• frontpage-logo
  • NYI-homepage-mobile-logo

  • Donald Trump had the means and motive to collude with Russia during the 2016 election. Here’s the evidence so far. Part 1 (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

    Donald Trump’s Russia gambit is facing its denouement. Although investigations probing his connections to the Kremlin are still underway, enough circumstantial evidence has been revealed to finally piece together a plausible scenario for collusion and criminal behavior.

    Although the following is just one theory, there’s no question the end game is at hand for the president and his Russian cronies, including Vladimir Putin.

    Money & Power pieced together the scenario after examining dozen’s of news reports both in the United States and especially in Europe, where Trump’s Russia connection is getting far more serious attention.

    Some information is also drawn from the 35-page “dossier” compiled by ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, whom U.S. intelligence agencies consider a credible source.

    Unfortunately, Steele’s detailed findings were overshadowed by the report’s most salacious claims, which drew the most media attention.

    The Kremlin allegedly videotaped Trump in 2013 cavorting with prostitutes. Trump watched them perform “golden showers” on a bed in a hotel room once occupied by former President Obama and his wife, according to the Steele report.

    Some reports claim this so-called “Kompromat,” the Russian term for compromising information, is at the heart of the Kremlin’s hold on Trump. But it plays no role in our scenario.

    Rather, Trump’s ties to Russia are far more longstanding and far darker, going back at least a decade or more. What makes the scenario so plausible is the glue that binds it–money.

    Up until now, most of the media focus has been on Trump campaign figures like campaign manager Paul Manafort, campaign adviser Carter Page, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, for a brief period Trump’s National Security Adviser, and Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. All, to varying degrees, have ties to Russia.

    Trump has been portrayed in the media at various times as aloof from, uninvolved in or unaware of the machinations of his underlings.

    But our theory puts him squarely in charge of the collusion, along with the Trump Organization and members of the Trump family. It’s no coincidence that so many individuals with known Russian connections turned up in his campaign.

    They were specifically recruited because of their ties. It was a key credential Trump demanded.

    That’s because by the time he ran for president, he was already deeply involved with Russian oligarchs and likely Russian organized crime figures, with direct or indirect ties to Putin.

    Trump’s ties to New York organized crime have been long-standing and actually not that surprising. Anyone involved in the construction business in New York City invariably dealt with the mob.

    During the 1980s, organized crime controlled 75 percent of New York City construction through its strangle-hold on the concrete industry and influence over construction unions, according to an admitted mob captain who testified on Capitol Hill in 1988.

    “Legitimate guys ain’t got a chance,” said the mobster, Vincent “Fish” Cafaro.

    New York’s largest mob families–the Genoveses, Gambinos, Luccheses and Colombos–all had their finger in the pie, according to Cafaro. Developers like Trump had to ante up to get their projects off the ground.

    If a contract was worth $5 million or more–as Trump’s invariably were–it went directly to a mob-run company, S & A Concrete.

    It should come as no surprise that Trump Tower, one of the president’s signature projects, was built entirely out of concrete. More than 45,000 cubic yards were used, making it the largest all-concrete building in the world.

    The $22 million contract went directly to the mob, according the late investigative journalist Wayne Barrett.

    In his expose, “Trump the Deals and the Downfall,” he noted that Trump would be subpoenaed in 1980 to testify about his use of concrete in his projects and ties to the organized crime.

    Over the years, investigations and convictions took a toll on New York’s traditional mafia families, but it didn’t end organized crime. The Italian crime families were supplanted by the Russian mob.

    Russians began flocking to New York City in the late ’80s following Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s policy of “Glasnost,” or openness. Tens of thousands of Russian emigre’s arrived in the United States during that time.

    Trump had no compulsion about working with the mob. To him, it was just business. In fact, he seemed to relish his mob ties.

    When he wanted to break into the Atlantic City casino business, Trump hired Daniel Sullivan, a union leader with mob ties, to act as his adviser on trade unions.

    Sullivan, however, was reportedly Trump’s go-between with Philadelphia mobster Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo, who was then a major player in Atlantic City real estate.

    Sullivan and Kenneth Shapiro, a so-called “agent of the Philadelphia mob,” also owned some of the land where Trump wanted to build his first casino.

    “They are not bad people from what I see,” Trump told a regulatory hearing in 1982, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    During his reign as an Atlantic City casino baron, Trump practiced the art of “quid pro quo” with his high rollers. Among them was Robert LiButti, who bragged that mobster John Gotti was his “boss.”

    Trump’s casino gave LiButti $1.65 million in gifts and cars in violation of state casino laws. Trump also paid LiButti $250,000 for a race horse that was worth about $90,000–all to keep him at the tables, where he eventually lost $11.9 million, according to The Journal.

    At about the same time, Trump also was involved with Felix Sater, a Russian native and disgraced stockbroker, who reportedly had ties to the Bonnano crime family.

    Sater lost his trading license because of his involvement in an illegal-pump-and-dump stock swindle. Yet, Trump hired him as an adviser on the Trump SoHo condo building as well as the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

    It’s probably safe to say Trump wasn’t under the influence or control of the mob at that time. But the tables turned dramatically following the crash of his Atlantic City casino business.

    Although Trump was able to avoid personal bankruptcy and keep the Trump Organization afloat, he was hamstrung by his banks and strapped for cash.

    After the casino debacle, Trump, his company and partners repeatedly turned to wealthy Russians and oligarchs from former Soviet republics for partnerships or financing, according to an investigation by USA Today.

    Trump has been extremely secretive about his business ties, and, of course, he’s the only president in 40 years who has refused to release his tax returns.

    His organized crime ties have not gone unnoticed in the current Russia investigation. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is reportedly working with the U.S. intelligence agencies to determine what role, if any, Trump’s mob ties played in his alleged election collusion with Russia.

    Trump’s mob dealings clearly establish a pattern of behavior that lends credence to allegations collusion took place at the highest level of his campaign at his direction.

    From years of dealing with organized crime, Trump had the connections, a well-established modus operandi and the moral turpitude to subvert the nation’s electoral process without any moral compunctions or duty to the nation’s democratic institutions.