From a March 24, 2017 CNN article on the scale of Russian money laundering:
Deutsche Bank was hit with about $630 million in penalties in January over an unrelated $10 billion Russian money-laundering scheme. French bank BNP Paribas (BNPQF) pleaded guilty in 2014 to violating U.S. money laundering laws by helping clients dodge sanctions on Iran and Sudan. In 2012, HSBC(Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited) paid $2 billion to settle U.S. allegations that it allowed drug cartels to move billions of dollars across borders.
Hopefully you noticed that the scale of this problem is in the billions of dollars each year. Many, many lawyers, bankers, and real estate moguls are involved in this. Even when they are paid only small percentages in these transactions, their profit is in the hundreds of millions. There are chains of shell companies so deep that it would take a large amount of resources to get the details of even one chain. The list of Trump administration/campaign current or past personnel with Russian ties make the prospect of “getting to the bottom” of all this a staggering proposition. Remember that Watergate was about 5 people who broke in to a democrat office, and the illegal involvement of the Republican Party in it. It took 18 months to chase down the story, and it was chasing the finances which finally drove it all into the public arena and would result in Nixon’s impeachment. Think about it. It took eighteen months to settle the details about an office break-in and the money sent to them for that activity.
We all need to be prepared for these investigations to take years. Investigations are closely held precisely to keep the perpetrators from covering their tracks, and destroying evidence. You can absolutely count on republicans using this silence as de-facto circumstantial evidence that there were no underlying crimes. They will be claiming “witch hunt” while they are going to jail (assuming that Congress ever has the nerve to proceed with impeachment).
In the meantime, Mueller and his newly acquired all-star staff will be on the hunt. I sincerely hope that they are reading the Washington Post, the New York Times, and listening to the nightly shows on MSNBC. The daily/nightly flow of new information revealed by those parties will slowly have an effect on the public perceptions about this administration. In the end, it should bring about pressure on republican congressmen and congresswomen to begin impeachment proceedings. So far in American history, no president has been indicted on criminal charges. Nixon would have been indicted, but this was prevented by the Ford pardon.
The involvement of Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn in particular, as well as that of the rest of the Trump family, should be investigated for its financial ties to money laundering. Why was Flynn talking to Russia about sanctions? Why was Jared Kushner talking to Russians during the campaign? Was he trying to vet new foreign policy ideas? Hardly. Kushner is and has always been a businessman. Flynn has been a Trump loyalist who does Trump’s bidding. Why would Trump want Flynn to talk to the Russians about sanctions? Trump styles himself as a deal maker and tough negotiator. But if he was offering the Russians lenience in the sanctions, what was the US getting? What was HE getting? That has never been made clear.
This behavior does not pass the smell test. The US has openly discussed lifting of sanctions to a variety of bad actors when the prospect of modifying their bad behavior has been available. Take as example Iran, where it was openly discussed that they would get their money back for signing the treaty. Claiming secrecy in the Russian deals is merely abusing the national security excuse.
Possible collusion with Russia could very well only be about money. Having Trump as president may be a means to that end. It would render those activities practically immune to prosecution. This is all about profiteering by the Trump family and associates. Trump has personally profited by the sale of one of his Florida properties to a Russian oligarch to the tune of 80 million dollars profit. Getting Trump’s financial records is vital to this investigation. His tax returns are a natural starting point, since they will start the chain of shell companies through which he worked.
We are not going to be able to know the details of conversations of Trump with Russian officials. We won’t hear the treason. We won’t hear the deals. But if the money is followed, there are trails. There is evidence. If Mueller is allowed to finish the investigations, and if Trump doesn’t pardon himself and everyone else, there will be clarity some day. We may have passed the 2018 elections, and flipped the House of Representatives (or not) by the time it happens, but it will happen.
And just too good to pass up, here is the definitive list of Trump lies from the New York Times. Click Here.