There are plenty of legal analysts, political pundits, and even amateur sleuths like me who bring you angles you may not have considered who all agree — in the final tally, Donald Trump and his family will be linked to some sort of money laundering scheme involving Russia. The ties to shady banks and oligarchs are simply too extensive, too long-standing, and too personal to ignore.
More importantly, the members of the Trump family — especially Don Junior — are just too aspirational to not have their hands in the cookie jar. Ties between the President and multiple Russian oligarchs, celebrities, mafia-connected types, and bankers are well established. Every time the United States passes legislation benefiting a foreign nation in the last two years, we’ve seemingly found that Ivanka had trademarks and patents approved there within a month of the passage. And Junior… Well, there are just pictures of Junior shaking hands with every undesirable character you care to imagine, all in the pursuit of power.
That’s perhaps how he came to be the keynote speaker at Baltic International Bank, the organization of one Valeri Belokon, the man you see in the photo you clicked on to get to this article.
BIB was caught laundering money in 2016 by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, part of a global network of banks discovered doing the same that were exposed after the publication of the “Panama Papers,” a series of more than ten million leaked documents that led to sanctions for corruption around the world — including the sanctions that have affected Russia the most, those under the Global Magnitsky Act.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting organized by Trump Junior and attended by Kremlin lawyer and spy Natalia Veselnitskaya centered on the exchange of information to assist the Trump campaign for the presidency for a promise to lift those very sanctions against Russia.
Now that notorious Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman has been found guilty on all charges against him in a US court, his banking connections are back in the news — and one of the biggest banks that Chapo laundered money through was, you guessed it, Baltic International Bank.
The bank confirmed less than two years ago — during the Trump presidency — that Junior had held a speaking engagement at the bank. They insist that it was his only connection to the organization, but then again, they’re proven liars (and money launderers). Baltic moved hundreds of millions of dollars for Chapo through transactions even with American banks.
It’s not even a small surprise to those of us following the money that Junior would be connected to any high-profile case involving giant stacks of cash, even if that cash ironically belonged to a drug cartel boss who once put out a contract on his dad. He even went on a Twitter blocking-spree against anyone who discussed his keynote address at BIB from 2012.
It looks like Donald Trump, Junior is just smart enough to get himself tangled up in global schemes — but not quite smart enough to not get caught.
Featured image via Baltic International Bank