Follow da money

Follow da money

by digby

Those of you read this blog regularly know that I have always suspected that the Trump Russia connection has more to do with his nefarious business dealings than with a direct quid pro quo or blackmail. (It may have to do with that too of course.) But Trump's global networks of dirty financial dealings should have disqualified him from office once he refused to disclose the scope of his company's businesses, release his tax returns or divest himself and his family. It's an outrage that this is hanging over the administration's head and the Republicans are covering for him.

Anyway, the investigation is moving in this direction for good reason:

A U.S. Senate investigation into Russia's meddling during the U.S. election should include a thorough review of any financial ties between Russia and President Donald Trump and his associates, Democratic senator Ron Wyden said Wednesday.

In a formal written request made to the leaders of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, Wyden said financial relationships between Trump, a real estate developer with properties around the world, and Russia are deserving of scrutiny because of resistance by Trump and some in his orbit have not been forthcoming about their finances.

"Efforts to understand these relationships and to separate fact from speculation have been hampered by the opacity of the finances of President Trump and his associates," Wyden, who also sits on the intelligence panel, wrote to Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Mark Warner.

The letter, though devoid of new details, is the latest piece of evidence suggesting Trump's business dealings are attracting expanded interest from investigators amid a raft of new reports scrutinizing potential financial entanglements between the president and Russia.

Trump has declined to release his tax returns, bucking decades of precedent for presidents and presidential candidates.

The letter followed new disclosures in recent weeks of previously unknown meetings and financial arrangements between Trump's associates and wealthy Russians, and came as Democrats attempt to focus public attention on questions about Trump's connections to Russia.

On Monday, the state development bank Vnesheconombank disclosed that its executives had met Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and a top White House adviser, in December. And last week Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, admitted he had done business work for Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska...

A Reuters investigation published earlier this month found that dozens of members of the Russian elite have bought at least $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in southern Florida, according to public documents, interviews and corporate records.
And that's just the beginning. Check out this major USA Today (!) expose about Trump and the Russian mob...

Can you believe we're talking about the fucking president of the United States? Wow ...