiry.

The subpoena seeks documents related to all of the committee’s donors and guests; any benefits handed out, including tickets and photo opportunities with the president; federal disclosure filings; vendors; contracts; and more, one of the people said.

The new requests expand an investigation prosecutors opened late last year amid a flurry of scrutiny of the inaugural committee. And they showed that the investigations surrounding Mr. Trump, once centered on potential ties to Russia during the 2016 presidential election, have spread far beyond the special counsel’s office to include virtually all aspects of his adult life: his business, his campaign, his inauguration and his presidency.

In the subpoena, investigators also showed interest in whether any foreigners illegally donated to the committee, as well as whether committee staff members knew that such donations were illegal, asking for documents laying out legal requirements for donations. Federal law prohibits foreign contributions to federal campaigns, political action committees and inaugural funds.
Prosecutors also requested all documents related to vendors and contractors with the inaugural committee, which raised a record $107 million and spent lavishly.

People familiar with the subpoena said prosecutors are interested in potential money laundering as well as election fraud, though it is possible that the prosecutors do not suspect the inaugural committee of such violations. The prosecutors cited those crimes in the subpoena simply as justification for their demand for documents, the people said.

Only one individual was named as part of the subpoena’s demand for documents: Imaad Zuberi, a former fund-raiser for President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton who was seeking inroads with Mr. Trump, and whose company, Avenue Ventures, gave $900,000 to the inaugural committee. The subpoena also seeks documents related to his company.

A spokesman, Steve Rabinowitz, said Mr. Zuberi was unaware of having been named in the subpoena, and noted that he gave “generously and directly” to the inaugural committee, along with many others who donated more.

Another entity that the subpoena seeks documents on is Stripe, which created technology to help process credit card transactions. According to published reports, the company counts Josh Kushner, the brother of Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, among its investors. Josh Kushner is not named in the subpoena, and a spokesman for him declined to comment.

A spokesman for the inaugural committee said it was still reviewing the subpoena and intended to cooperate with the investigation. A spokesman for the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan declined to comment. ABC first reported that a subpoena was in the works.

Prosecutors have pursued the possibility that the inaugural committee made false statements to the Federal Election Commission, according to people familiar with the matter. It can be a crime to knowingly make false or fraudulent statements to a federal agency.

There's an extremely good chance that Russian nationals donated to Trump's inaugural committee in payment for services to be rendered to Putin and his oligarchs, and Trump pocketed much of the payoff, and this is just the tip of the iceberg: there's the Mueller probe, the NY state investigation into the Trump Organization, and now the Southern District of New York federal case against Trump's inaugural committee.

All three investigations are deep into grand jury indictments.  When they are all unsealed, this administration is going to be crushed.

Stay tuned.

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