Trump Organization Struck Deal With Azerbaijani Oligarch Tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard: Report

“Donald Trump has styled himself as a hardline opponent of the Iranian regime, but new details of a business deal in Azerbaijan point to his organization’s relationship with an oligarch’s family that has close links to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.”

newsweek.com/trump-organization-struck-deal-azerbaijani-oligarch-tied-irans-revolutionary-564387?rx=us

And?

Trump has met with people who exhale the poisonous gas CO2!!! Oh the Horror!!!

He built a hotel years ago in a bad part of the world.
Stop the presses!

Actually, from the article, it doesn’t appear he did. From the article:

"But, as Trump prepared for the presidency after his election win in November, he canceled the deal. The agreement was a licensing deal, for those behind the project to use the Trump name. "

If Trump’s business canceled projects in every country that did business with Iran, there wouldn’t be many places left other than perhaps the Sunni dictatorships and an obscure country here and there. European nations certainly do, and every dime the Iranian regime gets helps support the Quds Force and the Mullahs. That includes every bit of military or other aid that goes to the government of Iraq from the U.S. and the billions Obama gave Iran. So Trump’s business would have to shut down every hotel it has in the U.S. too.

Donald Trump’s Worst Deal - The New Yorker

Read the extensive original investigative article in the New Yorker and then come back and post in support of your boy if you can. There are legal issues there that show that he and his daughter were doing pretty much the same things that US law forbids.

He’s even quoted as saying that he wants the anti-bribery laws reversed so that he and others can do business on an even playing field.

Oh and the project was linked to a company that is owned by Iran’s Republican Guard. And he can’t claim he didn’t know…or he can, but the level of gullibility shouldn’t be that his anymore…

So then it appears he talks out of both sides of his mouth, while deriding the deal with Iran he wants to repeal laws that allow his businesses to bribe and do business with companies that supply money for weapons and support of Iran.

Now that’s disgusting…

And George W Bush had links to the bin Laden family.

Michael Moore should be able to make a “documentary” out of this. To be economical, he could probably just re-release “Fahrenheit 9/11”, and do some name changes.
Among thinking people, the credibility of the new film couldn’t be any lower than the credibility of 'Fahrenheit 9/11". :shrug:

Here’s the original story by the reporter who spent over 3 months of arduous investigation:

“Donald Trump’s Worst Deal: The President helped build a hotel in Azerbaijan that appears to be a corrupt operation engineered by oligarchs tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard,” by Adam Davidson, at:
newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/13/donald-trumps-worst-deal

And here is the Rachel Maddow program that covered it & interviewed the author 2 days ago: youtube.com/watch?v=dy9Qtf3P6Nw


After discussing how the Trump Tower in Azerbaijan is a boondoggle, never meant to function as a hotel (which Rachel Maddow points out is similar to a Russian money laundering (or hiding) scheme Trump was involved with in Florida see youtube.com/watch?v=HwO_uIOZekE ), it goes on to say:

The Azerbaijanis behind the project were close relatives of Ziya Mammadov, the Transportation Minister and one of the country’s wealthiest and most powerful oligarchs. According to the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, Azerbaijan is among the most corrupt nations in the world…Trump’s company had made the deal not just with Anar Mammadov but also with Ziya’s brother Elton—an influential member of the Azerbaijani parliament…

The Azerbaijani lawyer told me, “We were always following their instructions. We were in constant contact with the Trump Organization. They approved the smallest details.” …

If parties involved in the Trump Tower Baku project participated in any illegal financial conduct, and if the Trump Organization exerted a degree of control over the project, the company could be vulnerable to criminal prosecution. Tom Fox, a Houston lawyer who specializes in anti-corruption compliance, said, “It’s a problem if you’re making a profit off of someone else’s corrupt conduct.”…

…the Mammadov family, in addition to its reputation for corruption, has a troubling connection that any proper risk assessment should have unearthed: for years, it has been financially entangled with an Iranian family tied to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the ideologically driven military force…The U.S. government has regularly accused the Guard of criminal activity, including drug trafficking, sponsoring terrorism abroad, and money laundering. Reuters recently reported that the Trump Administration was poised to officially condemn the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.

It occurs to me that if there is a “there there” or anything seriously wrong with our Prez, then it is the hard-working investigative journalists who will uncover it, not the gov, not the CIA, FBI, or justice system.

The same is true for many other cases.

In IL a couple of decades ago there were some death row cases that a Northwestern Univ journalism prof thought were fishy. He and his students investigated them and found out 31 death row convicts had been wrongly convicted and got them exonerated. Not our justice system, but journalists.

I remember the case of Rolando Cruz, accused and convicted of murdering a girl in the town next to ours (when we lived up north). After the case was overturned (and the actual murderer found), the prosecutor was convicted and put in prison.

Most investigative journalists don’t seem terribly interested in such things anymore. They’re much more interested in digging up dirt on Trump or, in the absence thereof, fabricating it. Why are they not interested, for example, in the fact that our own air force has been supporting the Revolutionary Guards in Iraq for years?

Maybe you ought to inform them about that. Journalism relies on tips.

I think they would be happy to uncover the dirt (the real dirt) on anyone if it is of public interest. If the supposed “liberal media” is not interested, maybe the “conservative media” would be.

But you are right, most journalists are not into the very hard work of investigative journalism on issues of importance to the public, which often does not pay off (they don’t get the evidence they need on the dirt to go with the story). You may have seen THE INSIDER about the tobacco industry cover-up. It’s very hard work.

Another problem is that most media is “corporate media,” and they won’t be interested in digging up dirt on their owners or sponsors. I remember the last such story on 20/20 was on Dominican Republic slavery in the sugar industry, which Diane Sawyer covered. That was decades ago. They probably got a lot of flak for dissing the candy industry, or various industries thereafter made sure to contribute to media outlets so as not to be the subject of an unwanted exposé.

Maybe Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! would be interested in the Air Force connection, since she is anti-war and non-corporate media. You can send your info to her at democracynow.org/contact

BTW, Amy has not covered the OP topic here. I’m thinking bec it is still very raw and we don’t know if there is anything to it or any crime committed. Time will tell.

No call to be snide about it.

It’s not something that’s unknown or secret. It’s just that the American media doesn’t like to talk about it because it was Obama’s policy. It’s just a fact that we are supporting, with our air force and special forces, Iraqi government and Shia militias that are trained, advised and oftentimes led by Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces.

theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/15/shia-leaders-iraq-iran-ayatollah-ali-sistani

Maybe Trump will come up with a strategy against ISIS that is not pro-Iranian, and maybe he won’t. But he should.

I wasn’t being snide. I really didn’t know anything at all about it and do think the media should cover it, but perhaps due to being supported by the military-industrial complex corporate media (on the left and right) don’t want to cover it.

But perhaps Amy Goodman would be interested, bec she is really against war and military operations in general and in not on the hooks of the military-industrial complex the way the other media are. She also had a lot of criticism re Obama and his policies, so she wouldn’t be deterred if it goes against Obama.

Actually the article ( newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/13/donald-trumps-worst-deal ) discusses how the Trump Org was heavily involved in the construction, and explains, “If parties involved in the Trump Tower Baku project participated in any illegal financial conduct, and if the Trump Organization exerted a degree of control over the project, the company could be vulnerable to criminal prosecution.”

It goes on to say, “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, passed in 1977, forbade American companies from participating in a scheme to reward a foreign government official in exchange for material benefit or preferential treatment. The law even made it a crime for an American company to unknowingly benefit from a partner’s corruption if it could have discovered illicit activity but avoided doing so…” This requires companies to do “due diligence” to make sure there is no corruption involved re the foreign partners. It actually seems to me the Trump Org understood all this and made it a point to claim “Trump played a passive role in the development of the property: he was ‘merely a licensor’ who allowed his famous name to be used…” Which itself would be a lie, but apparently no one until now looked into how involved the Trump Org actually was.

The article goes on to explain another Azerbaijan business deal that ended in criminal prosecution: “…in 2009, an American entrepreneur was successfully prosecuted for his part in a corruption conspiracy in Azerbaijan. Frederic Bourke, the co-founder of Dooney & Bourke, the handbag company, had invested in a project in which a foreign partner paid bribes to Azerbaijani government officials and their family members. Bourke was sentenced to a year in prison for violating the F.C.P.A.; he appealed the conviction, claiming ignorance of the corruption. Two years later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the conviction, saying that, regardless of whether he had known about the bribes, “the testimony at trial demonstrated that Bourke was aware of how pervasive corruption was in Azerbaijan.” The F.C.P.A., they said, also criminalized “conscious avoidance”—a deliberate effort to remain in the dark about any transgressions a foreign partner might be involved in. After Bourke’s conviction, Wrage said, U.S. companies were well aware of the dangers of making careless deals in Azerbaijan.”

Also see: governmentcontractslawblog.com/2009/08/articles/fcpa/fcpa-conviction-provides-cautionary-warning-regarding-anti-corruption-due-diligence/

It sort of seems unfair if the Bourke case was investigated and prosecuted that our government not at least look into these new findings of the Trump Org’s heavy involvement and possible criminality, otherwise the message goes out it is okay to violate FCPA.

The best result would be for this to be investigated officially and no criminal activity found. Otherwise, it is just going to be festering and make it look like Trump and associates are being given breaks and passes that others don’t get. But whatever the finding, sitting presidents cannot be convicted of crimes.

If I use union labor to build a building, am I complicit in organized crime if the union is in bed with organized crime? No I’m not, and particularly if the area is one in which it’s impossible to build a building without union labor. If someone bribed someone, and it was investigated, do you really think they would have just ignored Trump doing the same thing if he did?

Unfounded witch hunts and fishing expeditions might be political fun, but they’re a waste of resources.

And Trump is well known to meticulously inspect buildings to which he will “rent” his brand. It’s just good business to do that.

If American businesses are to be precluded from doing business in every corrupt state on earth, there would be few with which they could do business.

This story is a big nothing. There is no factual basis stated for believing Trump did anything illegal. It’s based solely on the assumption that if Trump is involved in anything at all, it’s necessarily illegal.

The law applies only to doing business with foreign entities (not internal US dealings) and the need to do “due diligence” to make sure those entities/persons are not involved in corruption re the business involved.

The author of the New Yorker article interviewed an exec of a hotel chain about this: “A senior executive at one of the largest American hotel chains, who asked for anonymity because he feared reprisal from the Trump Administration, said, ‘We wouldn’t look at due diligence as a burden. There certainly is a cost to doing it, especially in higher-risk places. But it’s as much an investment in the protection of that brand. It’s money well spent.’”

So the Trump Org perhaps would be innocent if the hotel were legit for the purpose of making money (which seems it may not have been acc to details explained in the article) and the foreign partner was not using that business for some corrupt dealings (it seems perhaps they were).

If the Trump Org had done due diligence (as it claimed it did) there would have been many “red flags” that should have halted the deal.

I don’t think this is a witch-hunt, no more than the investigation into Spiro Agnew’s corrupt dealings or the investigation-after-investigation into the Benghazhi attack or Hillary’s email issue. Our President (and VP) should be above reproach. If there is cause (I say “if”) for Trump to step down, then he should, as Nixon did. It would not be a terrible crisis for the US. Pence would then become Prez, and more or less do the same things Trump wanted done…esp re abortion (which I think is why many voted for Trump).

A thorough and good official investigation will tell if there is any “there there.” And that would be best for Trump if he is innocent – these things need to be put to rest.

However, when Rachel Maddow interviewed the author, he said there were several other international dealings elsewhere in the world the Trump Org was involved in that seemed fishy, but that he only had time to do a more thorough investigation of the Azerbaijan dealing.

One wonders why non-gov people have to do the work of our gov. What are we paying taxes for?

The source for the self-congratulatory “due diligence” exhortation was anonymous, but didn’t really say anything anyway. Among other things the author of the hit piece on an anti-Trump show announced that some Trump dealings “seemed fishy” to him, but he really didn’t have time to check into them for real. Now, that’s persuasive! :rolleyes:

And the government is supposed to spend resources digging into that?

Only the same amount of resources spent on the many Benghazi investigations and Hillary email issue, perhaps even more since this would be a much more serious case, but perhaps not as serious as the dozens of other cases being brought or in the works against Trump.

Just heard from the British journalist who said the FBI had sought FISA warrants on 2 Russian banks in Trump Tower, but did not know if that resulted in wire-tapping.

She said IF that did result in wire-tapping and Trump knew it, his revealing of that on-going investigation would be an impeachable offense.

Who knows what will bring Trump down – he has so many smoking guns out there.

What I don’t understand is how anyone could still be considering him the Second Coming, above any reproach whatsoever.

As long as something does?

The mean-spiritedness of his vocal enemies may not be sufficient to “bring Trump down”.
But the wolves are salivating in anticipation of the feeding frenzy.

I don’t think you understand the dangers we are in with Trump. Not only the backsliding on doing something about climate change, which could have deathly repercussions for humanity for 1000s of years, but his dismantling of the gov in various ways – of agencies and departments that help and protect Americans. We are headed for some very awful times.

Anyone who is truly pro-life (all lives matter) will be hoping that Trump either change course or step down.

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