Speaking by telephone on Fox’s “Fox & Friends” on the morning of April 26, Donald Trump interjected in his often incoherent rants that his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is “a businessman . . . he’s got a business.” Trump added, “I don’t know his business, but this doesn’t have to do with me.” Trump did seem to worry about what prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) might discover in the gigabytes of data seized, pursuant to a court order, by FBI agents from Cohen’s office, hotel room, residence, and safety deposit box. Trump said of the law enforcement seizure, “From what I understand, they’re looking at his [Cohen's] businesses. And I hope he is in great shape.”
Trump was not referring to Cohen’s businesses being flush with cash. To the contrary, the president is worried that federal investigators may discover Cohen’s involvement in criminal activity. U.S. Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York appointed her former district court colleague, retired judge Barbara Jones, as a “special master” to review documents and files seized from Cohen to determine what qualifies as protected attorney-client information. Trump, who is obviously worried about what the authorities seized from Cohen, attempted to personally review the seized documents. Judge Wood’s appointment of a special master effectively rejected Trump’s request. Trump subsequently told “Fox & Friends” that Cohen handled only a “tiny, tiny fraction” of his “overall legal work.”
Aside from Cohen’s network of taxi cab companies in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia; a major stake in a Nevada cannabis firm; mixed martial arts; and a south Florida casino boat, Cohen’s businesses have very much to do with Mr. Trump. As a vice president and corporate counsel for the Trump Organization, a privately-held business that is organized like a criminal syndicate, Cohen was involved in all of Trump’s real estate development ventures. Many of these involved notorious Russian-Ukrainian-Israeli mafia figures.
Trump is very likely concerned that among the documents seized by the FBI and prosecutors are files relating to Cohen-incorporated limited liability corporations that were established specifically to pay hush money to, perhaps, as many as 100 women who Trump sexually assaulted over the years. Two of these firms, Essential Consultants LLC and Resolution Consultants LLC, were incorporated in Delaware, known for its strict business confidentiality laws. Essential Consultants was the firm that paid adult film star Stormy Daniels, aka Stephanie Clifford, $130,000 to remain silent about her affair with Trump, known in a non-disclosure agreement as “David Dennison.”
What the FBI and prosecutors are discovering in the cache of documents seized from Cohen is the existence of several constellations of interrelated LLCs, limited partnerships, shell corporations, and other corporate contrivances and artifices that are designed to mask illegal business activities as legitimate and to facilitate money laundering. Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Steve Bannon, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn are entangled in their own networks of dubious businesses involving everything from real estate and banking to non-profit foundations and charities and diamond mining. These sub-networks of companies are not only linked to one another but also have connections to Mafia organizations like the Colombo, Genovese, Lucchese, and Gambino Italian mafia syndicates and the Vory v Zakone and Taganskaya Russian Mafia syndicates, and the Red Star Russian and the Solntsevskaya Jewish syndicates. Cohen is directly connected to the two Jewish syndicates, which operate chiefly out of Brooklyn, particularly the Russian and Ukrainian Jewish enclave of Brighton Beach.
Mr. Trump has been dealing with these criminal elements ever since the days when he sought legal advice from Roy Cohn, the mobbed-up John Bircher lawyer who served as chief counsel for Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Red-baiting “witch hunt” committee in the U.S. Senate and as a lawyer for noted mob figures like Tony Salerno and John Gotti. Trump has also admitted that he dealt with construction unions run by Salerno and Gotti, the respective heads of the Genovese and Gambino crime families and has often complained that what he needs among his legal team is “a Roy Cohn.” It was Cohn who introduced Trump to media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who was another Cohn client.
Although much has been written about Steve Bannon’s involvement with the data mining and election manipulation of Cambridge Analytica and its parent, SCL Group, WMR has discovered a link between Bannon and a firm involved at an early stage with U.S. manipulation of foreign political campaigns. Through a Sarasota, Florida, association with a Mossad- and Central Intelligence Agency-linked network of offshore firms in Costa Rica, Panama, Seychelles, Tanzania, Cyprus, and Belize, Bannon was connected with a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case against the San Diego-based intelligence firm, Titan Corporation, for manipulating a presidential election in Benin between 1999 and 2001. Titan was associated through corporate artifices with a CIA and Mossad front company called Red Sea Management Ltd. of San Jose, Costa Rica, and Belize City, Belize. Bannon and one of the business associates of Red Sea Management shared a corporate address in Sarasota.
Specifically, Titan and the operating unit active in Benin, Titan Wireless, were charged with purchasing T-shirts adorned with incumbent President Mathieu Kerekou’s picture and instructions to vote for him in the upcoming election. In March 2001, Kerekou was re-elected with 84.1 percent of the vote. Kerekou, who was once a Marxist, had converted from Roman Catholicism to Islam. He then became a born-again Christian, which earned him the nickname of “Chameleon.” Kerekou’s inauguration in 2001 was attended by a Jewish contingent from the United States.
There is some evidence that Titan, which did business in some 60 countries, may have been involved in other election manipulation in Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. In 2005, Titan pleaded guilty to three felonies and paid a $13 million fine plus a $15.5 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
There are recent reports that Bannon is, once again, advising Trump on how to deal with Special Prosecutor Mueller’s investigation. Bannon, Cohen, Trump, and their cronies have every reason to worry about Mueller, Judges Wood and Jones, and the SDNY. What Trump claims is Cohen’s single “business” is actually the tip of an organized criminal syndicate that did not seize control of the White House in a Hollywood-style armed attack but through a clever mixture of election manipulation, social network engineering, foreign cash laundering, and a very gullible American electorate.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).