Saturday, May 5, 2018

New Radicals Someday we'll know

Monday, April 23, 2018


The Democratic National Committee has sued the Russian Intelligence service (GRU), Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, the Trump campaign, and a number of other individuals and organizations that the political party believes were affiliated with the now-infamous 2016 hack, whose perpetrators managed to spirit away internal research about then-candidate Donald Trump, as well as private e-mail and messages.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Donald and the Russian Connection Problem

Donald and the Russian Connection Problem

The Trump / Russian connection:
Time to connect the dots 2017:
Sources with links to the intelligence community say it is believed that Carter Page went to Moscow in early July carrying with him a pre-recorded tape of Donald Trump offering to change American policy if he were to be elected, to make it more favorable to Putin. In exchange, Page was authorized directly by Trump to request the help of the Russian government in hacking the election. These  associates were all present: Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and Boris Epshteyn.

A key aspect of the scandal surrounding Russia and its efforts to elect Donald Trump is the hacking operation, which stole Democratic materials. But as Reuters reported, that wasn’t the only element of the broader espionage operation.

A Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters.

They described two confidential documents from the think tank as providing the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election. U.S. intelligence officials acquired the documents, which were prepared by the Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, after the election.

Carter Page

Paul Manafort

Boris Epshteyn
Boris Epshteyn is a Soviet-born American Republican political strategist, investment banker, and attorney.

The FBI gathered intelligence last summer that suggests Russian operatives tried to use Trump advisers, including Carter Page, to infiltrate the Trump campaign, according to US officials.

The new information adds to the emerging picture of how the Russians tried to influence the 2016 election, not only through email hacks and propaganda but also by trying to infiltrate the Trump orbit. The intelligence led to an investigation into the coordination of Trump's campaign associates and the Russians.

These officials made clear they don't know whether Page was aware the Russians may have been using him. Because of the way Russian spy services operate, Page could have unknowingly talked with Russian agents.

The intelligence suggests Russia tried to infiltrate the inner-workings of the Trump campaign by using backdoor channels to communicate with people in the Trump orbit, US officials say.
Page is one of several Trump advisers US and European intelligence found to be in contact with Russian officials and other Russians known to Western intelligence during the campaign, according to multiple US officials. The scope and frequency of those contacts raised the interest of US intelligence agencies. The FBI and CIA declined to comment on Page's statement.

In 2013, Page had meetings with a Russian man who turned out to be a spy, according to federal prosecutors. Page denied knowing that the man, Victor Podobnyy, was secretly a Russian operative living in New York.

As CNN first reported, Carter Page's speech critical of US policy against Russia in July 2016 at a prominent Moscow university drew the attention of the FBI and raised concerns he had been compromised by Russian intelligence, according to US officials. They also feared that Russian operatives maintained contact with him both in the United States and Russia, US officials say.

His conversations with suspected Russian operatives are being examined as part of a large intelligence-gathering operation by the FBI and other US agencies that was set up to probe Russia's interference in the election. The officials would not say what the conversations were about.

How Page's name became associated with the campaign is a reflection of how minimal the Trump operation was last year, as establishment national security figures avoided an association with the insurgent operation.

Page wrote to the House Intelligence committee offering to testify, Page describes more interactions with the campaign. The FBI had Page on their radar for at least four years, according to court documents and US officials.

Former CIA Director James Woolsey was an adviser to Donald Trump’s campaign. He eventually quit during the transition period, diplomatically suggesting that his role had run its course. But he’s now publicly disclosing something which may have been a factor. Last summer Michael Flynn brought Woolsey along to a meeting with representatives from the Turkish government, where they discussed theoretical plans for abducting Turkish dissident Fethullah Gulen from his home in Pennsylvania and shipping him back to Turkey. During the same meeting, Flynn tried to hire Woolsey as a consultant to his firm, in the name of furthering this plot against Gulen.

Congress notified the Trump team during the transition that Michael Flynn was on Turkey’s payroll. Trump and Pence stood by him until his Russia ties leaked publicly in February, at which point he was nudged out; Trump and Pence then went on to lie about not having known. Notably, James Woolsey resigned from the Trump transition team a few weeks after the team learned Flynn was on the take. It’s unclear why Woolsey is choosing to go public now

April 9, 2017: The FBI arrested ten people in New York City with alleged indirect ties to Donald Trump and a Russian mafia figure.

March 30, 2017: FBI agents entered the Saipan casino in a joint action with local authorities. A local politician characterized the action as an “investigation or raid” of the property. The casino is run by Mark Brown, who according to a prior Forbes article is a longtime protege of Donald Trump. In fact Brown is the former CEO of Trump Hotels and Casinos, which went on to file for bankruptcy three times. But Brown isn’t the only direct Trump connection to the property.

Former CIA Director James Woolsey, who was a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump during his campaign and part of his transition period, is on the board of directors of that same casino. That means two people with close ties to Trump, one of them financial and one of them political, just saw their casino raided by the Feds.

10 APRIL 2017:
A Russian programmer has been arrested in Spain on suspicion of involvement in attempts to influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election, local media reported. His wife, Maria Levashova said her husband was accused of writing a virus that helped Donald Trump win the election. Levashov is “suspected of having participated in hacking the election campaign in the United States." Mr. Levashov’s wife earlier said she had been told her husband’s arrest was linked to alleged interference on the US election.  

April 13, 2017:
@SheWhoVotes, a Twitter user who is also a Constitutional lawyer and has a solid track record. She tweeted today that she’s “Hearing from intelligence insiders that [New York State Attorney General Eric] Scheiderman is working closely with intel. They’re going to take out the entire three ring circus”. This was then quickly validated with the words “Fact check: true” by Louise Mensch, a former member of British Parliament who is now a political journalist, and whose inside sources have been consistently correct about the FISA warrants in the Trump-Russia investigation going back to last fall. Mensch then added “First arrests maybe next week”. She also referenced the arrest of ten low level mafia figures in New York two weeks ago, who were not Russian, but whose crime family has alleged ties to both Donald Trump and the Russian mafia through Felix Sater.

The FBI leaked that it’s been surveilling Carter Page since last summer, meaning it has recordings of everyone he conspired with, in what seemed to be a final warning shot to any Trump-Russia conspirators who want to cut a deal before the arrests begin.

April 21, 2017
This may be of some interest to the DOJ official overseeing the FBI’s ongoing counter-intelligence investigation, but as Politico reported, it turns out, she’s leaving her post.
The Justice Department official who is leading the government’s investigation into potential collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government will step down next month.

Mary McCord, who has served as acting assistant attorney general for national security since October, informed DOJ employees this week that she will be leaving in mid-May, a spokesman confirmed to POLITICO.

DOJ’s National Security Division is leading the agency’s inquiry into possible links between Trump campaign aides and Moscow, as well as the Kremlin’s alleged digital meddling campaign during the 2016 presidential race. This does not mean that the investigation is over, but Rachel spoke about this last night with Matthew Miller, a former Justice Department spokesperson, who raised an under-appreciated point.

McCord, who’s now stepping down for reasons that haven’t been publicly disclosed, is a career Justice Department official, not a political appointee, who’s had a hands-on, day-to-day oversight role in the counter-intelligence investigation. Once she steps down, it’s possible, if not likely, that the DOJ will replace her with a political appointee, chosen by Team Trump, at least temporarily.

You see the problem: Team Trump is the subject of the investigation Mary McCord has helped lead. Indeed, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who’s been accused of lying under oath about his own communications with Russian officials, has recused himself from the investigation, but it may soon fall to him to choose McCord’s acting successor.

It’s why Matthew Miller said last night, “I think it would be hugely troubling if [the Trump administration] put a political appointee, who had not been nominated, not been confirmed by the Senate into this job to investigate the president…. Eventually, I think it has to be a special counsel, but short of that, it has to be an acting career person until someone can be confirmed by the Senate.”

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happening Fourth or July

The beginning of July, the 4th of July Trump Administration news slowly but inevitably coming off the rails it's only a matter of time before he completely disintegrate and the mental problems of Donald Trump are becoming more and more obvious to the average Observer. There are several investigations foreign simultaneously into mr. Trump's Financial dealings with Russians in the Iranians and the Turkish ring Ukrainian other countries that have then point to us from Associates largest stone Carter page hurt France Wilbur Ross Felix Adler most of Hazzard multiple dealings and businesses real estate and financial transactions that.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Donald Trump's links to the Russian Mob.

Dutch documentary investigates Trump’s past links to the Russian mob.

Trump told reporters in February: "I have no dealings with Russia. I have no deals that could happen in Russia, because we’ve stayed away. And I have no loans with Russia. I have no loans with Russia at all." 

Donald Trump said in a recent interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, "I have had dealings over the years where I sold a house to a very wealthy Russian many years ago. I had the Miss Universe pageant — which I owned for quite a while — I had it in Moscow a long time ago. But other than that, I have nothing to do with Russia."

The truth is that Trump is lying. Donald Trump has deep Russian connections that far exceed what he admitted to. In 2013, after Trump addressed potential investors in Moscow, he bragged to Real Estate Weekly about his access to Russia's rich and powerful. “I have a great relationship with many Russians, and almost all of the oligarchs were in the room,” Trump said, referring to Russians who made fortunes when former Soviet state enterprises were sold to private investors.

In September 2008, Donald Trump Jr. gave the following statement to the “Bridging U.S. and Emerging Markets Real Estate” conference in Manhattan: “In terms of high-end product influx into the United States, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets; say in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” 

He refers specifically to the Soho venture in which Trump partnered with the Russian-connected Bayrock group.

New York City real estate broker Dolly Lenz said she sold about 65 condos in Trump World at 845 U.N. Plaza in Manhattan to Russian investors, many of whom sought personal meetings with Trump for his business expertise. “I had contacts in Moscow looking to invest in the United States,” Lenz said. “They all wanted to meet Donald. They became very friendly.” Many of those meetings happened in Trump's office at Trump Tower or at sales events, Lenz said.

I am amazed that none of the major media outlets in the USA have released this information. This is the most damning evidence I have seen of Trump's multiple criminal activities. 50 years of lies and cons. Trump's association with criminal figures isn't going to go away. After six bankruptcies, US banks stopped making loans to him. One Billion Dollars in debt, no bank in New York would lend him a dime. To expand his real estate empire, Donald Trump and partners repeatedly turned to wealthy Russians and oligarchs from former Soviet republics, allegedly connected to organized crime, Trump and company have had business dealings with Russians that go back decades.

The president and his companies have been linked to at least 10 wealthy former Soviet businessmen with alleged ties to criminal organizations and money laundering schemes. efforts to launch real estate ventures in Russia through Bayrock Associates, a Russian-connected outfit. Bayrock had partnered with Trump on at least four major but failed American projects: the Fort Lauderdale Trump Tower, the Trump Ocean Club in Fort Lauderdale, the SoHo condominium-hotel in New York, and a resort in Phoenix. Since President Trump won the Republican nomination, the majority of his companies’ real estate sales are to secretive shell companies that obscure the buyers’ identities.

Over the last 12 months, about 70% of buyers of Trump properties were limited liability companies – corporate entities that allow people to purchase property without revealing all of the owners’ names. That compares with about 4% of buyers in the two years before. What’s interesting about this is: It’s not the first time. A decade ago, when Donald Trump’s seventh bankruptcy had wiped out his ability to borrow, he was dragged back from the brink of financial failure by money from Russian oligarchs. That infusion of money came not only in the form of big investments in new building projects, it also came through a money-laundering scheme that created LLCs for the express purpose of grabbing Trump properties at premium prices.

Bayrock had its office on the 24th floor of Trump Tower, and its 2007 brochure featured a photo of Trump and Tevfik Arif, a principal Bayrock partner, who served for 17 years in the Soviet government before emigrating to the United States. It called the Trump Organization a “strategic partner,” and listed Trump as their primary reference.

Among them:
• Felix Sadar, a Russian-born managing director at Bayrock, is a twice-convicted felon, and is a founding member of Bayrock, a firm that developed the Trump SoHo Hotel in New York. Felix Sadar is the son of the head of the Russian mafia, and who spent a year in prison for stabbing a man. Felix Sater,was convicted of assault in 1991. Then, in 1998, federal prosecutors convicted Sater of fraud, for running a $40 million penny stock fraud in collaboration with the New York and Russian Mafia. In return for a guilty plea, Sater reportedly agreed to work as a government informant.

•  An investor in the SoHo project was accused by Belgian authorities in 2011 in a $55 million money-laundering scheme.

• Three owners of Trump condos in Florida and Manhattan were accused in federal indictments of belonging to a Russian-American organized crime group and working for a major international crime boss based in Russia.

•  A former mayor from Kazakhstan was accused in a federal lawsuit filed in Los Angeles in 2014 of hiding millions of dollars looted from his city, some of which was spent on three Trump SoHo units.

•  A Ukrainian owner of two Trump condos in Florida was indicted in a money-laundering scheme involving a former prime minister of Ukraine.

Trump's Russian connections are of heightened interest because of an FBI investigation into possible collusion between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian operatives to interfere in last fall's election.  The FBI apparently knew, directly or indirectly, based upon available facts, that prior to Election Day, Trump and his campaign had personal and business dealings with individuals and entities linked to criminal elements — including reputed Russian gangsters — connected to Putin.

The FBI can't talk about Donald Trump’s contacts with Russia because it would jeopardize a sensitive operation targeting mobsters tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin — and to Trump.

The plaintiffs in a 2015 racketeering case against Bayrock, Sater, and Arif, among others, alleged in the civil lawsuit that: “for most of its existence Bayrock was substantially and covertly mob-owned and operated,” engaging “in a pattern of continuous, related crimes, including mail, wire, and bank fraud; tax evasion; money laundering; conspiracy; bribery; extortion; and embezzlement.” Although the lawsuit does not allege complicity by Trump, it claims that Bayrock exploited its joint ventures with Trump as a conduit for laundering money and evading taxes. The lawsuit cites as a “Concrete example of their crime, Trump SoHo stands 454 feet tall at Spring and Varick, where it also stands monument to spectacularly corrupt money-laundering and tax evasion.”

Trump’s 2013 sojourn in Russia for the Miss Universe pageant was far less innocent that he would have us believe. According to the Washington Post, the deal to bring the pageant to Russia was “financed in part by the development company of a Russian billionaire Aras Agalarov.… a Putin ally who is sometimes called the ‘Trump of Russia’ because of his tendency to put his own name on his buildings.”

While in Moscow, Trump met with Russian oligarchs who were closely aligned with President Vladimir Putin, including Herman Gref, the chief executive officer of the state-controlled Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank. In 2014, the United States and the European Union sanctioned Sberbank in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “The Russian market is attracted to me,” Trump said. “Almost all of the oligarchs were in the room,” he bragged. He tweeted, “TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next.”

The Bayrock Group’s Felix Sater emerges again during the Trump campaign and presidency. Sater contributed the maximum $5,400 to Donald Trump’s campaign. Then on February 19, 2017, the New York Times reported that “A week before Trump fired Michael Flynn resigned as national security advisor, a sealed proposal was hand-delivered to his office, outlining a way for President Trump to lift sanctions against Russia.”

The Times said that three men were responsible for developing and delivering the plan: Andrew Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer, and Andrii V. Artemenko, a pro-Russian member of the Ukrainian parliament.

The third man was none other than Trump’s former business partner and convicted fraudster, Felix Sater. How and why Sater became involved with a key member of the Trump administration in the most sensitive of diplomatic transactions between the United States and Russia remains one of the many mysteries to be resolved by congressional and FBI investigators.

“I Can’t Go into Those Details Here”

Former FBI Director James Comey said In his March 20 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee that he could not go into detail about its probe into the Trump administration’s Russian connection. If he had we may have learned that for more than three decades the FBI has had Trump Tower in its sights. Many of its occupants have been targets of major investigations. One thing many of them have in common is deep ties to organized crime — including the Russian mafia.

Felix Sater fits all of these categories. A convicted felon, Sater worked in Trump Tower, made business deals with Donald Trump through Sater’s real estate firm, Bayrock, and later scouted for  investments in Russia on behalf of Trump. Sater cooperated with the FBI and CIA and was subsequently protected by the DOJ from prosecution. The Moscow-born immigrant now lives in New Jersey and remains deeply linked to Russia and Ukraine. 

The FBI has spent years untangling the financial machinations of Bayrock — which they allege involve hundred of millions of dollars in claims arising from, among other things, money laundering and fraud.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Russian Cyber attacks were much more prevasive than we thought

Boomberg article reveals more details.

In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Money Laundering: Trumps real Russian connection

The list of Donald Trump's Russian connections just keeps getting longer and longer and longer.

It's no coincidence that Donald Trump has very deep financial ties to Russians going back decades. This may explain why he is hesitant to release his tax returns. 

This is also why the Treasury Department financial crimes division is looking into charges of money laundering. Here is how I believe it works: Russians deposit large sums of money to the bank of Cypress and subsequently the money was transferred to offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and other offshore tax havens. They then buy real estate thru the shell companies and use that to secure millions in loans.

The New York Times reported Wednesday night that investigators are looking into a specific type of connection: money laundering. If they find evidence that members of the Trump team received money from Moscow and then tried to hide it, the implications would be hugely significant. It would show there were money transfers worth hiding — and you don’t do that if what you’re doing is lawful.

Let’s first be clear about what money laundering is. Money laundering, in its simplest form, is making it seem like money that comes from X place actually comes from Y place. It can help make an illegal money transfer appear like it was a run-of-the-mill, everyday exchange. Without laundering, the illegal money transfer would connect the lawbreaking parties, making it easier for law enforcement to identify the wrongdoers.

 It appears Robert Muller has recruited an experienced Justice Department trial attorney, Lisa Page,  whose résumé boasts intriguing hints about where Mueller's Russia investigation might lead. Page has deep experience with money laundering and organized crime cases, including investigations where she's partnered with an FBI task force in Budapest, Hungary, that focuses on eastern European organized crime. That Budapest task force helped put together the still-unfolding money laundering case against Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, a one-time business partner of  Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort. News reports speculate that Mueller could be investigating potential money-laundering by Trump team members.
Dmitry Firtash: This Guy looks guilty..
Dmitry Firtash: Manafort's Business partner
Donald Trump's son mentioned to reporters that the Russians were "pouring money into his golf courses". In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. tells a real estate conference, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” During the speech, Trump Jr. says he traveled to Russia six times in the previous 18 months.
Donald Trump Jr.
Donald Trump Jr.
Trump received a hundred million dollar in payments for a house in Florida that he bought for 50 million dollars just two years earlier. That Mansion was subsequently bulldozed to build a new property. Another Russian with mob connections bought 6 condos from Donald Trump at Trump Towers in New York City in another 100 million dollar sale.

This was another Russian connection. 

Wilbur Ross, Trump and Mike Pence
Wilbur Ross, Trump and Mike Pence
Donald Trump's Commerce Secretary is Wilbur Ross, the former head of the Bank of Cyprus with close financial ties to Russians.Wilbur Ross joined with a Russian oligarch and a former KGB official to run a bank in Cyprus. Ross has been a business partner with Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian billionaire oligarch and Putin ally. Vekselberg is one of the richest men in Russia, in a major financial project involving the Bank of Cyprus, that country’s largest and most significant financial institution. A financial crisis in 2013 led to the bank’s collapse and eventual bailout. The bank had held billions in deposits from wealthy Russians—some of it presumably dirty money or funds deposited there. During its restructuring, a large amount of these deposits were converted into shares, giving Russian plutocrats a majority ownership (on paper) of the bank. Cyprus is known to be awash in dirty Russian money as they tried to bypass sanctions on their bank called VBE. Wilbur Ross oversaw the Bank of Cyprus. In October 2014, Wilbur Ross unveiled a new board of directors for the Bank of Cyprus. He would be one of the members of the board and so would Maksim Goldman, a Renova executive representing Vekselberg’s interests. (Vekselbergs’ conglomerate, the Renova Group, had become the bank’s second-largest shareholder.) Also on this board was Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, a previous board member whom Russia Today a year earlier had identified as a Putin associate and former KGB official. Ross and Vekselberg also recruited Josef Ackermann, a former head of Deutsche Bank, to come in as chairman. Ross is been involved with this oligarch for the past two years in an arrangement involving over $1 billion.
Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian billionaire.

Vladimir Strzhalkovsky
Bank of Cypress and Maksim Goldman

Vladimir Putin and Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson attend a meeting outside Moscow, Russia April 16, 2012.

Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobil, is our  new Secretary of State, with one major connection to Putin and Moscow. He boasts a long-term relationship with Putin and has cut huge deals with Russia for ExxonMobil. Tillerson is the long-time director of a US-Russian oil company based in the tax haven of the Bahamas. He has opposed US sanctions against Russia that get in the way of more oil deals between ExxonMobil and Putin, like the Kara Sea project. Exxon Mobil stands to regain access to huge reserves of oil if the United States rolls back sanctions on Russia. Tillerson has experience negotiating deals in Russia, and he got to know Putin while chief executive of the world's biggest integrated oil and gas company.
Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, Vladamin Putin, and Rex Tillerson
The U.S.' relationship fell apart after Russia took Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and then intervened in civil wars in Ukraine and Syria. ExxonMobil's yearly losses from the halted ventures: $1 billion. As Exxon's chief executive, Tillerson's priority has been to his shareholders, and he has sought to protect the company's substantial interests in Russia. Tillerson has criticized U.S. sanctions on Russia. Exxon Mobil is pursuing a waiver from Treasury Department sanctions on Russia to drill in the Black Sea in a venture with Rosneft, the Russian state oil company.

Exxon's operations in Russia represent only a fraction of its global oil and gas production, but a joint venture with Russian state-controlled oil giant Rosneft to explore and produce fossil fuels in Arctic waters represents a big part of Exxon's potential future production growth. Those projects have been on ice since 2014, when the United States imposed sanctions on Russia for its incursions into Ukraine. Exxon said in a filing after the sanctions were put in place that its "maximum before-tax exposure to loss from these joint ventures" totaled $1 billion through the end of 2015.

Exxon and Rosneft entered the joint venture in 2012 to develop offshore reserves in the Arctic Kara Sea and the Black Sea, as well as onshore assets in Siberia. The following year, they advanced their strategic alliance by adding seven more blocks in the Chukchi, Laptev and Kara seas.

Exxon's holdings in Russia's Arctic waters and the Black Sea, which are not producing for the energy giant due to the sanctions, totaled 63.6 million acres. By comparison, Exxon holds 85,000 net acres across its main Russian venture, an offshore project called Sakhalin, which was in place before the sanctions. Rosneft estimates there are 87 billion barrels of oil lying in the three blocks of the Kara Sea covered by its joint venture with Exxon Mobil. The first exploration well in the Kara Sea in the icy Arctic waters above Russia yielded a discovery of 730 million barrels of oil. U.S. sanctions on Russia have prevented Exxon Mobil from exploring assets covering 63.6 million acres. The relationship fell apart after Russia took Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and then intervened in civil wars in Ukraine and Syria.

President Trump’s personal lawyer and a former business associate met privately in New York City in Feb. 2017 with a member of the Ukrainian parliament to discuss a peace plan for that country that could give Russia long-term control over territory it seized in 2014 and lead to the lifting of sanctions against Moscow. The meeting with Andrii V. Artemenko, the Ukrainian politician, involved Michael Cohen, a Trump Organization lawyer since 2007, and Felix Sater, a business partner who worked on real estate projects with Trump’s company.
 Andrii V. Artemenko

Felix Sater

Tevfik Arif 
Arif is chairman of the New York real estate company Bayrock Group

Trump has dismissed the assessment, reached unanimously by 17 U.S. intelligence services, that the Russian government directed cyber attacks on the United States to interfere with the U.S. election process. Coincidence? I don't think so.

So far there has been several individuals associated with Donald Trump with deep financial ties to Russian connections:

Campaign Manager Paul Manafort

National Security Adviser Retired General Mike Flynn

Attorney general Jeff Sessions

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross

Michael Cohen, Trump's lawyer

Carter Page

Erik Prince

Roger Stone

Jared Kushner

Looking into money laundering around Trump is like investigating moisture in the middle of the ocean.
If that’s not enough money laundering for an investigation, read this last:
A Financial Times investigation has found evidence that one Trump venture has multiple ties to an alleged international money laundering network. Title deeds, bank records and correspondence show that a Kazakh family accused of laundering hundreds of millions of stolen dollars bought luxury apartments in a Manhattan tower part-owned by Mr Trump and embarked on major business ventures with one of the tycoon’s partners. The FBI did wiretap Trump Tower to monitor Russian activity, but it had nothing to do with the 2016 Presidential election, it has been reported.
Between 2011 and 2013 the Bureau had a warrant to spy on a high-level criminal Russian money-laundering ring, which operated in unit 63A of the iconic skyscraper — three floors below Mr Trump's penthouse.
The plaintiffs in a 2015 racketeering case against Bayrock, Sater, and Arif, among others, alleged in the civil lawsuit that: “for most of its existence it [Bayrock] was substantially and covertly mob-owned and operated,” engaging “in a pattern of continuous, related crimes, including mail, wire, and bank fraud; tax evasion; money laundering; conspiracy; bribery; extortion; and embezzlement.” Although the lawsuit does not allege complicity by Trump, it claims that Bayrock exploited its joint ventures with Trump as a conduit for laundering money and evading taxes. The lawsuit cites as a “Concrete example of their crime, Trump SoHo, [which] stands 454 feet tall at Spring and Varick, where it also stands monument to spectacularly corrupt money-laundering and tax evasion.”
Money laundering is what Trump does.