Looking at the many meandering paths in the Trump-Russia story, it seems we keep coming back time and time again to one constant: Money.
Whether it’s the millions missing from the Trump inaugural committee or the fact that Donald Trump is believed to have gotten investments for his real estate ventures from Russian oligarchs and members of Russian organized crime, money is the one constant.
And now a new report from BuzzFeed shows that a series of suspicious money transfers were made right after the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting hosted by Donald Trump Jr. Another series of wire transfers were then made following the election:
“Secret documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News reveal a previously undisclosed aspect of the (June 2016) meeting: a complex web of financial transactions among some of the planners and participants who moved money from Russia and Switzerland to the British Virgin Islands, Bangkok, and a small office park in New Jersey.”
The central figure in these money transfers is Aras Agalarov, a Russian oligarch and multinational real estate developer who has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. Those financial transactions are now being investigated by federal law enforcement officials:
“In the case of the Agalarovs and their associates, the documents show funds moving quickly between accounts across the globe, often, bankers said, with no clear reason and with no clear purpose for how the money was supposed to be used.”
In one instance, an American bank account that had been dormant for almost four years suddenly began receiving wire transfers from Russian bank accounts controlled by Aras Agalarov. The account that received the money — $165,000 total — was in the name of Emin Agalarov, who just so happens to be Aras’ son.
A few days later, $107,000 of the $165K was moved yet again, this time to a bank account in the name of another Russian who attended the Trump Tower meeting in 2016. Was the money used to help finance the Trump campaign in the final days of the election? Federal prosecutors now suspect that it was.
In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. was asked where most of the money for Trump Organization projects came from. He replied:
“In terms of high-end product influx into the US, 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.”
As we learned in Watergate, if you want to find the crime and who’s involved, you follow the money. The same is true with the Trump-Russia scandal. And the money is what will finally prove that Donald Trump and other members of his family are indeed traitors who sold their country out to the highest bidder.